The Dominican Republic (2-0 in the tournament) defeated the Netherlands (0-2) 4-3 at the Estadio de Béisbol Hermanos Serdan in Puebla, Mexico. The Netherlands will play an elimination game against Venezuela on Friday, and the Dominican Republic will play the winner on Saturday for the sixth and final spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
After two high-scoring games in this tournament, this one was a pitching duel until the eighth inning, and mostly well played. The starters were Tom de Blok for the Netherlands, and Osvaldo Bidó (Pirates organization) for DR. Bidó was relieved by Marcos Diplán (Orioles organization) in the fifth inning, but de Blok had a shutout going for nearly six innings. The only threat by either team was in the bottom of the fifth, when SS Ramon Torres hit a leadoff double, and went to third on a ground out. However, he was stranded when de Blok recorded a big strikeout of DH Melky Cabrera to end the inning.
De Blok's shutout ended with two out in the bottom of the sixth inning, when LF Johan Mieses (Red Sox organization) hit a solo home run. The next batter, 3B Diego Goris, hit a double, and de Blok was relieved by Mike Groen (Amsterdam Pirates). de Blok's numbers were 5 2/3 innings pitched, two runs on five hits, six strikeouts, and two walks.
The Bravos de León (0-3) were defeated by the Algodoneros (Cotton Farmers) de Unión Laguna (3-0) at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on May 23.
3B Carlos Rivero hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to give the Algodoneros a sweep of the season-opening series.
The game was scoreless for the first four innings. In the bottom of the third, the Bravos tried a hit-and-run with SS Gilberto Carrera on first and CF Tony Campana batting. Campana failed to make contact, and Carrera was an easy out at second base. Carrera ended up hitting a single, and was balked to second base, but was stranded there. In the bottom of the fourth, LF Anthony Giansanti was robbed on a base hit by a good grab by Rivero, ending the inning.
The Algodoneros opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by C Alejandro Flores in the top of the fifth. (The runner on third, 2B Ciro Norzagaray, got there because of a bad throw to second base.) The Bravos answered with a solo home run by DH Frank Diaz in the bottom of the fifth. His home run actually bounced off the top of the fence, and a review determined that it was a home run.
The Algodoneros took the lead for good with Rivero's home run. The Bravos made it a one-run game with a two-run home run by 1B Felix Perez in the bottom of the seventh with nobody out. The Bravos then loaded the bases with consecutive singles by Giansanti and Diaz, and a bunt single by C Alfredo Hurtado. This was the Bravos' big chance; bases loaded, nobody out, and trailing only by a run. The Algodoneros made a pitching change, bringing in RHP Jordan Suarez. The Bravos sent in a pinch-hitter, Daniel Cornejo. Cornejo hit a ground ball, and Giansanti was thrown out at the plate. Then Carrera hit into a double play to end the inning, and the Bravos didn't threaten the rest of the way.
Schedule for the first two days of the 64th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 28-June 4, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):
8:30 AM: #8Keiser(36-16) vs. #9LSU-Shreveport (44-14)
Keiser (West Palm Beach, FL) is making their second trip to the Baseball National Championship. The first one was in 2017, and they went 1-2. Twitter: @KeiserBaseball
Rankings: #17 in coaches' poll, #9 in Boyd Nation's ISR. Strength of Schedule: #10
Quality wins: 3-0 vs. South Carolina-Beaufort, 3-3 vs. Saint Thomas, 2-0 vs. Oklahoma City
Top position players: 3B Tim Bouchard (.403, 16 HR, 67 RBI), OF Matthew Catalfo (.389, 7 HR, 62 RBI), OF Ben McConnell (.356, 6 HR, 40 RBI), SS Mason Dineson (.330, 10 HR, 53 RBI), C Zach Mazur (.253, 14 HR, 53 RBI)
Top Pitchers: RHP Pablo Arevalo (9-3, 1.38 ERA, 114 K), RHP James Reynolds (7-3, 3.65 ERA, 57 K), RHP Deykel Reyes (8-1, 5.52 ERA, 72 K). Arevalo's 1.38 ERA is third-best in the NAIA. He has pitched 117 innings, which is the most in the NAIA.
Coach: Brook Fordyce, fourth season
Outlook: The Seahawks are not at the same level as the top four teams in this tournament.
Louisiana State-Shreveport is making their fourth trip to the Baseball National Championship. The most recent one was 2012, and they finished third. Twitter: @LSUS_Baseball
Rankings: #25 in coaches' poll, #11 in ISR. SoS: #24
Quality wins: Central Methodist, 2-2 vs. Oklahoma City, Mobile, 2-0 vs. Point Park
Top position players: 3B Payton Robertson (.417, 7 HR, 56 RBI), OF Kody Kolb (.408, 45 RBI), DH Taylor Fajardo (.345, 15 HR, 43 RBI)
Top Pitchers: RHP Trent Sholders (6-1, 3.04 ERA, 30 K), LHP Josh Fortenberry (8-2, 3.23 ERA, 63 K), RHP Sebastian Selway (6-3, 3.36 ERA, 86 K), RHP Kevin Miranda (6-3, 5.30 ERA, 70 K), RHP Luisdiego Quintana (4-3, 5.12 ERA, 70 K)
Coach: Brad Neffendorf, second season
Outlook: Either the Pilots or the Seahawks will get a win.
USA defeated the Dominican Republic 10-8 in the third and final game for both teams in the Premier12 qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics. The game was played at Estadio de los Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.
USA led 7-2 after three innings, 8-3 after four innings, and it looked like this game was going to be a blowout. USA got a home run from LF/RF Mark Payton (Las Vegas Aviators) in the first at-bat of the game. SS Jake Cronenworth (Durham Bulls) hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning, and 3B Alec Bohm (Reading Fightin' Phils) hit a three-run home run in the third. 1B Edwin Espinal hit a two-RBI single for DR in the bottom of the second, and an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth.
C Eric Kratz (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders) hit another solo home run in the top of the fifth, and then DR got back in it. SS Geraldo Perdomo (Visalia Rawhide) scored on a ground out. Then C Charlie Valerio (Akron RubberDucks) hit a three-run home run, and the score was 9-7 after five innings. Four runs were charged to submarine RHP Penn Murphy (Modesto Nuts).
At this point, the game changed character to a pitching duel. Neither team scored in the sixth and seventh innings. RHP Wyatt Mills (Arkansas Travelers), who throws sidearm, got it done for USA; two perfect innings, two strikeouts. He got through the sixth inning on seven pitches. He ended up getting the win. RHP Kelvin Gonzalez (Hickory Crawdads) allowed one hit and one base on balls over the same two innings. He was helped with a pickoff by Valerio to end the top of the seventh.
Mexico defeated USA 8-2 in the second game for both teams in the Premier12 qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics. The game was played at Estadio de los Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Six Mexico pitchers combined to hold USA to six hits. RHP Felipe Gonzalez (Monterrey) got the win, but RHP Jesus Cruz (Memphis Redbirds) RHP Carlos Bustamente (Monclova) were especially effective. They both pitched two hitless innings. Cruz struck out two, and Bustamente struck out three.
The Mexicans got on the board in the top of the first. The first pitch of the game from RHP Tanner Houck (Pawtucket Red Sox) hit CF Jonathan Jones (Yucatan). He moved to second on a single by LF Juan Perez (Saltillo). Both of them moved up a base on a ground out by 2B Esteban Quiroz (El Paso Chihuahuas), then scored on a single by 3B Christian Villanueva (Yomiyuri Giants).
The Dominican Republic defeated The Netherlands 14-4 in a game halted by the mercy rule after seven innings. This was the second game for both teams in the Premier12 qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics. The game was played at Estadio de los Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.
CF Roger Bernardina (Unión Laguna) of The Netherlands hit the first pitch in the bottom of the first over the fence. Four batters later, C Chadwick Tromp (Louisville Bats) hit a two-run home run, and The Netherlands had a 3-0 lead.
The Netherlands didn't score again until the sixth inning, when SS Sharlon Schoop (L&D Amsterdam) came home on a wild pitch. Meanwhile, DR scored in every inning, and came a run short of putting it away with six runs in the top of the sixth. C Charlie Valerio (Akron RubberDucks) got it started with a home run in the top of the second. DR tied it with two runs in the top of the third, and CF Gilberto Celestino (Fort Myers Miracle) hit an RBI double in the top of the fourth for the winning run.
The Bravos de León (46-68) defeated the Leones (Lions) de Yucatán (64-51) at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on August 25. This was the Bravos' final home game of the season. They lost the previous four games. This was a good ball game, so they finished the season on a positive note, in front of a good crowd.
The Bravos got all five of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. SS Marco Jaime got it started with a single. 3B Marco Guzman hit a double, the 1B Matt Clark was hit hard by a pitch to load the bases. (Clark returned to first base in the top of the fourth, but was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fourth.) The next batter, DH Carlos Rivero, hit a ground ball that resulted in a force out at second base, but Jaime scored. LF Felix Pie hit a double to score Guzman. RF Cedric Hunter drew a walk to load the bases again, then CF Jose Cardona hit a two-RBI single. 2B Carlos Alvarez hit a single to score Hunter, then C Omar Renteria hit into a double play to end the inning.
The Bravos de León (42-60) split a double-header with the Guerreros (Warriors) de Oaxaca (57-46) at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on August 11. The Guerreros won the first game 6-1, and the Bravos won the second game 9-3.
First game: LHP Alex Delgado when the seven-inning distance for the Guerreros. The Guerreros out-hit the Bravos 13-6, and Delgado struck out seven, walked one.
The Guerreros got on the board in the top of the third inning when LF Alonzo Harris hit a double with two out, and scored on a single by 2B-1B Alex Valdez. The next batter, 1B Moises Sierra, hit a single, but missed a chance to do further damage with a base-running blunder. A pitch by Bravos starter RHP Alex Sanabia bounced off the catcher's mitt and back to the mound. Sierra had gone to second, thinking that it was a passed ball. Valdez started for third, then went back. Sanabia threw to second, and Sierra was tagged out because he and Valdez were unable to occupy second at the same time.
The Bravos de León (31-44) defeated the Acereros (Steelers) de Monclova (47-29) 3-0 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 9. On a night designated as "the night of the Samurai" by the Bravos, RHP Yasutomo Kubo and RHP Manny Acosta combined for a one-hit shutout of one of the best teams in the Mexican League.
The Bravos got the only run they needed in the bottom of the first inning, on a home run by LF Cedric Hunter. They added a run in the bottom of the second when 2B Marco Guzman led off with a single, then scored from third base on a ground out by RF Jeremias Pineda. The Acereros got their only hit of the game when 3B Rodolfo Amado led off the top of the third inning with a double. He went to third on a ground ball, but was stranded after a ground out and a strikeout. The Acereros didn't get a runner past second the rest of the game.
The Bravos got an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. The inning started with Acereros starter RHP Francisco Rodriguez being relieved by RHP Jaime Lugo. C Israel Nunez led off with a single. He was bunted to second. The Acereros replaced Lugo with LHP Justin Kelly. He walked the first batter he faced. Nunez went to third on a fly out by by SS Marco Jaime. Hunter then hit a high popup that should have ended the inning, but CF Juan Carlos Perez lost track of it. Nunez was already home when the ball hit the ground.
Players from NAIA schools taken in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft:
|2B||Cam Coursey||Georgia Gwinnett||13||392||Diamondbacks||story|
|SS||Aaron Shackelford||The Master's||14||424||Pirates||story|
|RHP||Shaine McNeely||Hope International||16||496||Yankees|
|LHP||Niall Windeler||British Columbia||19||569||Twins||story|
|RHP||Bryce Milligan||Oklahoma City||19||593||Brewers|
|RHP||Eddie Tavarez||Peru State||21||643||Brewers||story|
|RHP||Matthew Swain||Georgia Gwinnett||23||689||Twins|
|RHP||Justin Friedman||Hope International||26||770||White Sox|
|C||Anthony Lepre||The Master's||28||846||Mariners|
|CF||Elliott Cary||Oklahoma City||29||862||Tigers|
|2B||Jackie Urbaez||Saint Thomas||29||883||Brewers|
|RHP||Peyton Long||Central Methodist||30||913||Brewers||story|
|C||Dylan Shockley||Rio Grande||34||1,024||Pirates|
|LF||Willie Carter||Webber International||34||1,027||Braves|