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Hornets to Face Pioneers

Shenandoah opens up NCAA Tournament play on Thursday at 10 a.m.
Shenandoah opens up NCAA Tournament play on Thursday at 10 a.m.

ADRIAN, Mich. – The No. 16 Shenandoah University baseball team opens up play at the NCAA Mid-East Regional Thursday morning with a first-round game versus longtime DIII power Marietta College.

The ODAC champion Hornets (34-10) and Ohio Athletic Conference regular season runner-up Pioneers (27-16) meet at 10 a.m. at Nicolay Field on the campus of Adrian College.

The winner of Thursday's game plays the winner of the No. 1 Wooster (Ohio) versus No. 8 Wabash (Ind.) contest at 4:30 Friday. The losers of the two Thursday games play at 10 a.m. Friday in an elimination contest.

This will be the second-ever meeting between SU and Marietta in NCAA play – in 2016, the Hornets rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to take a 3-2 victory over the Pioneers in the opening game of the Mount Berry Regional.

Juniors Luke Nussman and Tristan Baker started in that game at first and second base, respectively, with Nussman finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI and Baker 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Nussman and Baker each earned All-Tournament honors for SU last weekend as coach Kevin Anderson's squad swept through the ODAC Tournament to win the program's second-ever league title.

Shenandoah comes into its ninth-ever NCAA playoff appearance hitting .331 as a team with 29 home runs and 399 runs scored.

Eight starters: Nussman, Baker, Henry Delavergne, Keegan Woolford, Grant Thompson, Robert Marcelle, Nick Goode and Chase Smallwood, are hitting over .300 with Smallwood's .406 average leading the ODAC this season.

All of those players with the exception of Delavergne were named All-ODAC this season and were joined on the All-league squad by pitchers Michael Bugonowicz and Colin Morse.

Baker, a three-time All-ODAC honoree, was selected as the ODAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was joined on All-Tournament squad by Nussman, Marcelle, Smallwood, Goode, Woolford and Bugonowicz.

Morse figures to be the Hornets starter Thursday morning and enters NCAA play with a 7-3 record in 75 2/3 innings pitched over 13 appearances. He also has 82 strikeouts and a 3.21 ERA.

Bugonowicz is 5-2 with seven saves and a 2.18 ERA in 62.0 innings pitched. His 9.58 strikeouts per nine innings is third on the team to CJ Morton's 11.25 and Morse at 9.75.

The game one start will be the fourth career NCAA start for Morse. He had one start as a sophomore (versus Emory) as well as starts in the Hornets opening and closing games last season.

2018 marks Marietta's NCAA record 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance and the Pioneers have won six national championships with the last coming in 2012.

Marietta, which played the nation's toughest schedule this season, comes into the regional hitting .278 as a team. Geoff Snyder leads a group of four starters hitting over .300 with a .363 average and 15 extra base hits in 135 at-bats.

Matt Hale, who is hitting .322, has driven in 43 runs and has a team-best 20 doubles.

Senior David Stover, the OAC Pitcher of the Year, figures to be the Pioneers starter on the mound Thursday. The righty has a 10-3 record with 51 strikeouts and a 3.51 ERA in 74 1/3 innings pitched.

Michael Barnabei has three of the squad's six saves this season to go along with a 4-1 record in 28.0 innings pitched over 14 appearances.

Tournament Capsule:

Game Notes | Live Stats | Video

 

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Baseball Leads ODAC Poll
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Happy New Year!
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Merry Christmas!
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