LakePoint, Ga. - The stage is set for the 40th ASUN Baseball Conference Championship this week, as six teams head to Harmon Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida for the conference championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Baseball Championship.
Stetson, which is nationally ranked in most major polls, earned the No. 1 seed after winning the regular season title with a 15-3 conference record. They will take one No. 6 NJIT in the opening game on Wednesday, May 23rd at 11 AM ET as the Highlanders make their first-ever ASUN Baseball Championship appearance. In the 3 PM ET matchup, No. 2 Jacksonville takes on No. 5 Lipscomb, while the nightcap on day one features No. 3 Kennesaw State taking on the host school, No. 4 North Florida.
The Hatters and Dolphins enter this week's ASUN Championship with top-20 RPI rankings as Stetson comes in at No. 8 with Jacksonville sitting at No. 18. Both teams are poised for NCAA Regional appearances, with the Hatters projected to become the first ASUN team to host an NCAA Baseball Regional at Melching Field.
All games of the 2018 ASUN Baseball Championship will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Fans can follow @ASUNBSB on Twitter all weekend long to stay up to date with the action.
Championship Overall Records and Titles
No. 1 Stetson 51-48 (7x - 16, 05, 06, 00, 88-90)
No. 2 Jacksonville 28-23 (4x - 09, 07, 03, 99)
No. 3 Kennesaw State 13-12 (1x - 2014)
No. 4 North Florida 8-12 None
No. 5 Lipscomb 15-12 (2x - 15 & 08)
No. 6 NJIT 0-0
Wednesday, May 23rd Schedule
No. 1 Stetson vs. No. 6 NJIT - 11 AM (ESPN+)
No. 2 Jacksonville vs. No. 5 Lipscomb - 3 PM (ESPN+)
No. 3 Kennesaw State vs. No. 4 North Florida - 7 PM (ESPN+)
Thursday, May 24th Schedule
Game 4 - TBD - 11 AM (ESPN+)
Game 5 - TBD - 3 PM (ESPN+)
Game 6 - TBD - 7 PM (ESPN+)
Friday, May 25th Schedule
Game 7 - TBD - 11 AM (ESPN+)
Game 8 - TBD - 3 PM (ESPN+)
Game 9 - TBD - 7 PM (ESPN+)
Saturday, May 26th Schedule
Game 10 - TBD - 1 PM (ESPN+)
|Team||vs. Stetson||vs. JU||vs. KSU||vs. UNF||vs. Lipscomb||vs. NJIT||Total|
No. 1 Stetson: 41-11 (15-3)
- Stetson's makes its 30th all-time appearance in the ASUN Championship as they seek to win the title for the eighth time. The Hatters won the regular season and enter as the No. 1 seed for the fourth time.
- The Hatters continue to be the top-ranked pitching staff in the nation. They enter the week with a 2.61 staff ERA, and allow only 6.63 hits per nine innings leading the NCAA in both categories.
- A semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, Logan Gilbert is the ace of the Stetson pitching staff. He ranks second in the nation with 134 K's, seven behind Elon's Kyle Brnovich. His ERA sits at 2.61 currently.
- One of the top two-way players in the nation, Brooks Wilson enters the ASUN Championship with 19 saves on the season, a new ASUN single-season record. He also is batting .281 with 14 doubles and 29 RBI.
- Joey Gonzalez holds the team's best ERA among starting pitchers as he enters this week's postseason with a 1.79 mark. He picked up midweek wins against #14 Florida State and #24 UCF this season.
- Freshman Eric Foggo has delivered some power in the Stetson lineup as he leads the team with five homers. Three of his five bombs have come against ASUN competition, including a three-run homer last weekend.
- The Hatters hold an 8-1 all-time series advantage against their first opponent NJIT. Stetson has outscored the Highlanders 62-26 in those nine meetings. This will be the first meeting in the ASUN Championship.
No. 2 Jacksonville: 37-17 (14-6)
- Jacksonville is making its 14th appearance in the ASUN Championship and seeking its fifth title, first since 2009. The Dolphins lead the ASUN in runs (331), hits (537) and batting average (.293) heading into this week.
- Angel Camacho (51) & Scott Dubrule (49) have combined for 100 RBI this season, the only ASUN duo to reach that mark. Camacho is the first Dolphin to reach 50 since Connor Marabell had 54 RBI in 2015.
- Sophomore hurler Tyler Santana has been on a roll lately, winning five straight decisions. He is one of only two ASUN pitchers to reach 10 victories this year. His 2.93 ERA is second on the team amongst starters.
- Chris Lehane has been on fire heading into this week's Championship. He has a seven-game hitting streak and has recorded multiple hits in five of those seven games. He hit a league-high .405 against ASUN teams.
- Junior Chris Gau has been the workhorse on the mound for the Dolphins. The Friday night starter has pitched 98.1 innings so far, including two complete games. His 2.47 ERA ranks fifth in the ASUN.
- Freshman closer Chris Mauloni has been everything the Dolphins could have asked for. He set a new program-record with 18 saves, which ranks second in the nation. His 13.20 K/9 ratio is the best on the team.
- Jacksonville leads the all-time series against Lipscomb 29-18, including a 2-1 series win during the regular season. The Dolphins combined to outscore the Bisons 29-20 in the three-game set this season.
No. 3 Kennesaw State: 25-28 (11-10)
- Kennesaw State enters the ASUN Championship as the No. 3 seed and takes on host North Florida in the first round. The Owls are 2-2 all-time in the Championship against UNF heading into this year's tournament.
- The Owls enter the Championship ranked first in the ASUN in extra-base hits with 143, with 50 of those coming in ASUN play. They have registered a league-high 95 doubles coming into this week's action.
- Sophomore Terence Norman has been one of the top offensive players on the squad as he is hitting a team-best .337 with seven doubles and two homers. Three other Owls are hitting .300 or better this year.
- AJ Moore and Brooks Buckler have combined for 25 starts on the season and 148 total innings pitched. Moore holds a 3.03 ERA and his 78 strikeouts are a new single-season best mark for the senior.
- After hitting 15 doubles combined in his last two seasons, senior Grant Williams collected 16 doubles this season alone. The infielder also has five homers and 37 RBI and a BA of .306 entering this week's action.
- Freshman Tyler Simon has been a breakout star for the Owls, hitting .312 on the year, second on the team. That average ranks third among all ASUN Freshman. Of his 53 total hits, 28 have come in ASUN play.
- After sweeping this year's regular season series against North Florida, the Owls hold a 44-43 advantage in the all-time series against the Ospreys. KSU's last series win at Harmon Stadium came in 2011.
No. 4 North Florida: 25-26 (10-11)
- North Florida makes his sixth consecutive appearance in the ASUN Championship, for the first time as the host school. The Ospreys are seeking their first-ever ASUN Baseball Championship title.
- Frank German takes the league's best ERA into this week's Championship coming in at 1.64. The righty is a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and has 98 K's in 82.1 innings pitched this season.
- Tanner Murphy ranks second in the ASUN with 10 homers as the outfielder has played every game this season for the Ospreys. He is batting .337 on the year, with a league-high .564 slugging percentage.
- Twenty of North Florida's 25 wins this year have come at Harmon Stadium, site of this week's ASUN Championship. Ths Ospreys hit .288 at home compared to a .239 batting average on the road this year.
- Blake Voyles ranks second on the team with 11 doubles, just one behind Murphy entering the ASUN Championship. He has 16 multi-hit games on the season, including six in his last nine games.
- Brad Deppermann has been a weapon for the Ospreys as a starter and out of the bullpen. Eight of his 18 appearances have been starts, while he also leads the team with five saves. He has pitched 63.0 innings so far.
- North Florida trails the all-time series with Kennesaw State 44-43, after being swept in the regular season. In ASUN Championship play, the series is tied 2-2, with the last meeting a 14-0 UNF win in 2015.
No. 5 Lipscomb: 23-28 (9-12)
- The Bisons are making their sixth consecutive appearance in the ASUN Championship. Lipscomb has won the title twice (2008, 2015). The Bisons take on Jacksonville in the opening round this year.
- Lipscomb's offense exploded for 26 runs in last week's must-win series against FGCU. Lipscomb has scored double-digit runs in seven games this season and holds a 6-1 record in those contests in 2018.
- Lee Solomon earned the final Player of Week honor after hitting .545 and slugging 1.182 in the series against FGCU. His two homers and five RBI powered the Bisons into the final postseason spot.
- Catcher Jeffrey Crisan has enjoyed a breakout season as he is leading the team with a .299 batting average. He has 14 multi-hit games this season, including three of his last four games heading into this week.
- The Bisons have hit the most homers of any ASUN team heading into the postseason with 40. Solomon took over the team lead with seven, while Jake Perry and Crisan have slugged six homers each.
- Freshman Noah Thompson has pitched 59.2 innings and holds the best ERA among ASUN freshmen pitchers with 3.02. The lefty was the winning pitcher in Lipscomb's postseason-clinching game vs. FGCU.
- The Bisons trail the all-time series with Jacksonville 29-18 and lost this year's regular season series 2-1. In ASUN Championship play, the series is tied 2-2, as the two sides have met in each of the last two tourneys.
No. 6 NJIT: 22-23 (9-12)
- NJIT is making its first-ever ASUN Championship appearance in baseball after a great turnaround season. The Highlanders only won nine games all of last year, this year they have 22 wins.
- Jesse Uttendorfer has been one of the key cogs in the Highlanders offense. Twenty-one of his 55 hits have been for extra bases. His 16 doubles are tied for second in the ASUN.
- NJIT's offense ranked second in batting average during conference play as the Highlanders hit .264 as a team. Julio Marcano led all ASUN freshman with a .342 batting average this season.
- Sophomore pitcher Tyler Stafflinger finished the regular season with the third-best ERA in the ASUN at 2.26. The righty owns a 4-4 record and pitched 51.2 innings this year after 32.2 last year.
- Shortstop Justin Etts ranked second on the team with 50 total hits. In ASUN play, he ranked sixth in the conference with 28 hits. His BA went from .260 overall to .295 in ASUN play.
- Johnny Malatesta has been NJIT's top reliever this season with six total saves. He has 27 strikeouts in 31.1 innings pitched. He didn't allow a run in seven of his last eight outings.
- NJIT picked up its first win against Stetson during the regular season but trails the all-time series 8-1. The Highlanders are seeking their first-ever win in the ASUN Baseball Championship.