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Messages - HCACgrad11

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Crazy end of the season in the HCAC.  Rose misses the conference tourney for the first time since 2008 after being swept by Earlham.

Congrats to Defiance!  I'll be rooting for them in the tourney!

(Keep in mind that the regular season champs have not won the conference tournament in quite a few years....)

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The Quakers take the first game of the doubleheader 8-7 in a wild game.  It's now win or go home for RHIT.

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It's going to come down to the Sunday doubleheader at Earlham (against RHIT) for the final spot in the HCAC tourney with Franklin's impressive sweep of Anderson to lock up a bid.  Earlham pounded RHIT 10-3 today.

Scenarios:

If Earlham sweeps both games:
1 vs 4: Manchester vs. Defiance
2 vs 3: Anderson vs. Franklin

If they split the DH:
1 vs 4: Manchester vs. RHIT
2 vs 3: Anderson vs. Franklin

If RHIT sweeps the doubleheader:
1 vs 4: Manchester vs. Franklin
2 vs 3: Anderson vs. RHIT

Obviously, I'll be pulling for the Engineers tomorrow.  But kudos either way to Defiance this year.  They've been improving each year and took a big step during this one.

4
A couple of huge series this weekend between Defiance/Rose and Transy/Franklin.  A few splits this weekend could set up an exciting final weekend in the race for the final two tourney spots.

Rose-Hulman has been aided in the last few weekends by the addition of two freshman to the weekend rotation in Karson Nixon and Andrew Stull.  They need to get the bats going if they want to compete with a team like Manchester - the team is only hitting .271 with a team SLG of .334.

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Well, RHIT is having a tough nonconference record, but are still sitting towards the top of the HCAC.  Which makes me wonder about the HCAC conference strength?  Having Manchester in the top 25 looks nice, but can anyone add any input to the overall strength of the HCAC?

In general, the HCAC isn't considered one of the top conferences in the Mideast.  It's representative in the regional generally gets a seed in the lower half of the bracket (deserved or not).  Even last year, Manchester had a pretty tough team, but still got a #7 seed before nearly making it to Appleton. 

Back in 2010, RHIT was ranked as high as #12 before making it to the regional, only to get a 5 seed in the 6 team Central regional.

Personally, I think the conference is better than its reputation in most years, but that might be the homer in me coming out.  I think Manchester is very strong this year and is likely to run away with the regular season title.  However, this conference has a history of not sending its regular season champ to the tournament.

I think RHIT is very young.  If they can gain some consistency, they could be dangerous down the stretch.  Hanover was definitely bringing in some good talent in the last couple years I was still playing.  I wouldn't be surprised to see them make a run.  It looks like the HCAC has more depth than it has had in recent years, with no real pushovers, but I'm not sure there's another top team that can compete with Manchester this year.

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Any HCAC fans out there?  I may have to defect to another conference ;D

I made a similar post last year!  :)

My Engineers have had a rough go of it so far this year, but stand 3-2 in conference play after Bluffton took 2 out of 3 last weekend.

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Mideast Region / Re: BB: HCAC: Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
« on: February 18, 2012, 09:32:52 am »
Any other HCAC'ers out there?  As a recent Rose-Hulman grad, I'll be keeping track of the upcoming season and would love to discuss it with anyone doing the same!

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Mideast Region / Re: 2012 Preseason DIII All-Buckeye State Baseball
« on: February 18, 2012, 09:24:14 am »
Bluffton appears to have a solid group of talent this year. Are their any expectation for them this season to make some noise?

Bluffton is coming off a record-setting year with 19 wins and returns the majority of their team.  From my experience, Bluffton has always had at least a few extremely good hitters but has somewhat lacked in the pitching department.  The lowest ERA that any of their regular starters had last year was 6.16. 

It also doesn't help that their home field plays extremely small.  When the wind is blowing out, some routine fly balls can easily leave the yard. 

With that said, Broyles is a very good hitter and they will have a good lineup this year.  I still expect to see the usual teams on top of the HCAC (Franklin, Anderson, *hopefully* Rose-Hulman  :D) but I also expect to see a team like Bluffton or MSJ sneak into the conference tournament at the end of the year.

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