By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Rowan University baseball team has earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The Profs will open play in the double-elimination South Regional on Thursday when they take on Emory University. Rowan is the three-seed in the South.

This will be the first appearance in the tournament for the 28-16 Profs since 2014.

“Going into the year we were excited about the players that we had on the roster,” Rowan head coach Mike Dickson tells KYW Newsradio. “We had several good pitchers returning and we had several good pitchers that had transferred in. So we were excited going into the year. Throughout the year, it was kind of up and down, we faced some adversity and had some injuries that we dealt with throughout the year. But, to our team’s credit, they fought through those adversities and they fought through those injuries and were able to stay consistent throughout the year and play consistent baseball throughout the year.”

Listen to the entire interview with Rowan head coach Mike Dickson:


Dickson says their pitching is a big reason why they are still standing.

“First and foremost, senior captains Brad Machinski (6-2, 3.10 ERA) and Rob Grilli (5-3, 3 saves, 3.64 ERA),” he says. “Brad has been a four-year player here at Rowan and has done a fantastic job on the mound and off the field as a leader for the group of young players that he has around him. Rob Grilli has been a consistent bullpen arm that we’ve used in just about every tight situation that we’ve been in this year. We’ve been a part of 18 one-run games and he has been a part of many of those one-run games. Andrew Cohen (4-4, 2.64 ERA), who is another senior pitcher, has done a fantastic job coming in and being the ace of the staff, has really given us dominant performances throughout the year.”

Emory is 27-12 on the season and Dickson says it is no accident they are still playing.

“They do a great job,” he says. “They’ve been to the College World Series three times in the last ten years. They were in the College World Series last year. So they are going to have experience in playing in a tournament and at a high level. They are very similar to us from a pitching staff (standpoint).”

First pitch between Rowan and Emory on Thursday will be at 6:00pm.

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