Wooster (35-8) cruised through the bracket at the 2017 NCAC Baseball Championship Tournament and captured its league-leading 17th conference championship with a 25-6 victory over DePauw (31-11) in the championship game on Saturday afternoon at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio. As league champions, the Fighting Scots have earned the NCAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament for the second year in a row and the 29th time in history.
The Scots opened the tournament on Thursday afternoon with a 10-2 win over Denison (29-12) and advanced to the championship game with an 18-3 win over DePauw on Friday afternoon. In the three tourament games combined, the Scots tallied 62 hits and 53 total runs. In the championship game alone, the Scots knocked out 30 base hits, which was the most since they also hit the 30-mark against Mount Union on April 27, 2009.
The Tigers got a 5-4 walk-off win over Oberlin (23-20) on Thursday evening, before entering the losers bracket with the 18-3 loss against Wooster on Friday; however, the Tigers got back into the championship round with a 13-5 win over Oberlin on Friday evening.
After going 6-for-6 in the championship game with two homers, one double and seven RBI, Wooster junior centerfielder Jake Fling (Norton, OH/Norton) was named the Tournament MVP. In the three tournament games combined, Fling hit .563 (9-for-16) with three homers, two doubles, nine RBI and eight runs scored. He was also a force defensively for the Scots in the three tournament games with eight putouts and no errors for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
2017 NCAC Baseball All-Tournament Team
Tanner Johnson, Denison
Milo Sklar, Oberlin
Quin Butler, Oberlin
Mike Hammel, DePauw
Jack Thompson, DePauw
Ryan Grippo, DePauw
Zack Wade, DePauw
Nanak Saran, Wooster
Jamie Lackner, Wooster
Michael Wielansky, Wooster
Jacob Stuursma, Wooster
MVP - Jake Fling, Wooster
2017 NCAC Baseball Tournament
|Thursday, May 11
||Friday, May 12
||Saturday OR Sunday, May 13-14
|VA Memorial Stadium -- History -- Bracket -- Tournament Stats -- Tournament Program
Following the NCAC Crossover series last weekend, the field is set for the 2017 NCAC Baseball Tournament, which will be played at VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe, Ohio, this weekend, May 11-14. Please note, due to a graduation conflict, if Denison advances to the championship round, Game Six and Game Seven (if necessary) will be played on Sunday.
Wooster (17-2, 32-8) entered the crossover weekend having already clinched the top seed in the East, but the Scots left no doubt as they swept Ohio Wesleyan (6-13, 14-26) in their three-game series with the Bishops. DePauw (12-5, 29-9) clinched the top seed in the West after taking two of three over the weekend against Kenyon (6-13, 17-23). Oberlin (12-7, 22-18) earned the second seed in the East with an overall conference mark of 13-6, while Denison was the second seed in the West with an identical 13-6 mark in league play. Denison went 2-1 against Allegheny (8-11, 23-17) in its crossover series, while the Yeomen went 2-1 against Wabash (7-10, 22-16) to close out the regular season.
Wooster, which leads the league with 16 NCAC baseball titles, will open play in the tournament on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. against Denison. Denison, which is in search of its first NCAC Baseball title in history, is making its second-straight appearance in the NCAC Baseball Tournament.In the other opening-round game on Thursday, DePauw will take on Oberlin at 8:00 p.m.DePauw is making its fourth appearance in Chillicothe since 2011, winning the title in 2014, while Oberlin returns to the field for the first time since taking home the crown in 2015.
The double elimination tournament continues on Friday afternoon with the winners of Thursday's first two contests squaring off at 12:00 p.m. with a slot in the championship round on the line, while the losers of Thursday's first two games will meet on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in an elimination game.
The final slot in the championship round will be determined on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. with the winner of game four taking on the loser of game three. The first championship game will be played on Saturday or Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with game seven set for 30 minutes following the conclusion of game six.
Wooster leads the league with 16 NCAC titles, while Ohio Wesleyan has captured 10 conference crowns, Allegheny four and DePauw, Oberlin and Wabash with one apiece. The only shared title came in 1985 when the Fighting Scots and Gators shared the crown in the NCAC's inaugural season.