Baseball Draws Wisconsin-Whitewater in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament

Baseball Draws Wisconsin-Whitewater in Opening Round of NCAA Tournament

The Westminster baseball team drew the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Central Region of the NCAA Tournament. The Westminster Blue Jays face off with the Warhawks on Wednesday, May 18, at 12:00 pm at the GCS Ballpark, the home of Webster University, in Sauget, Ill.

The other teams in the Central Region are no. 2 Wartburg College, no. 3 Augustana College (Ill.), no. 4 Washington University in St. Louis, and no. 5 Rose-Hulman. The full schedule will be released at a later time. 

The Blue Jays will enter the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history with a 28-13 record, the program's best since 2001. They posted a 16-6 record in conference play. The team defeated Greenville in the championship game of the SLIAC Tournament to earn the conference's automatic bid. 

Senior Deion Hughes, the SLIAC Player of the Year, is a triple threat for the Blue Jays. He is currently leading the team with a .386 batting average and has 56 hits. On the mound he stands with a 12-1 record, a 1.95 ERA and 85 strikeouts, and when he is not pitching, he can be found in the outfield. He average 9.22 strikeouts per game and has allowed just 18 earned runs in 83.0 innings on the mound. 

The Blue Jays also rely heavily on the 2016 SLIAC Pitcher of the Year and All-Tournament MVP senior Collin Brinker on the mound. He holds a 2.42 ERA with 9-2 record and 79 strikeouts. 

At the plate, the Blue Jays are rooted deep with eight players hitting over .300 on the season. The team looks to first team all-conference members Tanner Branneky and Adam Mundle, and second team all-conference recipient Connor Hager. Ta. Branneky batted .360 on the year with a .699 slugging percentage and 25 extra base hits. Mundle hit .348 with 57 hits and has successfully stolen 17 bases, while Hager holds a .357 batting average with 50 hits and 44 RBI.

The Warhawks (29-14 overall) picked up one of 16 at-large bids into the 56-team field. The team earned a Pool "C" berth and will make their ninth consecutive and 20th overall tournament appearance.

Check back later for more information regarding the tournament.