The Flyers (37-17/21-6) established team records for wins (37) and home runs (76), while their 21 victories in Conference play are the second-highest total in league annals. UD is led by infielder Jimmy Roesinger, who leads the A-10 with a .423 batting average, and senior Scott Dunwoody (.331 average), who was recently named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List. The award is presented to the nation's top collegiate catcher. Vying for its first-ever league title, Dayton will play at Noon on Thursday after earning an opening round bye.
Making its league-leading seventh consecutive appearance in the A-10 Championship, Rhode Island (35-18-1/19-6) also earned an opening round bye as it claimed the second overall seed. The Rams, who seized the program's lone A-10 title at Fifth Third Field in 2005, are anchored by senior Dan Rhault, a member of the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List. The award recognizes the country's top shortstop. Rhault leads the team in both batting (.393) and slugging (.667). URI has matched its program record with 35 wins, which include victories over nationally-ranked Miami (Fla.), Ohio State and Oklahoma State.
After winning a program-best 33 contests, Xavier claimed the No. 3 seed and seeks its first-ever A-10 title. The Musketeers (33-18/18-9) finished runner-up a year ago and are making their third-straight appearance in the A-10 Championship. XU is led by senior Jordan Conley, who has registered a team-record 12 saves, and third baseman John McCambridge, who leads the league with 39 stolen bases.
With identical 16-11 records in A-10 action, Charlotte, Fordham and Massachusetts finished the regular season in a tie for fourth place. By virtue of the league's tie-breaker procedures, UMass earned the No. 4 seed, while the Rams claimed the fifth seed and Charlotte No. 6.
Advancing to the Championship for the first time since 2003, UMass (25-24/16-11) enters this week's action having won 10 of their last 13 games. Vying for their fourth title in program history and first since 1996, the Minutemen are led by senior lefthander Mitchell Clegg, who boasts a 6-1 record with 74 strikeouts in 83.1 innings pitched. The Rams (22-30/16-11) qualified for the Championship after winning their final six league contests. Anchored by seniors Bobby DiNardo (15 home runs) and Danny Leach (72 hits/ 51 runs), Fordham seeks its second A-10 crown and first since 1998.
Having reached the 30-win mark for a team-record fifth consecutive season, Charlotte (32-20/16-11) seeks to become the first-ever A-10 program to win three straight league titles. The 49ers are led by junior Rob Lyerly, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 Championship, and sophomore Ryan Rivers, who leads the Conference with 18 home runs.
Play commences on Wednesday, May 20, with No. 4 Massachusetts facing fifth-seeded Fordham at 12:00pm., while third-seeded Xavier meets No. 6 Charlotte at 3:30pm. The losers of games one and two will square off at 7:00pm in an elimination game for both teams. On Thursday, May 21, No. 1 Dayton takes on the UM-FOR winner at 12:00pm, followed by second-seeded Rhode Island versus the XU-CHA winner at 3:30pm.
Fifth Third Field, home of the Cincinnati Reds Single-A affiliate Dayton Dragons, is one of the finest facilities in minor league baseball. To purchase tickets, log on to www.daytondragons.com or call (937) 228-BATS.
Single-game tickets start as low as $8 for adults and $4 for students, senior citizens and children under 18, while four-day packages are $24 for adults and $12 for students, senior citizens and children under 18. Game times are 12:00pm, 3:30pm and 7:00pm on May 20-22 and 12:00pm and 3:30pm (if necessary) on May 23.
Live audio and video streaming of the Championship will be available for pay-per-view at a cost of $7.95 per game. For complete coverage of the 2009 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship, log on to www.atlantic10.org