Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Marietta Baseball Wins NCAA Division III Title

Marietta's baseball team captured its fifth NCAA Division III baseball championship, by defeating Chapman (Calif.) 18-5 in the second game of the final day of the tournament, Tuesday at Appleton, Wis.

Chapman fended off elimination by defeating the Pioneers 15-4, giving the teams one loss apiece in the double-elimination playoff. The second game then became the de facto national championship game, and the Pioneers took charge early, forging a 9-1 lead after three innings.

Marietta is the all-time leader in NCAA Division III baseball championships, as this year's champs join winners in 1981, 1983, 1986 and 2006.

This represents the second NCAA team championship won by an AICUO member this year. In March, Denison upset perennial winner Kenyon, both association members, to capture the Division III men's swimming and diving championship.

The Pioneers came out of the winner's bracket in the double-elimination tournament, beating Salisbury (Md.) 8-0 on Friday and Chapman 9-4 on Saturday. On Sunday, a 5-1 win by the Pioneers sent Buena Vista (Iowa) to an elimination game, and on Monday, Marietta eliminated Keystone (Pa.) 11-2. By defeating Buena Vista on Sunday, Chapman became the last team besides Marietta in the tourney.

--Bob Burke