Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College baseball team, which finished the 2019 regular season with a 27-7 record and as the No. 3-ranked team in New England, has earned its 10th bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament as an at-large selection. The Bantams, coached by Bryan Adamski (6th Season), will host one of eight NCAA Regionals this weekend on Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium that will also include Babson College, Salve Regina University, and Keystone College. The tournament itself has shifted from two weekends to three, and the winner of this weekend's regional in Hartford will advance to the super regional round next weekend. The eight-team, NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament will be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa beginning on May 31.
No. 2-seeded Trinity, which won the NCAA Division III Championship title in 2008 with the best-ever record in NCAA Baseball history at 45-1, opens post-season play against the No. 3-seeded Salve Regina Seahawks (27-16) on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Top-seeded Babson (33-7) takes on No. 4-seeded Keystone (25-14) in the opening game on Friday at 11 a.m. The Bantams are 2-0 against the regional field with a pair of wins over Salve Regina, 7-3, in Rhode Island on March 26 and, 9-1, in Hartford on April 19. Tickets are $4 per person per day. Children 3 and under are free and Trinity students with ID will be admitted free courtesy of the Trinity College Athletic Department.
NCAA Regional Tournament Central
The Bantams received one of 16 at-large bids in the 58-team NCAA field thanks to a 10-4 record against regionally-ranked opponents and despite missing the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Tournament. Trinity posted an 8-4 record against NESCAC East Division schools, but finished third in the division and one game shy of qualifying for the league championship last weekend. The Bantams last competed in the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2012, and also participated in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2008, and 2009. Trinity won NCAA Division III Regional titles 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 first NCAA Championship title in any sport.
Trinity features a core of proven veterans and a host of outstanding newcomers on its roster that have come together to form a balanced and consistent squad. Four seniors and two juniors have been mainstays in the Trinity lineup from March to May, including senior tri-captain 1B Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.), junior tri-captain C Alex Rodriguez (Windsor, Conn.), and 2018 and 2019 All-NESCAC First Team junior RF Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.). Stamatis is batting .298 with a team-high 40 runs and 29 RBIs, and set new Trinity stolen base records for both a season (30) and a career this spring (49). Rodriguez has a .312 batting average, 10 doubles, and a team-high 31 RBIs, while Koperniak leads the Bantams with a .380 batting average, a .591 slugging percentage, 11 doubles, and four home runs. Senior Geoff Stillman (Scituate, Mass.) is outstanding defensively in center field, and is hitting .300 with 19 steals, this spring, while classmate Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.Y.) is steady at shortstop with a .272 batting average, a .435 on-base percentage, and 34 runs scored. Rodriguez and Stamatis both earned All-NESCAC Second Team honors for the second time this spring.
Senior tri-captain LHP Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) is the top veteran on the Trinity pitching staff with a 4-0 record, three saves, and 33 strikeouts in 21 appearances and 45 innings pitched. Junior righty Andrew DeRoche (North Reading, Mass.) has been a solid starter, winning six of his eight decisions with a 2.42 ERA in 48.1 innings, while classmate Max Barsamian (Weston, Mass.) is 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA and 27 K's in 21 innings pitched. Right-handers Cameron Crowley (Downers Grove, Pa.), Jimmy Fahey (Danbury, Conn.), and Will Simeone (Milton, Mass.) have all been outstanding rookie hurlers for the Bantams. Crowley is 8-0 with a 2.28 ERA in a team-high 51.1 innings, while Fahey is 2-0 with a save and a 3.41 ERA in seven starts and 37 innings, and Simeone adds a 2-2 record with two saves and 30 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. Crowley earned All-NESCAC Second Team recognition for his outstanding first collegiate season.