Baseball Headed To NCAA Regional - WATCH THE GAMES LIVE!

May 16, 2006

The Middlebury College baseball team will makes its first NCAA Tournament appearance this week when they travel to Harwich, Massachusetts on Cape Cod to take part in the NCAA New England Regional from May 17-21. The Panthers earned a bid into the tournament after going 3-0 en route to the team's first NESCAC Championship in its first appearance in the tournament.


Middlebury is in the midst of its most successful season in history with a 24-9 record. The team is making just its second post-season appearance in the 125-year history of the program. The '99 team set what was then, a school record, with a 20-15 mark, advancing to the ECAC Tournament.

Last weekend at the NESCAC Tournament, the Panthers broke several tournament hitting records, picking up three victories. Middlebury defeated Tufts 14-1 in the first round, topped the host school from Bowdoin 12-10 in the second round, before defeating Tufts 8-1 in the title game. The team hit .484 over the three-game span, with NESCAC Player of the Week John Lanahan leading the way at a .786 clip. Four pitchers combined to throw the three games, sporting a 2.33 ERA over the weekend.

Head Coach Bob Smith is now in his 22nd year as head coach of the Panthers, with a career record of 248-279-5. His team is hitting an impressive .359 on the season, seven points higher than the school record of .352 in '88. The team has 416 hits in '06, 97 more than any other team in school history.

On the hill, sophomore Jack Britton has been dominate of late, boasting a 5-2 record with a 2.03 ERA. He has 58 strikeouts in 62 innings of work, starting 10 games and completing four this season. He struck out 10 and allowed no earned runs in a complete game victory in the NESCAC Championship game.

First-year lefty Steve Shortle has enjoyed an impressive rookie campaign with a 5-1 record and a 3.28 ERA. Christian Hansen (3-0, 2 saves, 3.06 ERA) has seen a lot of time out of the bullpen, while rookie Matt Joseph has appeared in eight games. Joseph owns a 3-0 record, with three starts on the season and a 4.60 ERA. Sophomore Justin Wright is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA, but has not pitched since April 29th due to an injury.

At the plate, sophomore catcher Nick Lefeber has led the team in hitting for the entire season, after returning from Phoenix with a .531 average. He is now hitting .443 on the season, with a team-high 54 hits and 40 runs scored.

Lanahan has been on a tear, upping his average to .417 after the NESCAC Tournament. The third-baseman leads the team with seven homers and 46 RBI, while ranking second on the team with 11 doubles. Sophomore second-baseman Gabe Broughton has been steady all season, jumping over the .400 mark least weekend with a .402 average in 29 games played. Senior left-fielder Ryan Armstrong is up to .395 on the year after setting a school record with a .495 average in '05. Junior right-fielder Joe Ramoin, who tied an NCAA record with four doubles in a game this season, is hitting .386 with a team-high 19 doubles. Rookie Mark Shimrock has seen most of his action as the team's DH this season, hitting .339 on the year. Senior shortstop Noah Walker is hitting .336 with four triples, senior first-baseman Alex Casnocha hits .327 with three homers, senior catcher/DH Andrew Pavoni is at .268, while senior center fielder Dom DiDomenico is hitting .228.

This year's squad has set school records for most at-bats (1,159), hits (416), RBI (250), is one short of the doubles record with 74 and has tied the triples mark with 14.

2006 NCAA New England Baseball Regional - Harwich, Massachusetts

Wednesday, May 17 at Whitehouse Field
Game 1: No. 4 Salem State vs. No. 5 Southern Maine 9:30 a.m.
Game 2: No. 2 Saint Joseph's (Maine) vs. No. 7 Bowdoin 1 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 Middlebury vs. No. 6 Western New England 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 1 Wheaton vs. Winner of Game 1 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 18 at Whitehouse Field
Game 5: Loser of Game 2 vs. Loser of Game 3 9:30 a.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 2 vs. Winner of Game 3 1 p.m.
Game 7: Loser of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5 4:30 p.m.
Game 8: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 6 8 p.m.

Friday, May 19 at Whitehouse Field
Game 9: Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 6 Noon
Game 10: Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8 3:30 p.m.
Game 11: Loser of Game 9 vs. Winner of Game 10 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 20 at Whitehouse Field
Game 12: Winner of Game 9 vs. Winner of Game 11 Noon
Game 13: Same Two Teams (if necessary)
Approximately 50 minutes following the conclusion of Game 12 or at a time determined by the tournament committee.