Hartford, Conn., May 15, 2012 - The 2008 NCAA Champion Trinity College baseball team, which boasts a 32-9 record and won its fourth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Tournament this weekend, has earned its ninth bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament in the last 15 years. The Bantams have been awarded the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament, hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University in Mansfield, Conn., and will play the No. 6-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies (27-17) in their first game of the eight-team, double elimination tournament on Wed., May 16 at 4:30 p.m. The winner of the tournament advances to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tourney the following weekend in Appleton, Wisc. Wheaton (Mass.) (34-8) earned the top seed, followed by St. Joseph's (Maine) (35-5), Trinity, Keene State (31-13), Western New England (33-11), Southern Maine, Bowdoin (25-18), and Bridgewater State (30-13). Trinity is ranked No. 15 nationally, while Wheaton, which lost, 7-3, at Trinity in early April, is No. 7 and St. Joseph's (Maine) is No. 13. The Bantams are 5-1 against the regional field with a 4-1 mark against Bowdoin this spring and the win over Wheaton. General admission tickets are $6 per day, $3 for students with a valid ID and senior citizens, and children under the age of 5 will be admitted free.
The Bantams, coached by Bill Decker (22nd season, 527-229), won the NESCAC East Division with a 10-2 mark and downed Williams, 6-5, and Bowdoin twice, 14-3, and, 6-0, at home over the weekend to win the league's automatic bid to the NCAA field. The Bantams also competed in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2009 and won the tournament in 2005, 2008, and 2009 to advance to the NCAA Division III World Series. The Bantams reached unprecedented heights in 2008 with a 44-game winning streak to start the season en route to winning the College's only NCAA Championship title in any sport, and returned to the NCAA World Series the next year by winning the New England Regional at ECSU. Trinity played in the New York Regionals in 2003 and 2006, winning that tournament in 2003 to earn its first trip to Appleton.
Against Williams in the NESCAC Tournament, senior tri-captain James Ramsey (Belmont, Mass.) drove in junior OF Michael Rueger (Teaneck, N.J.) with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning for the game-winning run in the comeback victory. First-year 3B Adam Moossmann (East Northport, N.Y.) had singled to open the ninth and scored on a double by Rueger to start Trinity's two-run ninth frame. Junior RHP Ben Goldberg (Plainville, N.Y.) allowed six hits and two runs with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings of relief to earn the win on the hill, while junior OF Joe Papa (Stoneham, Mass.) was 3-for-3 with a double at the plate, and junior SS Steve Rogers (Watertown, Mass.) was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two steals. Senior RHP Edward Donovan (Milton, Mass.) pitched eight strong innings in the 14-3 win over Bowdoin, yielding three hits and three unearned runs over eight innings, while Moossmann and Rueger racked up three hits, two runs, and two RBI apiece, and Rogers added a solo homer. Sophomore Peter Burrows (Floral Park, N.Y.) pitched a four-hit shutout with one walk an five K's in the clincher, and junior OF Alex Almeida (Bridgeport, Conn.) was 2-for-4 with a double offensively. Burrows and Papa, who finished 7-for-11 in the three games, were named as the NESCAC Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, for their efforts.
Trinity boasts a strong mix of production at the plate and steady pitching, leading the league in earned run average with a team mark of 2.66 and tying for second in hitting with a .319 team batting average. Goldberg leads the conference pitchers with a 1.31 ERA and has 35 strikeouts and a 5-0 record with five saves in 16 appearances and 41.1 innings, while Burrows ranks second with a 1.84 mark to go with a 4-2 record, two saves and 27 strikeouts in 11 appearances and 49 innings pitched, and Donovan is fourth with a 2.23 ERA and boasts a 5-2 record with three saves and a team-high 37 K's in 13 appearances and 60.2 innings of work. Freshman RHP Sean Meekins (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) is a team-best 7-0 in eight starts with a 2.03 ERA with 24 strikeouts for the Bantams.
Rogers currently sits atop the Bantam stat sheet with a .391 average (3rd in NESCAC), collecting 56 hits (2nd in NESCAC), five doubles, five triples (2nd in NESCAC), and six homers while driving in 34 runs. Senior tri-captain 1B/C Kevin Mortimer (Spencer, Mass.), an Academic All-District honoree, is tied with Rogers for second in the NESCAC with six four-baggers and adds 44 hits, 31 runs, 10 doubles, and a team-high 36 RBI (4th in NESCAC) with a .326 batting average. Moossmann is batting .359 with 19 RBI, while Rueger hits .351 with a team-high 15 doubles (2nd in NESCAC) and four homers, and senior CF David Casanova (Bristol, Conn.) and rookie 1B Bryan Wolfe (La Habra, Calif.) both sit at .333.