Teams: Wright State (35-11)
Location: Lindsey Nelson Stadium / Knoxville, TN
The Wright State baseball team returns to the NCAA postseason on Friday night as the Raiders take on Knoxville Regional host Tennessee at 6 p.m. at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. Wright State clinched its ninth NCAA Division I appearance last Saturday afternoon with a 21-3 victory over Milwaukee in the 2021 Horizon League Championship at Nischwitz Stadium. Entering the regionals, Wright State leads the country in six national categories: Batting Average (.342), On-Base Percentage (.451), Slugging Percentage (.578), Doubles per Game (2.74), Scoring (10.6 per) and Total Runs (488). The Raiders’ 126 total doubles is No. 2 in the country, while their 207 total drawn walks are No. 7 nationally and the pitching staff’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is 3.29, which is No. 8 nationally.
Duke and Liberty are also in the Knoxville Regional, and are set to square off earlier in the day at 12 p.m., with Friday’s winners advancing to face each other on Saturday night and Friday’s losers meeting in an elimination matchup earlier on Saturday afternoon.
Fans can follow the action with live stats for each game, while Friday’s game will be streamed on ESPN3.
WSU: Jake Schrand, RHP, Jr.
TEN: Chad Dallas, RHP, Jr.
LAST TIME OUT
Wright State posted 40 runs over three games last weekend on the way to capturing the 2021 Horizon League Championship. The Raiders hit .414 as a team with an .721 slugging percentage, totaling 10 doubles, six home runs and three triples as seven different players drove in multiple RBI, paced by eight RBI from Quincy Hamilton and 7 RBI each from Tyler Black and Zane Harris. On the mound, Wright State pitchers struck out 20 batters in 27 innings, allowing 10 runs (seven earned). Bradley Brehmer allowed four hits in his complete game win on Friday and Austin Cline struck out nine over 7.1 innings in the clinching game.
HAMILTON NAMED COLLEGIATE BASEBALL ALL-AMERICAN
Quincy Hamilton was named a first team Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division I All-American, the organization announced on Thursday. The 17-man first team, chosen by performances up to regional playoffs and picked by the staff of Collegiate Baseball newspaper, features 12 conference players or pitchers of the year. Hamilton becomes the first Wright State player to earn All-America honors since former Raider Peyton Burdick earned four All-America honors following the 2019 season, including being named a second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Hamilton leads the country in total runs scored (75), runs per game (1.63) and walks per game (1.17), while he is second nationally in total walks (54). Additionally, his on-base percentage (.532) is third in the country, he is No. 8 in the country in RBI per game (1.43) and his .749 slugging percentage is ninth nationally.
CHECKING THE LATEST TRENDS
Entering the Regional, Alex Alders’ 13-game hitting streak is the longest active mark on the Raider roster, followed by Zane Harris’ nine-game hitting streak. Sammy Sass had a 16-game hitting streak, the longest on the roster this season, snapped in the Milwaukee series late in the regular season. Alec Sayre previously had a 13-game hitting streak snapped during the Horizon League Championship, while Justin McConnell had an 11-game streak earlier in the season as well. Damon Dues has reached base in 22 straight games, with Justin McConnell having reached in 21 straight games. Sammy Sass, Tyler Black and Alex Alders have all reached in 13 consecutive games. Quincy Hamilton had his 30-game reached base streak snapped in the Milwaukee series, while 10 different Raiders have had reached base streaks of 10 or more games at some point during the season. Damon Dues has tallied 21 multi-hit games to pace the offense, followed by Tyler Black (20), Quincy Hamilton (20), Sammy Sass (15), Alec Sayre & Alex Alders (14 each). Tyler Black and Sammy Sass both have 17 multi-RBI games to lead the team, while Quincy Hamilton and Zane Harris both have 16 such games. Alec Sayre and Justin McConnell each have had 10 multi-RBI games.
Entering the regionals, Wright State leads the country in six national categories: Batting Average (.342), On-Base Percentage (.451), Slugging Percentage (.578), Doubles per Game (2.74), Scoring (10.6 per) and Total Runs (488). The Raiders’ 126 total doubles is No. 2 in the country, while their 207 total drawn walks are No. 7 nationally and the pitching staff’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is 3.29, which is No. 8 nationally.
SO WE MEET AGAIN
Wright State and Tennessee are no strangers to each other, having just met March 6-8 last season at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, with the Raiders taking two of three in the series for what ended up being Tennessee’s only two losses of the COVID shortened season. Wright State won Friday’s opening game 5-4 thanks to an Alex Alders RBI single in the top of the ninth as the Raiders collected 13 total hits. Jake Schrand earned the win with three innings of relief with five strikeouts. After a 3-1 loss in the Saturday game, the Raiders took the series with a 6-3 Sunday win behind Austin Cline’s five innings with three hits allowed. Over the three games, Tyler Black had a team-leading .444 batting average, while McConnell hit .400 with three of Wright State’s seven doubles. Jay Luikart had three RBI, while Black and Alders both had two RBI. Behind Schrand’s five strikeouts in relief, five different pitchers all had three strikeouts in the series while holding Tennessee to a .231 batting average against them.
AGAINST THE ‘POWERS’
Wright State played 10 of its 15 total games during the shortened 2020 season against ‘Power’ opponents, with a 3-7 mark against them. The three victories included a midweek win at then-No. 1 Louisville and a pair of wins at then-No. 11 Tennessee, while also taking weekend trips to Mississippi State (then No. 6) and Auburn (then No. 20). Hamilton paced the offense against those opponents, hitting for a .440 average, followed by Damon Dues (.385) and Cameron Rountree (.346). Zane Harris drove in a team-leading six RBI over that stretch, with five RBI from Gehrig Anglin as three other Raiders had four RBI each. 2021 starters Bradley Brehmer and Austin Cline each had three starts over those contests, with Cline striking out nine over 12.2 innings and Brehmer striking out five in 13.2 innings. Jake Shrand had nine strikeouts over five relief appearances (9.2 innings).