2017 SLIAC Baseball Tournament Preview

2017 SLIAC Baseball Tournament Preview

The 2016-17 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference sports season will come to a close this weekend with the 2017 SLIAC Baseball Tournament. Greenville College, Spalding University, Webster University, and Westminster College will take the field looking to capture the final conference championship of the year.

Tournament at a Glance
This year's tournament will be held in Greenville, Illinois. The tournament is a three-day, double elimination format with games running from Thursday, May 11 through Saturday, May 13. For directions to the field click HERE

UPDATED SCHEDULE
Friday, May 12
Game 1- #1 West - Webster vs. #2 East - Spalding, 10 a.m.
Game 2- #1 East - Greenville vs. #2 West - Westminster, 1 p.m.
Game 3- Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 4 p.m.
Game 4- Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 13
Game 5- Winner of Game 4 vs. Loser of Game 3, 3 p.m.
Game 6- Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5, 6 p.m.

Sunday, May 14
Game 7- If Necessary, TBD

Broadcast Information
The 2017 SLIAC Baseball Championship game will be broadcast live courtesy of College Casts. To listen go to the tournament page and click on the Audio Link located next to championship game or go HERE

All games will also be available on video HERE

Tournament Tidbits

  • Greenville's Travis Ralls leads the SLIAC in batting average and is second in home runs and stolen bases while also ranking fourth in runs batted in.
  • Spalding pitcher Jimi Keating leads NCAA Division III with 119 strikeouts, while teammate Kyle Olliges is 5th with 101.
  • Josh Fleming, from Webster, leads all of NCAA Division III players with a 0.46 earned-run average this season and also ranks 7th in strikeouts.
  • Westminster's Tanner Branneky became the Blue Jays career leader in home runs last week, hitting his 26th, and surpassing the previous mark which was held by his brother.

 

Overall Record:
26-14
SLIAC Record:
16-6
Tournament Trips:

16th
Tournament Titles:

1
Last Championship:
2015

Greenville College 'PANTHERS'

Greenville used a final weekend sweep to jump into first place in the SLIAC East Division and grab the top seed out of the east. The Panthers offense led the league in runs scored this year, crossing the plate 289 times; an average of 7.3 per game. They are hitting .304 as a team and finished 2nd in the league with 33 home runs. Anchoring their lineup is junior catcher Travis Ralls. Ralls led the conference with a .420 average this year, adding 8 home runs and 39 RBI. Lead-off hitter Jesse Getz is hitting .400 with 16 stolen bases while drawing 22 walks this season. Senior Mike Hardin finished the regular season with a .305 average and six home runs with 38 RBI. Their pitching staff finished 3rd with a 3.82 earned-run average while recording four shutouts. Sophomore Jonah Moore made a team-high 10 starts this year, going 8-1 on the mound, with a 3.46 E.R.A. Austin Rexroad and Klaiton Wolff, both freshman, are key out of the bullpen. Rexroad holds a 2.67 E.R.A. with 28 strikeouts in 27 innings while Wolff holds a 1.93 E.R.A. with 21 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched and seven saves.

Overall Record:
26-14
SLIAC Record:
16-6
Tournament Trips:

4th
Tournament Titles:

n/a
Last Championship:
n/a

Spalding University 'GOLDEN EAGLES'

After jumping into the Regional Rankings, the Spalding nine closed out the regular season on a downswing; losing their final four games. The Golden Eagles have been led by their starting duo of Jimi Keating and Kyle Olliges. Keating worked 92 innings this spring, finishing with an 11-1 record and a 1.47 E.R.A. Olliges was 9-2 with a 2.83 E.R.A. over 82.2 innings pitched. Offensively the Golden Eagles bring big bats into the tournament, hitting a league-best 44 home runs during the regular season to bolster their 7.0 runs per game average. Kam Bruner leads the attack with a team-best .394 average, hitting seven home runs to go with 42 RBI. Blake Patterson carries a .343 average into the tournament, tying for the team lead with seven home runs while driving in 36. The Golden Eagles have six players with at least four home runs this season with 13 total players hitting at least one long ball.

Overall Record:
28-11
SLIAC Record:
18-4
Tournament Trips:

20th
Tournament Titles:

8
Last Championship:
2014

Webster University 'GORLOKS'

Webster will rely on their strong rotation over the weekend, finishing the regular season with a conference-best 2.59 team earned-run average and recording 10 shutouts including seven in conference play. The Gorloks staff is headed up by junior Josh Fleming. Fleming went 7-0 with a 0.47 earned-run average and 98 strikeouts in 76.2 innings this spring. Outside of Fleming though is where the strength of the team shows, with four other pitchers recording at least 30 innings of work. Senior Kyle Uhrich, a standout at the plate as well, finished the year with a 7-1 record while striking out 14.66 batters over nine innings. At the plate, the Gorloks are hitting .280 as a team, averaging 5.3 runs per game; with Uhrich again playing a key role. Uhrich hit .298 this spring while tying for the team lead with four home runs and driving in 24. Uhrishch is just two years removed from leading NCAA Division III with 17 home runs. Matt Wolnik, hitting in the clean-up spot for the Gorloks, hit .362 and scoring 31 runs this year while leading the team with 29 runs batted in. Connor Wardlaw (.320) and Ben Dinter (.310) are the only other regular starters with an average over .300.

 

Overall Record:
19-11
SLIAC Record:
14-8
Tournament Trips:
16th
Tournament Titles:

4
Last Championship:
2016

Westminster College 'BLUE JAYS'

Last year's tournament champion, Westminster needed a win on the final day of the regular season to secure a spot into this year's tournament. The Blue Jays played just 30 games this spring but still feature one of the top offenses in the conference; averaging 7.5 runs per game. They are hitting .305 as a team while finishing 3rd with 30 home runs. Senior Tanner Branneky is in the middle of the Blue Jay attack, hitting .414 with nine home runs and 33 RBI. The Blue Jays lineup features six players hitting over .300 this season. Blake Strebler carries a .396 average with six home runs and 27 RBI into the tournament while Nick Bohlman is hitting .345 with 10 stolen bases. The Blue Jays pitching staff is young, with just one upperclassman seeing significant innings. Freshman Sam Huesgen led the team with 80.2 innings pitched, finishing with a 2.90 earned-run average and 83 strikeouts. Sophomore Alex Dickneite holds a 3.30 E.R.A. while leading the team with seven wins.

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