South Atlantic Conference

SAC Baseball Championship Series Preview

SAC Baseball Championship Series Preview

Two teams right on the NCAA Tournament bubble have a golden ticket in their grasp in potentially avoiding the bubble entirely.

May 10, 2024 by Briar Napier

Step right up to the podium, Wingate and Lincoln Memorial, you two are the only ones left who can take the South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship Series title — and with it, an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.

As of the NCAA’s final official regional rankings, Lincoln Memorial is ranked No. 7 and Wingate No. 9 in the Southeast Region with only the top seven teams in each region earning postseason berths. The Railsplitters and Bulldogs each clawed their way through separate brackets in the SAC Tournament to get to this week’s Championship Series, which will take place from May 10-11 in a best-of-three clash at McCrary Park in Asheboro, North Carolina — and it will be streamed live and exclusively on FloBaseball.

With postseason fates very much at stake and the baseball at its best, expect some chaos and strap in.

Here’s a look ahead at the SAC Baseball Championship Series:

Wingate SAC Baseball Scores

Feb. 16: Wingate 11, Newberry 3

Feb. 17: Wingate 13, Newberry 7

Feb. 17: Wingate 10, Newberry 6

March 2: Wingate 1, Coker 4

March 2: Wingate 9, Coker 7

March 3: Wingate 8, Coker 11

March 8: Wingate 12, Anderson 4

March 10: Wingate 12, Anderson 2

March 10: Wingate 5, Anderson 4

March 16: Wingate 2, Lincoln Memorial 12

March 16: Wingate 4, Lincoln Memorial 10

March 17: Wingate 11, Lincoln Memorial 5

March 23: Wingate 6, Mars Hill 1

March 23: Wingate 10, Mars Hill 0

March 24: Wingate 13, Mars Hill 3

March 29: Wingate 4, Tusculum 6

March 30: Wingate 8, Tusculum 14

March 30: Wingate 10, Tusculum 6

April 6: Wingate 11, UVA Wise 3

April 7: Wingate 7, UVA Wise 4

April 7: Wingate 9, UVA Wise 5

April 12: Wingate 18, Lenoir-Rhyne 8

April 13: Wingate 12, Lenoir-Rhyne 14

April 13: Wingate 1, Lenoir-Rhyne 7

April 19: Wingate 16, Carson-Newman 8

April 20: Wingate 10, Carson-Newman 8

April 20: Wingate 1, Carson-Newman 2

April 26: Wingate 1, Catawba 2

April 27: Wingate 5, Catawba 11

April 27: Wingate 6, Catawba 7

May 3: Wingate 6, Newberry 18*

May 4: Wingate 5, Coker 4*

May 4: Wingate 15, Carson-Newman 3*

May 5: Wingate 13, Newberry 7*

May 5: Wingate 7, Newberry 6*

*SAC Baseball Tournament

Lincoln Memorial SAC Baseball Scores

Feb. 16: Lincoln Memorial 16, Mars Hill 5

Feb. 17: Lincoln Memorial 9, Mars Hill 4

Feb. 17: Lincoln Memorial 9, Mars Hill 5

Feb. 23: Lincoln Memorial 6, Lenoir-Rhyne 13

Feb. 24: Lincoln Memorial 16, Lenoir-Rhyne 12

Feb. 24: Lincoln Memorial 20, Lenoir-Rhyne 4

March 2: Lincoln Memorial 11, UVA Wise 6

March 3: Lincoln Memorial 2, UVA Wise 3

March 3: Lincoln Memorial 4, UVA Wise 8

March 8: Lincoln Memorial 12, Limestone 0

March 10: Lincoln Memorial 17, Limestone 12

March 10: Lincoln Memorial 3, Limestone 6

March 16: Lincoln Memorial 12, Wingate 2

March 16: Lincoln Memorial 10, Wingate 4

March 17: Lincoln Memorial 5, Wingate 11

March 22: Lincoln Memorial 14, Tusculum 9

March 23: Lincoln Memorial 1, Tusculum 9

March 23: Lincoln Memorial 4, Tusculum 5

March 29: Lincoln Memorial 4, Catawba 7

March 30: Lincoln Memorial 5, Catawba 7

March 30: Lincoln Memorial 7, Catawba 8

April 6: Lincoln Memorial 16, Emory & Henry 6

April 6: Lincoln Memorial 6, Emory & Henry 5

April 7: Lincoln Memorial 8, Emory & Henry 3

April 12: Lincoln Memorial 3, Carson-Newman 14

April 13: Lincoln Memorial 16, Carson-Newman 7

April 13: Lincoln Memorial 2, Carson-Newman 3

April 19: Lincoln Memorial 9, Newberry 3

April 20: Lincoln Memorial 14, Newberry 3

April 20: Lincoln Memorial 12, Newberry 4

May 3: Lincoln Memorial 16, Tusculum 13*

May 4: Lincoln Memorial 7, Catawba 0*

May 5: Lincoln Memorial 8, Catawba 3*

*SAC Baseball Tournament

How to Watch SAC Baseball 2024

Watch SAC baseball on FloBaseball and the FloSports app.

FloBaseball will be streaming SAC baseball all season long.

Players to Watch

Carson Boles, OF, Lincoln Memorial

The SAC’s batting champion (.464 average at the end of the regular season, .472 as of this writing for third in Division II) and the league’s Player of the Year, Boles can’t be stopped at the moment as he enters the SAC Baseball Championship Series on an eye-popping 20-game hitting streak with plenty of damage dealt already across three postseason wins. He has reached base safely in all 48 of the Railsplitters’ games thus far this season and in SAC tourney play, Boles has been responsible for 13 runs in all (five runs, eight RBIs). With other career highs all across the board including in home runs (14), RBIs (65) and slugging percentage (.854), Boles has been the engine behind LMU’s mini-Cinderella run from starting out as the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament to being one of just two teams left standing who can take the SAC Tournament title.

Sean Barnett, RHP/OF, Wingate

Though Barnett is classified as a two-way player, his 17⅔ career innings thrown in three seasons at Wingate isn’t why he’s on this list. Instead, it’s because he’s erupted this season into one of D-II’s most dangerous power hitters. The junior from Missouri combined for just seven homers and 36 RBIs across 160 at-bats in his two previous seasons with the Bulldogs; in 2024 to date, Barnett has crushed those previous bests before this year has even ended as he enters the SAC Championship Series with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs, both marks of which are the best in the conference and rank in the top 10 nationally. He’s also become white-hot at the plate in postseason play, entering the first game of the Championship Series on a four-game home run streak and with six long bombs in his past seven games overall, doing more than enough to strike at least some fear into whatever pitcher he faces.

Christian Pencek, RHP, Lincoln Memorial

Only a sophomore, the All-SAC First Team selection as a starting pitcher gives the Railsplitters a strong chance to win whenever he steps on the mound. He carries a 9-1 record into the Championship Series — a record which sees him tied for second in the SAC in wins and with the most of any pitcher on either team left standing — along with 71 strikeouts to rank fifth in the league thus far with more chances to potentially add onto that total. Pencek can carry his appearances late into games as five of his starts have gone at least six frames, and though a 5.84 ERA is something that can be exploited by opponents, Lincoln Memorial’s league-best .326 batting average also helps Pencek out by often giving him plenty of added insurance score-wise. An important piece of the Railsplitters’ rotation, Pencek will continue to be valuable for as long as LMU’s season keeps going.

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