APPLETON, Wisc. – The No. 5 Salisbury University baseball team will begin its push to win a national championship on Friday when the Sea Gulls take on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on the first day of the 2015 Division III College World Series at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wisconsin. The game is set for 8:45 p.m., eastern time.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls notched a 29-4-1 record during the regular season to earn an at-large bid into the NCAA regional. Salisbury earned the No. 4 seed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, and won four games in a row to capture the regional championship and make its second-straight trip to Appleton, Wisconsin. The Gulls defeated Mitchell College on the first day before taking down Penn State University-Berks and Alvernia University during the next two days of action. Salisbury took on Alvernia one more time in the championship game, defeating the Crusaders, 12-2.
How they got here
The Eagles enter the World Series with a 33-13 overall record. Wisconsin-La Crosse earned an at-large bid into the Midwest Regional and won its first two games before falling to Coe College. After defeating Concordia-Chicago, the Eagles met Coe again in the championship round, and defeated the Kohawks twice to advance to their first ever College World Series.
Scouting Wisconsin-La Crosse
Friday night's matchup will be the first ever matchup between the Sea Gulls and the Eagles. Wisconsin-La Crosse is led offensively by Taylor Kohlwey, who was named the Midwest region's position player of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Kohlwey leads his team in batting average (.439), in hits (79), in doubles (20), and in runs (52). Kohlwey is also the team leader in slugging percentage (.694) and on-base percentage (.519).
In the pitching category, the Eagles are led by Ben Cejka, who has a 7-2 record with a 2.88 ERA in 81 1/3 innings pitched and 65 strikeouts. Jameson Sadowskey is another threat on the mound for Wisconsin-La Crosse, boasting a .74 ERA in 36 2/3 innings pitched and 30 strikeouts.
The Sea Gulls have been a dominant force on offense all season long and are currently at No. 2 in the nation in scoring, with just under 10 points per game. Salisbury also has the second-highest batting average (.353) and on-base percentage (.445) in all of Division III. In the Mid-Atlantic Regional of the 2015 NCAA baseball tournament, the Gulls went 4-0, earning wins over Mitchell, Penn State-Berks, and Alvernia. SU not only won the four games it needed, it also scored at least 11 runs in each game. On April 6, 2015, the Sea Gulls had their biggest offensive performance of the season, scoring a total of 59 runs in a doubleheader against St. Mary's College of Maryland. Salisbury captured a 31-12 win in the first game before taking the second game, 28-0, in seven innings.
The winner of tomorrow's game will take on the winner of Friday's Trinity (Texas) University/Emory University matchup. That game will be on Saturday, May 23 at 8:45 p.m., eastern time. The loser of tomorrow's matchup will take on the loser of the Trinity/Emory game at 5:30 p.m., eastern time.