Preps for First College World Series Appearance
May 21, 2002
No. 6-ranked Concordia-Austin (35-11) begins its quest for the NCAA Division III Baseball College World Series title on Friday afternoon (May 24), facing No. 2-ranked Eastern Connecticut State (35-10-1) in the 4:30 p.m. CDT first round game at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis.
The Tornados are part of an eight-team CWS field that features no No. 1 regional seeds and has just one team from west of the Mississippi River/south of the Ohio River - Concordia-Austin. Four of the teams - Marietta (Ohio), Carthage, Christopher Newport, Rensselaer and Eastern Connecticut State - were No. 2 seeds in their respective regionals. Lakeland (No. 3), Concordia-Austin (No. 4) and College of New Jersey (No. 6) were lower seeds who upset the favored teams.
2002 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship
The strength of Concordia-Austin is its defense and pitching. The Tornados have a .960 fielding percentage, one of the best team averages in NCAA-III. CUA brings a 3.85 ERA to the finals with Scott Gordon (3.19 ERA, 9-3) and Chema Chavez (3.45 ERA, 10-2) two of the pitching staff leaders. Scott Berkman tops the American Southwest Conference with 92 strikeouts. CUA is hitting .306 as a team with 139 extra-base hits, 14 of those doubles by Jake Decker.
The NCAA-III College World Series is scheduled Friday through Tuesday (May 24-28). Complete College World Series information is available at www.ncaachampionships.com or at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh tournament host site, www.titans.uwosh.edu/2002NCAABaseballChampionship.
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