BEREA, Ohio – The 2019 Ohio Athletic Conference co-regular season champion Baldwin Wallace University baseball team has been selected to the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament.
Announced via the NCAA selection show Monday afternoon, BW (25-15) receives one of 18 at-large bids to this year's tournament. The second-seeded Yellow Jackets will take on third-seeded St. John's (Minn.) University, which enters the tournament with a 32-12 overall record after capturing the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.
Concordia University Chicago (Ill.) hosts the four-team regional, which also includes Buena Vista (Iowa) University. The four teams will play double elimination style while the winner of the regional will advance to the first super regional round in NCAA Division III history. The super regional will be a best-of-three format with the eight winners advancing to the Division III World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Two other OAC schools will also be competing in the national tournament. OAC Tournament champion Otterbein University travels to Wooster while the other co-regular season champs in Heidelberg University received an at-large bid as well and heads to Adrian (Mich.) College for their regionals.
Offensively, BW is led by senior All-OAC first baseman Philip Wells (Buffalo, N.Y./Saint Joseph's Collegiate), who is batting a.366 with a team-high and career-best 56 hits and 45 runs batted-in (RBIs). Four other Yellow Jackets boast a batting average over .300, including junior designated hitter Sam Sustersic (Richfield/Revere), senior All-OAC catcher Asa Adams (Sarver, Pa./Knoch), sophomore All-OAC shortstop Alex Ludwick (Brunswick/Padua Franciscan) and senior All-OAC second baseman Kyle Pennington (Wadsworth).
On the mound, the Yellow Jackets are led by the reigning Kent Tekulve OAC Pitcher of the Year, senior American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-Mideast Region pitcher Danny Cody (Medina/Brecksville-Broadview Heights). Cody leads the OAC and owns both BW school records with nine wins and 103 strikeouts. In 76.2 innings, the senior owns a career-low 1.89 earned run average (ERA). Sophomore All-OAC right hander Nick Smith (Mentor) also adds a 4-1 record with a 1.80 ERA and 42 strikeouts.
Making the tournament in back-to-back seasons, this will be BW's eighth overall appearance and the fourth under head coach Brian Harrison, who is the reigning OAC Coach of the Year. The Yellow Jackets also captured their first OAC regular season championship since 1988.