2022 NCAA D2 Baseball CHAMPIONSHIP ARCHIVE
PRE-GAME SHOW REPLAY
DAY 1 – GUESTS: Chris Hanks (Colorado Mesa) & John Phillips (NCAA) LISTEN
DAY 2 – GUESTS: Mike LaRosa (West Chester) & John Phillips (NCAA) LISTEN
DAY 3 – GUESTS: Kevin Brooks & Adam Foster (Angelo State) LISTEN
DAY 4 – GUESTS: Landon Powell & Trey Dyson (North Greenville) LISTEN
DAY 5 – GUESTS: Ryan Copeland (Illinois Springfield) & Jim Gantt (Catawba) LISTEN
DAY 6 – GUESTS: Jon Sjogren (Rollins) & Mike LaRosa (West Chester) LISTEN
DAY 7 – GUESTS: Chris Ramirez (Lenoir-Rhyne) & John Phillips (NCAA) LISTEN
DAY 7 RECAP
- All you need to know is that North Greenville University is the 2022 NCAA Division II Baseball National Champions. Congrats for Coach Landon Powell and the Crusader on a history season!
GAME FINAL: North Greenville wins Nat’l Championship with 5-3 victory of Point Loma
GAME FINAL: Point Loma slips past Rollins 2-0, advances to Championship
DAY 6 RECAP
- Pre-Game Show featured both head coaches facing elimination on Day 6.
- The story of the day was Rollins ace Jaylyn Whitehead finishing his college career with a 153-pitch complete-game shutout to keep the Tars season alive. With everything on the line, Whitehead pitched the game of his life. Pitch #150 was clocked at 86 MPH. The post-game press conference is something everyone should watch!
- Rollins hit three home runs, one in each of the first three innings.
- Rollins and Point Loma will play again Friday at noon, with the winner advancing to the Championship.
- In the nightcap, North Greenville continued to roll through the tournament, with an 8-5 win over West Chester University. With the loss, WCU is eliminated.
- The Rollins vs. Point Loma game will happen first on Friday (12 PM EST), with the winner playing North Greenville in the evening (7 PM). NGU can end the tourney and win the title with a win Friday night.
- The winner of the Rollins vs. Point Loma game will have to beat North Greenville twice – Friday night and Saturday.
- Friday’s Pre-Game Show begins at 12 PM EST/11 AM CST with special guests Scott Loiseau (Southern New Hampshire University) and Chris Ramirez (Lenoir-Rhyne).
GAME FINAL: North Greenville wins again, one game away from title.
GAME FINAL: Rollins Ace Jaylyn Whitehead throws 153-pitch, CGSO in final college game as Tars down Point Loma 12-3.
DAY 5 RECAP
- After losing to Southern Arkansas on Day 1, Rollins avenged their loss by eliminating SAU with 7-5 win.
- Rollins advances to play Point Loma (2-0) on Thursday at 1:30 PM.
- Rollins now must beat Point Loma on Thursday AND Friday in order to make the championship.
- Point Loma can advance to the final game with a win over Rollins on Thursday. If PLNU loses, then they’ll face Rollins again on Friday for their side of the bracket.
- In a surprisingly one-sided contest, West Chester crushed Angelo State 12-2 and eliminated ASU.
- West Chester will get a rematch with North Greenville on Thursday night after falling to the Crusaders in their first game of the tourney.
- West Chester has to beat NGU on Thursday AND Friday to advance to the Championship Game.
- North Greenville can punch their ticket to the final game with a win over WCU on Thursday. A loss would mean a third game between WCU and NGU on Friday to advance.
GAME FINAL: West Chester rolls through Angelo State 12-2 in elimination game.
GAME FINAL: Rollins wins rematch 7-5 and eliminates Southern Arkansas.
DAY 4 RECAP
- The Pre-Game Show with North Greenville HC Landon Powell and AC Trey Dyson was as good as advertised.
- West Chester drew 6 BB and 6 HBP to come from behind and win their elimination game vs. SNHU.
- Southern New Hampshire becomes the second team eliminated (UIS).
- The much-anticipated Angelo State vs. North Greenville game was a major disappointment (for the general fan, at least). NGU, the #1-ranked team in the country, made ASU look like a JV team. And that’s meant as a tip of the cap to NGU, not a knock against ASU. Until they’re eliminated, I’m sticking with ASU as my pick to win this thing. They’re too good to chalk up Tuesday night as anything more than a poorly timed off night. I fully expect the Rams will return strong tomorrow.
- Speaking of tomorrow, Angelo State now enters the danger zone and will face West Chester in an elimination game Wednesday.
- North Greenville gets to rest until Thursday and will play the winner of ASU/WCU.
- The winner of ASU/WCU will have to beat NGU twice to advance.
- Southern Arkansas will look to rebound Wednesday in an elimination game vs. Rollins.
- Due to weather concerns, both Wednesday contests have been moved up. SAU/Rollins will begin at 10:30 AM and ASU/WCU will start 30 minutes after the first game ends.
- The winner of SAU/Rollins will have to beat Point Loma twice to advance.
- Despite the change in game schedule, the Pre-Game Show will remain at 12:00 PM EST. You can listen live on Twitter Spaces or listen to the replay later at jruddscout.com.
- Wednesday’s Pre-Game Show will feature D2 head coaches Ryan Copeland of Illinois Springfield, and Jim Gantt from Catawba.
- Discord live streams continue Wednesday. Join the fun!
- Through four days, Point Loma and North Greenville seem to be on another level than the rest of the field.
- If you’ve read all of this, then you deserve early access to this awesome, and unreleased Fungo Golf Masters video. Enjoy & see ya Wednesday.
GAME FINAL: North Greenville sets record with 18 runs in win over Angelo State.
GAME FINAL: West Chester Takes a Beaten with 6 HBP, but advance with wild 7-3 win over SNHU.
DAY 3 RECAP
- The Pre-Game Show was great today. Had Angelo State coaches Kevin Brooks and Adam Foster join us following their big win.
- Rollins beat Illinois Springfield 3-2 in the first elimination game of the tournament and will play SAU in an elimination game Wednesday.
- Point Loma manhandled Southern Arkansas in the nightcap.
- Point Loma looks reallllllyyyyy good. They’re not well-known to us here on the east coast, but holy cow, these guys can play.
- Did I mention PLNU has a roster built to win in Cary?
- Southern Arkansas will play Rollins in an elimination game Wednesday. The winner of that game will need to beat Point Loma twice on Thursday.
- Tomorrow – which I think is Tuesday, June 7th – will be Day 4 of the World Series. (Feels like Day 106.) West Chester and Southern New Hampshire will start the afternoon with an elimination game, followed by a heavyweight bout between North Greenville and Angelo State at 6:00 PM.
- There will be a new Twitter thread (@JRudd_Scout) pinned to my page every day. The thread will be for that day’s games only.
- Tune in at 12:00 PM EST Tuesday for the Pre-Game Show on Twitter Spaces.
- Join the Discord > https://discord.gg/jruddscout < and come hang out for Tuesday Night’s Watch Party!
GAME FINAL: Point Loma hammers out 19 hits in victory over Southern Arkansas.
GAME FINAL: Rollins survives 3-2 and eliminates Illinois Springfield.
DAY 2 RECAP
- I’m exhausted, read through Twitter feed for a ton of content from today in Cary, NC.
- Angelo State trailed 4-1 early, but the Rams came back to beat Southern New Hampshire by a score of 6-4.
- Angelo State looked like a team built to win at this ballpark, and that’s by design after falling short here in previous years.
- It was my first trip to the USA Complex and it’s very cool. One thing you immediately notice is the outfield is a graveyard. Homeruns are not going to win this tournament.
- North Greenville downed West Chester 3-1 in the night cap setting up a heavyweight bout with Angelo State.
- Day 3 brings our first elimination game of the tournament – UIS vs. Rollins.
- The guest for Monday’s Pre-Game Show is Angelo State HC Kevin Brooks (starts at noon on Twitter Spaces).
GAME FINAL: #1-Seeded North Greenville wins 3-1 over West Chester.
GAME FINAL: Angelo State beats Southern New Hampshire 6-4 in Sunday’s early game.
DAY 1 RECAP
JOIN THE FASTEST GROWING ONLING BASEBALL COMMUNITY: https://discord.gg/jruddscout
I’m not going to complain about getting media creds for the D2 CWS, but I ask for some slack considering I found out 24 hours before the event started. I wasn’t exactly prepared as well as I’d like to have been. That said, we survived Day 1 of the Championship.
Friday, we spoke with 7 of the 8 head coaches in Cary. And this morning, we struck up a friendly partnership with Coach Robert Frey from @divIIbaseball – the leading D2 Baseball resource on Twitter. Within minutes, we had organized a Daily Pre-Game Show on Twitter Spaces. It was a small crowd at the impromptu event, but the content was golden. We were joined by World Series Committee members John Phillips from Embry Riddle, and Coach Chris Hanks from Colorado Mesa. You can listen to the recording by clicking here.
The Daily Pre-Game Show will be live on Twitter (@JRudd_Scout) every day of the tournament at 12:00 PM EST/11:00 AM CST.
Following the Pre-Game Show, the coverage moved to Discord for a Live Watch Party. Southern Arkansas effortlessly discarded Rollins 3-1 in the opening game of the tourney. The information from Frey was priceless and documented in multiple videos on the Twitter feed. After a short intermission, the action continued in the Bleacher Seats on Discord for the evening contest in which Point Loma poured it on Illinois Springfield.
Sunday will be more organized chaos. At 12:00 PM EST, the Pre-Game Show will be live on Twitter Spaces. From there, I don’t know. I’ll be at the field so no streams, but there will be plenty of updates on Twitter and live action in the Discord. Make sure to join the community if you haven’t already done so!
GAME FINAL: SOUTHERN ARKANSAS TAKES THE OPENER 3-1 OVER ROLLINS.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Hours before first pitch of the 2022 NCAA DII College World Series, we talked with the head coaches live from the USA Baseball Training Complex in Cary, NC. Here’s what we learned:
North Greenville University is the #1-ranked team in NCAA Division II Baseball. The Crusaders are led by former big-league catcher Landon Powell, who coincidentally grew up just minutes from the Championship Complex in Cary. Coach Powell said Friday that first-team All American catcher John Faile will return to the active roster after missing the team’s last 12 games due to injury. (Faile is a beast – the kid made first team All American and missed a month’s worth of games.) Hitting the ball very far and over the fence is a big part of NGU’s game. The CWS venue doesn’t play well for that, so the Saders will have to do a bit more manufacturing than they’re used to. “Early on, I would love for our guys to do one of two things. Either, one, score some runs early to cut the tension and play relaxed. Or, two, give up some runs early to get the nerves over with,” laughed Powell. North Greenville is as battle-tested as anyone and their pitching depth is built for this type of tournament setting.
If there’s a team in Cary that defines “Powerhouse Program,” then it would have to be the Rams. This year will be the teams’s fifth appearance in Cary dating back to 2007. The program started just two seasons prior to that! Yes, you read that correctly. Angelo State began their D2 program in 2005 and made it to the College World Series in 2007, just the third year in existence. Coach Kevin Brooks has been at the helm since the start and has exited Cary disappointed in each of his four previous attempts. “Our history at Cary has been filled with bad breaks in one-run losses,” said Brooks. But the veteran coach was confident about this group. “We throw strikes, and we play good defense. Offensively, we’re good at getting on base, don’t strike out much, and do well running the bases,” he said. “If anything, we’ve given up too many homeruns this season, but the ballpark in Cary should help that.”
If you follow college baseball, you’ve likely heard of the Southern Arkansas University program. The Muleriders have made three NAIA World Series (’83, ’87, ’91) and this season marks their 14th NCAA Regional, and the team’s first-ever trip to the D2 CWS. Justin Pettigrew is in his 22nd year of coaching college and said, “This team is the closest group of players I’ve been around. They love each other and that’s probably what makes this year special.” Pettigrew and staff preach “supreme focus” and accountability from top to bottom in the program and it’s paid off. “Our strength is our competitiveness and fight, both on the mound and offensively. As a group, our team never feels defeated,” added the skipper.
The University of Illinois Springfield has been a fixture in regionals for years now, but 2022 will mark the Prairie Stars first-ever trip to the World Series. Led by 33-year-old head coach Ryan Copeland, the Stars take an explosive lineup to Cary. His squad enters championship weekend with 109 homeruns and the power comes from all over. Six-hole hitter and Redshirt Freshman Brant Vanaman has 16 bombs of his own. Copeland said he expects to have catcher Bobby Barnard available to hit for the first time since the senior broke his hand more than a month ago. The GLVC Champs play good defense, but it’s not their strong suit and they’ll begin shorthanded as starting SS Nick Mayerhofer will miss the first game after being ejected in the Super Regional Game 3.
Point Loma Nazarene has been to five NAIA College World Series, but this will be the Sea Lions first CWS as an NCAA Division II program. Defense and pitching have been their strength all year and the pair will need to anchor PLNU if the team plans to stick around in Cary. The offensive numbers won’t blow anybody away, but these guys have been productive living out of a pitcher-friendly park. Coach Justin James said he’ll be watching his team’s energy early. “There are different types of energy and they’re not all created equal. We want to make sure our guys are playing with excitement and focus rather than nervousness or fake enthusiasm just because the stage is different.” A name for fans to watch is Baxter Halligan – a real-deal, two-way monster. The 6’2/195 LHP/OF won Pitcher and Player of the Year in the Conference and Region. Point Loma’s closer, Cole Hillier, had a 52:0 K:BB ratio until walking a batter in the final week of the season.
West Chester University is a perennial title contender and 2022 is no different. However, what is new about this group of Golden Rams is the team’s leader. The squad had been under the direction of Jad Prachniak during a 10-year run of unprecedented success before current head coach Mike LaRosa took over in February of 2021. LaRosa took over following the Covid Shutdown. The first time his team met one another was just days before the 2021 season began. To say the least, it wasn’t exactly a smooth transition. That said, it only took one year before WCU jumped right back in the title hunt. LaRosa played and graduated from WCU in 2005, so this trip to Cary as a manager is extra special. First baseman Mike Ferrera is on the doorstep of breaking records for hits and RBI. Centerfielder Zack Wright has already broken the single season stolen base record and sits at 39 entering the weekend. And LHP Braeden Fausnaught is a true #1 arm who broke the school’s strikeout record this year.
Unfortunately, we were unable to connect with a Rollins coach on the phone today. However, we do know this – Rollins is a very good baseball team, but most fans outside the state expected to see Tampa coming out from the Southeast Region, not these guys. Although the Tars may not be the flashiest logo in town, Rollins baseball has a history of success and the champ of the southeast is always a favorite to win the whole thing. Rollins will be making the program’s first World Series appearance since 2004.
This is SNHU’s fourth trip in the last 10 seasons, but this was far from a normal year. In March, the Penman discovered sink holes developing on their field. The playing surface was shut down and the East Super Regional winners had to go all of 2022 without a home field to play or practice on. Head Coach Scott Loiseau said the roster is balanced with a ton of athleticism from top to bottom. The Penman also have a few players returning from last year’s run to Cary, and Coach Loiseau said the team will be counting on those veterans to step up. Timely hitting and infield defense will be the keys to success for Southern New Hampshire.