The LaGrange baseball team faces top-seeded Randolph-Macon on Thursday in the opening game of the Holly Springs Regional at Ting Park in Holly Springs, North Carolina.
The Panthers (28-16) are making their second straight NCAA appearance after winning the USA South Tournament for the second straight year. LC has not played since defeating Belhaven 9-1 on April 21.
Sophomore Richie Post is the probable starter Thursday for LC. Post is 3-3 in 10 starts with a 3.13 earned run average. He has not pitched since getting a no-decision against Piedmont on April 12 in the conference tournament.
Senior outfielder James Poropatic and frreshman Jack Layrisson lead the Panther hitters. Both players are tied for the team lead with four home runs and 42 RBIs each. Layrisson, the USA South Rookie Player of the Year, leads the regulars with a .358 batting average, a .568 slugging percentage and has seven triples. Poropatic is fifth on the team with a .322 batting average. LC has eight players in the lineup batting .300 or beter. The Panthers have five players with 30 or more RBIs.
Freshman reliever Gibson Bittner has posted a 6-1 record and two saves in 21 appearances. He leads the pitching staff with a 1.38 ERA. Senior Zach English leads Division III with 26 appearances and leads the staff with three saves, while posting a 2.70 ERA. Junior Austin Fain is 6-3 with a 3.11 ERA, while senior Collin Barrett is 7-4 with a 4.23 ERA.
Randolph-Macon (31-7-1) spent two weeks as the top-ranked team in the American Baseball Coaches Association Top 25 poll. The Yellow Jackets are currently fourth in the ABCA poll and fifth in the latest D3baseball.com Top 25 poll. The Yellow Jackets have also spent time as the top-ranked team in the . Randolph-Macon won the Old Dominion Athletic Conference regular season title. The Yellow Jackets are making their sixth NCAA appearance.
Junior Colin Selby is the probable starter for the Yellow Jackets. Selby was the ODAC Pitcher of the Year and first team All-Conference. He is 10-2 with a 2.89 ERA. Selby has a school record 112 strikeouts in 81 innings pitched.
Senior first basemen Joseph Tuzzolo was a first team All-Conference selection. Tuzzolo batted .378 with a .696 slugging percentage. He has 11 home runs and 54 RBIs on the season. As a team, the Yellow Jackets are batting .324 with 48 home runs. They have six players with 30 or more RBIs.
Randolph-Macon is one of four nationally-ranked teams in the regional. The College of New Jersey is ranked 10th by the ABCA and 11th in the D3basesball.com poll. Christopher Newport is ranked 11th by the ABCA and 13th in the D3basesball.com poll. Denison is ranked 20th in the ABCA poll and unranked by D3baseball.com. The Panthers received votes in the D3baseball.com poll.