Baseball makes NCAA championship, sets wins record
The baseball team enjoyed a second straight record-breaking season as the Pioneers recorded their most total wins on their way to winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament and playing in the NCAA Division III national championship, both for the first time in school history.
Under the guidance of head coach Chris Campbell ’00, Transy won 31 games while losing 14. The Pioneers’ 15-7 HCAC record landed them in fourth place in the regular season race, but Transy went 3-1 to win the conference tournament and take the HCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA championship. The Pioneers rallied to defeat Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 16-10 in the final game, when the NCAA invitation was up for grabs.
Rose-Hulman hosted the NCAA Mideast regional tournament, where Transy lost first to Heidelberg University 10-3, then lost to the College of Wooster 6-3 to bow out of the double-elimination event.
Transy kicked the season off with an eight-game winning streak and stood at 10-1 before beginning HCAC play. Included in those games was a 4-1 mark during the Russ Matt Invitational, played in Orlando during the Pioneers’ spring break trip.
Transy landed three players on the All-HCAC first team, led by senior outfielder Mitch Kuczek, who made the team for the fourth year in a row. He hit .379 and finished his Transy career as the school’s all-time leader in games played, hits, RBI, runs, and stolen bases.
Joining Kuczek on the first team was senior outfielder Tim Bauman, who hit a career high .384 and set an HCAC record with his .543 on-base percentage. Like Bauman, sophomore infielder Adam Clark (pictured above) made the all-conference team for the first time after leading Transy with a .421 batting average and setting an HCAC record with 38 hits.
Sophomore first baseman Ben Young was twice an HCAC Player of the Week, while Kuczek, sophomore pitcher Korey Colyer (5-1), and junior pitcher Adam Wilkins (7-4) were each honored once. Senior Ben Luking had the best record on the mound with an 8-2 mark and finished his career as Transy’s all-time leading pitcher.