INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Castleton University will experience new surroundings for the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament, as for the first time in eight appearances, the Spartans will play in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, hosted by the Middle Atlantic Conferences at PeoplesBank Park in York, Pa.
Castleton heads to Pennsylvania after five appearances in the New York Regional and two berths in the New England Regional since 2008. The Spartans are 4-14 in their previous NCAA Tournament games, with their last national tournament victory coming in 2016 against Union.
The Spartans enter the tournament with a 30-10 overall record, the team's fourth straight 30-win season and sixth year with 30 or more wins since 2010. Castleton has won 24 of its last 26 games since April 3, posting a 21-3 record within the North Atlantic Conference regular season and sweeping through the NAC Tournament with three straight wins for its fifth consecutive conference title.
Davis Mikell, the NAC Tournament MVP, leads Castleton with a .376 batting average, 50 hits, 43 runs scored, five home runs, and 33 walks, plus he has been perfect in the field at first base on 231 chances. Dillon Benham is batting .341 with 14 doubles, two triples, two home runs, and 31 RBI, Mitchell Caron is hitting .333 with 32 RBI, and Jonathan Lindau is batting .328 with 12 doubles, three triples, three home runs, and a team-high 38 RBI.
On the mound, Garrett Moran is 5-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched, while Joe Gratton has appeared in 12 games, including eight starts, going 8-2 with a 2.45 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings pitched. Aaron Smith leads the team with 20 appearances, posting a 5-2 record with four saves and a 3.64 ERA.
Castleton is the eighth seed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional and will face top seed Rowan University out of Glassboro, N.J., on the opening day of the tournament Thursday, May 17, at 1:15 p.m. The Profs were ranked fourth nationally in the most recent NCBWA/D3Baseball.com poll after winning the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament title to improve to 33-9 overall.
The other teams in the Mid-Atlantic Regional are second seed Babson (New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference), third seed Arcadia (Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth), fourth seed Virginia Wesleyan (Old Dominion Athletic Conference), fifth seed Misericordia (Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom), sixth seed Union (Liberty League), and seventh seed Catholic (Landmark Conference).
The Mid-Atlantic Regional is taking place at PeoplesBank Park, in York, Pa., the home of the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League.
All eight NCAA regionals are double elimination scheduled for Thursday, May 17, through Sunday, May 20 or Monday, May 21. The eight regional champions will move on to the pool play double-elimination championship at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis., Friday-Tuesday/Wednesday, May 25-29/30.