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Baseball: Raiders Claim Second Conference Title, Earning NCAA Tournament Bid

Wright State Baseball Field | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

Wright State Baseball Field | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian

The Wright State University baseball team won its second consecutive conference championship and fifth since 2015 earning a bid for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. 

The Raiders dominated the entire tournament, outsourcing opponents 56-7 after locking the No. 1 seed in the tournament and gaining home-field advantage along with a first-round bye. 

WSU faced off against the No. 2 seed Grizzlies of Oakland University. The Raiders went 1-4 against Oakland in the regular season before claiming a victory Friday evening in the tournament. 

Championship game

The Raiders opened the Friday game, scoring in dramatic fashion as Sammy Sass crushed a grand slam to left field in the opening frame to put WSU up 4-0. 

Sass connected on a second home run, scoring three more and taking a 7-0 lead. 

In the fourth inning, Andrew Patrick connected on a solo home run to further strengthen the lead. Avery Fisher reached an RBI double in the fifth inning to go up 9-0.

WSU continued its dominant performance by adding eight more runs in the sixth inning. The Raiders closed out their scoring by adding seven runs in the seventh inning to go up 24-0.

Alex Theis was credited with the win after throwing five and a third inning, allowing no runs and only giving up one hit while striking out seven batters. The Raiders bullpen maintained the scoreless affair on the mound after Theis was pulled.

Tournament accolades

Seven Raiders were presented with all-tournament team honors. Sammy Sass, Alec Sayre, Justin Reimer, Jay Luikart, Andrew Patrick and Gehrig Anglin all made the list, while Zane Harris was named tournament MVP. 

Both Sass and Harris tied the tournament record with each of them recording nine RBIs in single games. 

WSU broke many championship records including most runs scored (24), largest shutout margin, most doubles with eight, and RBIs with 23. 

Looking forward

After earning an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament, the Raiders will play Virginia Tech on Friday, June 3. The game begins at 7 p.m. and is the opening regional game according to the selection show announcement. 

WSU squared off against the Hokies earlier this season, winning one of the three games in the series. The Raiders have gained a lot of momentum since their last matchup and will look to put that momentum on display this Friday when they begin their tournament run.