The Emory University Baseball program begins its season-long nine-game road trip this weekend as the Eagles travel to St. Louis, MO to battle the Bears of Washington University for four games in University Athletic Association action.
Four UAA programs are to set to go head-to-head this weekend with Case Western Reserve traveling to Brandeis University in the other conference series. Emory and CWRU are tied atop the Association standings with matching 2-2 records.
The Eagles and Bears have been the class of the UAA in recent years as at least one of the two programs has claimed a share of the UAA title each season since 2011.
#10/11 Emory University Eagles (19-7)
The Eagles, just 2-5 over their last seven ballgames, look to right the ship as they head to St. Louis with a 19-7 overall record and ranked 10th and 11th, respectively, in this week's editions of the D3baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball News national rankings.
Emory, as a team, is hitting at a .310 clip with eight starters coming into play with averages of .300 or higher, led by junior Bubby Terp (.347) and senior Chris Young (.343). Fellow senior Jeff Ronpirin is third on the squad with a .340 average and has driven in a team-high 29 runs on the season, a mark that places him 17th among the Division III leaders.
Sophomore Billy Dimlow was tabbed the UAA Pitcher of the Week for the fourth time this season earlier this week after tossing eight shutout innings with eight strikeouts against Case Western Reserve last Friday. Dimlow lowered his earned run average on the year to 0.74, a mark that places him 29th overall in DIII and first among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched. The Sammamish, WA native also checks in with 60 strikeouts, ranking him third in the country, three behind the nation's leader.
Senior Jackson Weeg joins Dimlow in the top-10 of the Division III strikeout leaders with 52 on his ledger which places him ninth on the leaderboard. Weeg tallied four Ks in his last start, moving him into sole possession of fifth-place on the Emory all-time list with 273.
Emory, along with Christopher Newport University, are the only schools with three pitchers ranked in the top-35 in strikeouts as senior Kyle Monk joins Dimlow and Weeg with 41 punchouts to his credit. Monk also finds himself among the nation's leaders in appearances (1st, 16), wins (T-2nd, 6) and saves (3rd, 5). With his next converted save opportunity, Monk will move into a tie with Wheaton (MA)'s Mike Spavento (1999-02) for fourth place on the Division III all-time list with 35.
The Eagles are under the leadership of Head Coach Mike Twardoski who has compiled a won-loss ledger of 533-243-1 with the program. He is assisted by Bobby Perez, Mathew Troupe and Millard Dawson.
Washington University Bears (12-5)
Washington has rattled off five straight victories and seven of its last eight to begin play with a 12-5 overall record and are currently receiving votes in this week's D3Baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball News national polls. Senior infielders Ben Browdy and Austin Darmawan, the reigning Co-UAA Players of the Year, lead the Bears offensively. Browdy has been a tough out in the middle of the WashU lineup as he leads the team in average (.453), hits (34), doubles (9), home runs (3) and RBIs (23) and is currently in the midst of a 36-game hitting streak. Darmawan boasts a .333 (22-for-66) average with five doubles and 11 runs batted in. Freshman John Brinkman has hit the ground running to begin his career, owning a .394 average with five doubles, two triples, one home run and 21 RBIs.
On the mound, senior Brad Margolin is 4-0 in five starts with a 3.51 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 33.1 innings pitched while opponents are hitting .264 against him. Classmate Scott Nelson has started five games for the Bears as well, going 1-0 with a 3.33 ERA and 19 punch outs in 24.1 innings. Fellow senior Jake Mintz has collected two wins in a team-leading seven relief appearances, pitching to a team-low 0.60 ERA.
Second-year Head Coach Pat Bloom guides Washington. Bloom is 45-23 with the Bears and 438-198 overall in his career. He is assisted by Adam Rosen and Tyler Schmitt.
Emory and Washington have met 37 previous times dating back to 1991 with the Eagles owning a 26-11 advantage in the all-time series. Last season during the UAA Tournament in Sanford, FL, the two teams split a pair of matchups. Emory won the first contest 3-1 before the Bears earned an extra innings victory, 3-2, five days later.
The Eagles continue their nine-game road swing next weekend with another four-game set against Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.