Inside Athletics

North Carolina Wesleyan National Champs & More

North Carolina Wesleyan National Champs & More

The Battling Bishops have won a pair of NCAA Division III National Championships in baseball, as well as numerous regional, conference and tournament crowns in a variety of sports. Below are recaps of the Battling Bishops' two National Titles, followed by a sport-by-sport breakdown of Wesleyan's conference championships and NCAA berths. 


1989... Wesleyan Baseball Wins First National Championship

Eric Jarman’s third homerun of the tournament and second of the game snapped a 7-7 tie in the top of the 13th inning as N.C. Wesleyan won its first NCAA Division III National Championship by edging Cal-State Stanislaus 8-7 in the finals on June 4th at Muzzy Field. The Bishops defeated Stanislaus twice on the final day to win their first national title in their fifth trip to the national tournament.

Jarman, a junior centerfielder from Greenville, N.C., stroked an 0-1 delivery from Stanislaus lefty Robert Sapp over the right-center field fence with one out in the top of the 13th for what proved to be the game-winning run.  The Warriors, who stranded 14 runners in the 4 hour, 27 minute marathon, had the tying run on second with one out in the bottom of the 13th. Winning pitcher Mark Silletti, however, got a ground ball to second base followed by a fly out to Jarman in center to ignite the victory celebration.

Jarman enjoyed a brilliant tournament for Wesleyan, which became only the second team in the 14-year history of the tournament to have to win five games to earn the title.  In six games, Jarman batted .533 with ten runs score and ten RBIs.  In the championship game, he collected five hits in seven at-bats, incluing two homeruns, one double, three runs scored and had four RBIs. Jarman set Division III World Series records for total bases (30) in a six-team series and in a game (12 in the final), while tying marks for hits in a game, most homeruns in a game (2), and most homeruns in a six-team series (3).

While Jarman was leading the offensive charge, Silletti was turning in one of the most impressive performances in World Series history.  A senior righty from Bethpage, N.Y., Silletti won three of his teams five games (23.1 of the team’s 53 innings), including both games of the final afternoon. Silletti pitched a complete game four-hitter to lead the Bishops to a 3-0 win in the first game of the championship set, then was summoned in the seventh inning of the title game with the Bishops leading 6-5.  Silletti got the final out of the seventh with runners on first and second and allowed only two runs over 6.1 innings. 


1999... Baseball Bishops Become Two-Time National Champions

The Bishops won the 1999 Division III National Championship by defeating St. Thomas, Minn. by a score of 1-0 (photo above). Making their 11th overall and 3rd straight World Series appearance, the Bishops put together the most successful NCAA tournament run in school history by winning eight straight games. NCWC opened with wins over Brandeis and Cal-Lutheran, while game three saw NCWC face off against St. Thomas for a chance to play for the title.

St. Thomas jumped out to a commanding 5-0 lead, but Wesleyan's bats exploded in the bottom of the fifth with six hits in a row. After the dust had cleared, the Bishops had cut the lead to 5-4. Closer Buddy Hernandez entered the game in the bottom of the seventh with runners on second and third with no outs.  Hernandez forced a short popup to center, and after an intentional walk to load the bases, Hernandez reached back to strike out the next two hitters.

The momentum carried over as Jeremy Stewart homered in the bottom of the seventh to complete the comeback and knot the score at 5-5.  The game remained tied until the bottom of the tenth when Stewart singled and moved to second on a David Capobianco sacrifice bunt. Barry Blake was intentionally walked to set the stage for sophomore Nick Buonocore. Buonocore’s RBI-single to right scored Stewart and advanced NCWC to the title game. 

Wesleyan would again meet St. Thomas the championship game.  The Bishops scored what turned out to be the lone run of the game in the top of the first. Scott Robeson’s leadoff single was followed by an Andy Jones' sacrifice bunt, and Stewart promptly drove him home with a single up the middle.  In an outstanding performance, hurler Sean Fleming made the lone run hold up by allowing just four hits.

In the bottom of the ninth with Hernandez on the mound, St. Thomas threatened with a one-out double and sharp single to center that put runners at first and third.  After a walk loaded the bases, Hernandez threw the biggest pitch of his career... a sharp curve that was grounded to Stewart, who started the 5-4-3 double play that ended the game and gave North Carolina Wesleyan its second National Championship.  The beauty of the double play was that it featured three of the best players to ever play for the Bishops:  Jeremy Stewart, Andy Jones, and David Capobianco. The win was the first 1-0 championship game in the history of Division III baseball. 


SPORT-BY-SPORT BREAKDOWN OF CHAMPIONSHIPS

BASEBALL   TOTAL    YEARS
DIAC/USAS Regular Season Championships   17   '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '87, '88, '90, '91, '93, '94, '97, '99, '00, '07, '09, '10
DIAC/USAS Tournament Championships   7   '94, '95, '97, '99, '00, '06, '09
NCAA Tournament Appearances   21   '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95, '97, '98, '99, '00, '06, '09
World Series Appearances   12   '81, '82, '83, '87, '89, '90, '93, '94, '97, '98, '99, '06
NCAA DIII National Championships   2   '89, '99
         
MEN'S BASKETBALL   TOTAL    YEARS
DIAC/USAS Regular Season Championships   8   '66, '84, '86, '89, '00, '10, '11, '16
DIAC/USAS Tournament Championships   4   '84, '87, '02, '11
NCAA Tournament Appearances   5   '83, '84, '87, '02, '11
         
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL   TOTAL    YEARS
DIAC/USAS Regular Season Championships   1   '94
DIAC/USAS Tournament Championships   2   '94, '99
NCAA Tournament Appearances   2   '94, '99
         
FOOTBALL   TOTAL    YEARS
USA South Championships   3   '07, '09, '10
NCAA Playoff Appearances   2   '07, '09
         
MEN'S GOLF   TOTAL   YEARS
DIAC/USA South Championships   4   '70, '71, '72, '73
         
MEN'S SOCCER   TOTAL   YEARS
DIAC/USAS Regular Season Championships   6   '87, '88, '04, '05, '07, '10
DIAC/USAS Tournament Championships   2   '04, '08
NCAA Tournament Appearances   7   '84, '87, '88, '04, '06, '07, '08
         
WOMEN'S SOCCER   TOTAL   YEARS
DIAC/USAS Regular Season Championships   9   '84, '92, '94, '96, '97, '98, '99, '00, '01
DIAC/USAS Tournament Championships   1   '01
NCAA Tournament Appearances   10   '88, '91, '92, '93, '94, '96, '97, '99, '00, '01
         
SOFTBALL   TOTAL   YEARS
DIAC/USAS Regular Season Championships   5   '88, '89, '94, '95, '96
DIAC/USAS Tournament Championships   5   '82, '84, '96, '98, '99
NCAA Tournament Appearances   2   '98, '99
NCAIA Championships   1   '80
         
MEN'S TENNIS   TOTAL   YEARS
USA South Regular Season Championships   8   '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16
USA South Tournament Championships   8   '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16
NCAA Tournament Appearances   8   '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16
NCAA National Championship Appearances   2   '13 (Kjellberg/Prostak Doubles)
'15 (Kjellberg/Sikh Doubles)
         
WOMEN'S TENNIS   TOTAL   YEARS
USA South Regular Season Championships   2   '12, '15
USA South Tournament Championships   1   '15
NCAA Tournament Appearances   1   '15
         
VOLLEYBALL   TOTAL   YEAR
USAS/DIAC Regular Season Championships   1   '81
         
USA SOUTH PRESIDENTS CUP   TOTAL   YEAR
Men's Cup   2   '10, '16