NCAA Midwest Regional primer: Eight things you need to know about QU baseball team
QUINCY — The Quincy University baseball team’s pursuit of a trip to Cary, N.C., begins in earnest Thursday with the start of NCAA Division II Midwest Regional play.
The top-seeded Hawks, who carry a 44-9 record into the postseason, will face either Northwood or Wayne State at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at QU Stadium. The Timberwolves and Warriors are slated to play the regional opener at noon.
Here are eight things you should know about the Hawks heading into the regional:
• The Hawks are 26-2 at home this season, haven’t lost at home since April 6 and carry a 12-game home winning streak into the postseason. They average 8.8 runs per game at home, while allowing 4.6 runs per game. In their final home series of the regular season, the Hawks outscored Drury — a team that reached the GLVC Tournament championship game — 57-19 in a four-game sweep.
• Over the last 10 full seasons — the Hawks played just 10 home games in 2020 before the season was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic — the Hawks own a .696 winning percentage at QU Stadium.
• Quincy leads all of NCAA Division II in home runs, having belted a single-season school record 118 dingers. Automatically, you tend to think it’s because of a lineup stacked with left-handers who drive the ball to the short porch in right field. The numbers support that theory, but the Hawks have hit home runs to all parts of the field. They have hit 82 home runs at QU Stadium this season — 22 to left field, 12 to left-center field, one to straightaway center, 20 to right-center field and 27 to right field.
Luke Napleton, the junior catcher who leads the nation with a new single-season record with 27 homers, has used the whole field at QU Stadium as well. Of his 19 home runs hit at home, six have gone to left field, four to left-center, four to right-center and five to right field.
• Spencer Walker, the first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference right-handed starter, lost the first game he ever started at QU Stadium. He’s gone 11-1 with two no-decisions at home since. This season, he’s 4-1 at home with a 3.13 ERA. Take away the loss to Missouri S&T when he allowed seven runs in the first inning, and Walker is 4-0 with two no decisions and a 1.56 ERA in the other six starts. Overall, he has a 2.77 ERA.
• Lance Logsdon likes hitting at home. The QU program’s all-time in almost every important offensive category — hits, doubles, RBIs to name a few — has started all 28 home games this season at first base and has hit safely 25 times. He’s batting .400 at QU Stadium this season with six doubles, two triples and eight home runs.
• The Hawks are playing host to their second NCAA regional at QU Stadium. The other was in 2016 when the Hawks were the No. 1 seed in the Midwest following a 37-16 season. They went 2-2 in the regional and were eliminated with a 9-8 loss to Missouri S&T.
• Quincy is making its eight consecutive regional appearance and third as the No. 1 seed. In 2015, the Hawks were the No. 1 team in the Midwest Region rankings, but the regional was played at Lindenwood’s Lou Brock Sports Complex because of logistical problems with hotels in the Quincy area. During this regional streak, the Hawks have gone 15-14 in the postseason.
• The Hawks swept a four-game series from Northwood at home earlier this season and are now 7-2 against the Timberwolves all-time. QU and Northwood split a pair of games in the Midwest Regional last season as the Hawks lost a 12-inning affair in the regional opener but came back to eliminate Northwood with a 10-4 victory. In 2017, Northwood beat Quincy 5-3 in the winner’s bracket, but the Hawks won the final two games — 4-3 and 2-0 victories that sent QU to the NCAA Division II World Series for the first time. Quincy is 2-1 against Wayne State in regional play, beating the Warriors twice in 2017 and losing to them 8-6 in 2019.
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