The Emory University Baseball team closes out the 2017 regular season this week with five games on the docket against No.-2/4 Birmingham-Southern and New York University, with all five contests set to take place at Chappell Park in Atlanta.
Emory and BSC will square off in a single game Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 PM before the Violets come to town for a four-game series, beginning Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM. Prior to the start of the doubleheader on Saturday, Emory will recognize its senior class: Andrew Doetsch, Luke Emmett, Brian Hernandez, Philip Maldari, Kyle Monk, Wilson Morgan, Jeff Ronpirin, Jackson Weeg and Chris Young with a special pre-game ceremony. The ceremony will begin at 11:30 AM and will be broadcasted on emoryathletics.com.
The Eagles were eliminated from a share of the University Athletic Association Championship this past weekend as Washington and Case Western Reserve split a four-game series. NYU and Brandeis were in action, splitting a four-game set as well.
WashU sits at 6-2 atop the standings with eight games remaining, the first of which beginning this week at Brandeis. CWRU is in second at 11-5 with no UAA games remaining on their schedule with Emory (6-6) is in third with four games left to play. NYU (3-5) enters play with four games to go against the Eagles and Washington while the Judges are in fifth at 2-10 and will close out their conference slate versus the Bears.
Emory University Eagles (24-11)
The Eagles have reeled off five consecutive wins to move to 24-11 overall entering the final week of the regular season.
After plating a season-high 19 runs on 16 hits their last time out at Oglethorpe, Emory is now batting .292 as a team with six starters owning averages above the .300 mark. Senior Chris Young has collected 28 hits in 85 at-bats as he begins the week with a team-high .329 average. Junior Bubby Terp checks in at .327 followed by senior Jeff Ronpirin at .323. Ronpirin leads the Eagles with 40 hits, nine doubles, three triples, 35 RBIs and nine stolen bases.
The Emory pitching staff has returned to form during the winning streak, allowing just three earned runs in 37 innings (0.73 earned run average). In three of the five games, the Eagles held the opposition scoreless as Emory tied the single season school record with their seventh whitewash of the year, a mark that leads all of Division III. Sophomore Billy Dimlow spun seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts his last time as he lowered his ERA to 0.86 for the year, placing 13th overall in Division III. Senior Jackson Weeg also twirled seven shutout innings against Brandeis, posting 11 strikeouts in the outing as he dropped his season ERA to 3.57. The Eagles as a team owns a 3.63 ERA in 295 innings with a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (296:100).
#2/4 Birmingham-Southern College Panthers (29-6)
The Panthers have won 15 out of 17 games since Emory won the March 15th meeting in Birmingham, AL and saw their 13-game win streak snapped on Saturday, falling to Millsaps in the series finale.
BSC is hitting .295 with three starters hitting at a .330 clip or better, led by sophomore Rich Misischia. The second-year LHP/Infielder is 40-for-114 (.351) in 35 games played with one double and 18 runs driven in. Sophomore catcher Tyler Wise is just 34-for-117 (.291) but has launched three home runs and leads the team with 36 RBIs. Senior middle infielder David Scott leads the Panthers in hits (49) and stolen bases (32), being caught only twice. Sophomore Preston White is slugging a team-best .587 thanks to 16 doubles and four round-trippers.
On the mound, Birmingham-Southern is led by the formidable senior duo of Ryan Gaines and Stephen Himic who have combined for a 16-0 record in 20 starts, pitching to a 2.56 ERA. In the bullpen, three arms have totaled eight saves for the Panthers in White, Misischia and senior Easton Fuller. As a unit, BSC have held opposing teams to a .258 average and 2.61 runs per contest.
Birmingham-Southern is coached by Jan Weisberg who is in his 10th year with program. Weisberg has guided the Panthers to a 319-113-1 record and is on the verge of a fourth consecutive 30-win season. He is assisted by J.D. Hulse, Ivey Sterling and Nathan Bland.
New York University (14-9)
This weekend marks the first true road games for the Violets as they enter play 14-9 overall and 3-5 in the UAA following a 2-2 split against Brandeis University.
As a team, NYU is averaging 9.08 runs per contest and is hitting .320 through the first 23 games with three players owning averages above .380. Junior Jonathan Iaione has been hitting the cover off the ball in 2017, owning a .464 average with 10 doubles, two triples and one home run, driving in 34 runs and stealing 12 bases. Senior Adrian Spitz is batting .389 through 21 games with sophomore Colman Hendershot entering the weekend at .383 through 23 games with seven doubles and team-highs in triples (5), home runs (3) and RBIs (39).
With the offense is averaging over nine runs per game, the NYU pitching has struggled so far this season, giving up close 6.5 runs per contest and pitching to a 5.74 ERA. Junior Cameron Serapilio-Frank has tossed a team-high 36.2 innings, going 2-1 in eight appearances, six starts, with a 4.17 ERA and 27:15 K:BB ratio. Senior Jarrett Weiss has earned a team-leading three wins in 10 relief appearances, pitching to a 4.22 ERA.
The Violets are managed by Doug Kimbler who is in his third season with the team. Kimbler has led NYU to 20-win seasons in each of his first two years and is 55-54 overall. He is assisted by Aaron Walsh, Chris Bayer and Tommy Cardona.
Tuesday marks the 26th meeting between the Eagles and Panthers and the second meeting this season between the two schools. Emory won the first matchup in Birmingham, AL 4-1 behind seven strong innings by Weeg. The win gave the Eagles their fourth straight victory in the series and now lead the all-time matchup 13-12.
Emory and NYU have played just three times since the Violets reinstituted the program in 2015. The Eagles won the first two meetings in 2015 by a combined 15-0 margin but were edged out 8-5 in last season's meeting.