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BW Opens 2014 Division III World Series Versus Emory (Ga.)

BW Opens 2014 Division III World Series Versus Emory (Ga.)
APPLETON, Wis. -- The Mid-Atlantic Region champion Baldwin Wallace University baseball team opens play at the 2014 NCAA Division III World Series at Fox Cities Stadium on Friday, May 23 against South Region champ Emory (Ga.) University at 2:15 p.m. (EST/ Eastern Standard Time). BW and Emory are two of eight teams in the double elimination tournament where the 2014 Division III national champion will be crowned on May 27 if the weather cooperates.

The Yellow Jackets enter the tournament with a school-record 29 victories and a 29-18 overall record after dominating the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament last week with a perfect 4-0 record and outscored its opposition, 31-14. BW came back from a 6-1 deficit in the championship game to score eight straight runs to beat Wesleyan (Conn.), 9-7.  BW received three quality pitching starts, solid relief, timely hitting and played good defense en route to its regional title.

Emory enters the game at 34-11 overall following its 5-1 mark at the South Regional. The Eagles lost to Bridgewater (Va.), 7-4, in its second game and then won four straight contests, including beating Bridgewater twice, 11-3 and 5-2, in the championship round. Emory, like BW, has a bevy of hitters and pitchers who made valuable contributions "on the road to Appleton".

BW and Emory have played one common opponent, Cleveland cross-town and non-league rival Case Western Reserve. BW split with the Spartans while the Eagles lost twice to CWRU.

Both teams can hit the ball and have deep pitching staffs.

BW is led offensively by its four first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference student-athletes in senior first baseman Kyle Chontos (Pickerington/ North), sophomore second baseman Mark Zimmerman (Akron/ Green), senior third baseman Brad Gugliotta (Twinsburg) and sophomore designated hitter Hunter Handel (Akron/ Green). And it doesn't stop there for a Yellow Jacket team that batted .327 and outscored its opponents, 355-240.

Chontos leads the way at .380 with 18 doubles, five home runs and 49 runs batted-in (RBI) and stole 11 bases. His defense at 1B is stellar. Zimmerman hit .379 with 14 doubles, three triples and three homers with 44 RBI and eight steals. Gugliotta, who is currently on the CAPITAL ONE Academic All-America national ballot, also is batting .379 and has 15 doubles, two triples, a homer, 31 RBI and seven steals. Handel is batting .377 with eight doubles, three triples and four homers with 45 RBI.

In addition, junior shortstop Eric Murphy (Brook Park/Midpark) hits .310 with 13 doubles and 41 RBI, junior All-OAC right fielder Alex Green (Pickerington/ North) hits .302 with 10 doubles, one homer and 24 RBI, senior All-OAC catcher Joe Hiller (Twinsburg) hits .290 with six doubles and 16 RBI and sophomore center fielder John Taylor (Stow/ Hudson) hits .277 with four doubles, 12 RBI and seven steals.

The trio of juniors Kory Gillissie (Parma/St. Ignatius) and All-OAC utility player Zach Ferster (Olmsted Falls) and sophomore Jerry Scholle (Hinckley/Medina Highland) have alternated in left field and split some time with Taylor in center. Gillissie hits .296 with a double, six RBI and four steals. Ferster hits .263 with five doubles, two triples and seven RBI and has 11 steals. Scholle hits .288 with four doubles, nine RBI and a team-leading 15 steals.

On the mound, BW's top three starters are junior Cory Waite (Willoughby/ South), sophomore Alex Albright (North Royalton) and freshman Logan Heffernan (Lebanon). Waite has a team-high seven wins, is 7-2 with a 3.09 earned run average (ERA) and 39 strikeouts in a team-leading 78 and two-thirds innings pitched. Albright is 5-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a team-leading 41 whiffs in 59 innings of work. Heffernan, who joined Chontos, Gugliotta, Handel and Gugliotta on the Mid-Atlantic Region all-tournament team, is 4-3 with a 3.20 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 39 and one-third innings pitched.

In addition, seniors Cory Durbin (Canton/ GlenOak) and Jon Capadona (North Royalton) and junior Anthony Alioto Jr. (Mayfield Heights/Mayfield) can either start or be utilized out of the bullpen. Durbin, who pitched five and one-third innings of strong relief in the regional championship game versus Wesleyan, is 1-1 with a 4.17 ERA. Capadona is 4-2 with a 5.36 ERA. Alioto is 1-3 overall.

Head Coach Brian Harrison also can go to Zimmerman or sophomores Matt Wittels (Lyndhurst/ Brush) or Connor Murphy (Wexford, Mass/ Northeast) if needed. Zimmerman is 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA and Wittels is 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA. Murphy is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in six appearances.

The "stopper" is sophomore Brandon Cichocki (Walled Lake, Mich./ Central). He is 2-2 with a team-leading 2.45 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 33 innings of work.

Emory also is hitting .327 as a team and has outscored its opponents, 363-193. The Eagles are led by junior DH Brett Lake with a .430 batting average with four homers, 64 RBI and 12 steals. Senior RF Brandon Hannon hits .388 with 27 bRBI and team-leading totals of 23 steals and 61 runs scored. Senior LF Daniel Iturrey hits .377 with one homer, 44 RBI and 13 steals. senior 2B Jared Kahn hits .349 with 10 RBI and 12 steals. Freshman 3B Philip Maldari hits .344 with one homer and 20 RBI. Junior CF Wes Peacock hits .337 with four homers, 51 RBI and 20 steals. Senior catcher Jared Welch hits .293 with 37 RBI and 12 steals. Junior 1B Jordan Selbach hits .376 with 19 RBI. Sophomore SS Jack Karras hits .282 with seven RBI. Utility player/ OF David Coble hits just .189 with 13 RBI and is 11-for-11 in stolen bases.

The pitching staff is five deep in starters and led by senior Connor Dillman (9-1, 2.29 ERA and 73 K's in 78.2 innings), freshman Jackson Weeg (4-1, 1.38 ERA, 35 K's in 52 IP), freshman Hans Hansen (8-2, 3.00 ERA, 44 K's in 69 IP), sophomore Paul Merolla (3-1, 4.58 ERA, 22 K's in 35.2 IP) and senior Ben Hinojosa (4-2, 4.98 ERA, 27 K's in 43.1 IP).

In the bullpen, freshman Kyle Monk (3-1, 1.61 ERA, 6 saves, 19 K's in 22.1 IP) is the "stopper". In addition, Robert Gross (2-2, 2.28 ERA) and Mike Bitanga are two of four others who could be utilized by the Eagle coaching staff.

For additional statistics for Emory (Ga.) click here

The winner of the BW and Emory game faces the winner of defending national champion Linfield (Ore.) versus St. Thomas (Minn.) on Friday at 5:30 p.m. (EST).  The loser will face the loser of that game on Friday at 11:00 a.m. (EST).

, please contact Sports Information Director Kevin Ruple by telephone at 440-826-2327 and e-mail at or Assistant SID Jeff Miller by phone at 440-826-2780 and email at Fans can access the latest BW athletics information at and we invite you to join us on Facebook at and Twitter at