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Jantzen Lucas - Photo by Bob BroughtonAt Vancouver, BC. This game had an obvious turning point. The Warriors took a 5-2 lead with four runs in the top of the fifth inning on a run walked in, an RBI on a ground out by Charlie Updegrave, and a two-RBI single by Brandon Cabrera. In the bottom of the fifth, the Warriors brought in Jantzen Lucas to relieve starter Hiroyuki Yamada. He was greeted with three straight singles by Aaron Marsh, Trent Lenihan, and Jonny McGill, and the Thunderbirds had the bases loaded with nobody out. The bases were still loaded at the end of the inning, because Lucas struck out the next three batters. He pitched two more innings, recorded three more strikeouts, and allowed only one more hit. The only time the Thunderbirds threatened to score during the rest of the game was when they got a runner to third in the eighth inning; the Thunderbirds hit the ball hard a couple of times in that inning, but they went directly to Warrior fielders.

Shane Spencer - photo by Bob BroughtonAt Vancouver, BC. First game: Lewis-Clark State 3, British Columbia 1. All three Warriors runs were from solo home runs; Dominic Signorelli and Charlie Updegrave in the top of the fourth, and Jake Gish in the top of the sixth. The Thunderbirds missed two good chances to score during the first eight innings. The bottom of the sixth ended when Ardan Berg hit a single to left field, and Aaron Marsh tried to score from second. He was out at the plate, the result of a perfect throw from left fielder Nick Seamons. In the bottom of the eighth, the Thunderbirds had runners at first and second with two out. Berg hit a sharp ground ball in the direction of second baseman Magnum Hofstetter, and Hofstetter made a great play to keep the ball from getting into the outfield, and threw to first to get the out and end the threat.

Both starters were still in the game in the ninth inning. Warrior starter Shane Spencer came as close as a pitcher could get to a complete game shutout without actually getting one. He struck out Kaden Zarowny for what should have been the final out of the game, but the ball got away from the catcher, and Zarowny got to first base to keep the Thunderbirds alive. Zarowny then stole second, then scored to end the shutout on a single by Jonny McGill. The Thunderbirds then had Trent Lenihan at the plate representing the tying run. The Warriors brought in their closer, Cameron Smith, who has not had a blown save this season. Lenihan worked the count to 3-and-2, and fouled off two pitches, but struck out swinging at a changeup.

Spencer’s numbers were 8 2/3 innings pitched, one run on seven hits, eight strikeouts. Thunderbird starter Daniel Orfaly pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on seven hits, struck out three. Gish and Brandon Cabrera each had two hits for the Warriors. McGill finished 3-for-5 with two doubles. Box score and play-by-play

Drake George – photo by Alisha Alexander

Drake George, who pitched seven shutout innings a week ago, went the distance in this one, threw 110 pitches, allowed eight hits, only two earned runs, and struck out nine.

Thunderbird starter Ryan Beitel was able to keep it close for four innings. The Thunderbirds got a break in the bottom of the first inning when a high ground ball hit by Jonny McGill bounced off the glove of Warrior shortstop Dominic Signorelli. The next batter, Mitchell Middlemiss, hit an RBI single. However, the Thunderbirds did no further damage in that inning, because Warriors center fielder Carter Booth made a good catch of a line drive hit by Daniel Draayers. The Warriors got a run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Magnum Hofstetter, then got all the runs they needed in the fifth inning. It started when Hofstetter hit a popup that was lost in the sun. Two batters later, Nick Seamons got an RBI by reaching on a fielder’s choice. He was followed by Signorelli, who hit a three-run home run to give the Warriors a 5-2 lead. Brandon Cabrera hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning, and another two-run home run in the eighth inning. The Thunderbirds didn’t score again until the bottom of the ninth.

Beitel got the loss. Cabrera finished 3-for-5 with four RBI. Middlemiss, Draayers, and Kyle Anderson each had two hits for the Thunderbirds. Box score and play-by-play recap

2023 MLB Draft

Players from NAIA schools taken in the 2023 Major League Baseball draft:

Position

Player

School

Round

Overall

MLB team

Story

RHP/OF

Tucker Musgrove

Mobile

7

221

Padres

story

RHP

Hector Garcia Jr.

Hope International

18

537

Twins

story

Westmont 7, Lewis-Clark State 6: Westmont wins NAIA championship

Result of the final day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID, June 2.

Westmont 7, Lewis-Clark State 6

Parker O’Neil drew a bases-loaded walk with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game and Westmont’s first-ever national championship.

The decisive inning started with a ground out. Robbie Haw reached first on a throwing error, then went to second on a ground out. L-C State’s pitcher, Drake George, who entered the game in the third inning, was relieved by Greg Blackman. Ryan DeSaegher was intentionally walked, and replaced by a pinch runner, Paul Mezurashi. With Bryce McFeely at the plate, Haw and Mezcurashi executed a perfect double steal. McFeely drew a walk to load the bases, then O’Neil drew the walk for the winning run.

L-C State opened the scoring with a solo home run by Isaiah Thomas in the top of the second inning. Westmont answered with a two-RBI single by Liam Critchett. (Both teams have the Warriors nickname.) DeSaegher hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third, reached on a fielding error to bring in a run in the bottom of the fourth, and Westmont led 5-1.

L-C State got back in it with a three-run home run by Charlie Updegrave in the top of the fifth. Westmont added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a very unusual play. McFeely hit what should have been an inning-ending ground out to George on the mound. George probably could have just run the ball to first for

NAIA Baseball National Championship, semifinals

Results of the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID for May 31.

Lewis-Clark State 15, William Carey 6 (William Carey eliminated)

The Warrriors lit up a depleted Crusader pitching staff with six home runs. The barrage started with a three-run home run by Nick Seamons in the bottom of the second inning, chasing Crusader starter Andrew Shirah. The Warriors led 6-0 after two innings. The Crusaders got back into it with six runs in the top of the fourth inning, starting with a two-RBI triple by Rigoberto Hernandez. Hernandez scored on a ground out by Caleb Laird. Bobby Lada hit a three-run home run to tie the game 6-6, but the Crusaders didn’t score again the rest of the way. Isaiah Thomas hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. Seamons hit his second home run of the game, for two runs, in the bottom of the fifth.

At that point, the Warriors led 9-6, and the game was still within reach for the Crusaders. However, the Warriors started the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run by Jakob Marquez. After an out on a popup, Carter Booth hit a home run. That chased John Snyder, who entered the game in the second inning. His replacement, Caeleb Williams, faced three batters, walked two of them. Williams was replaced by Connor Adams, and he was greeted with a three-run home run by Thomas, his second of the game. Dominic Signorelli hit a single, and scored on a double by Pu’ukani De Sa to complete the scoring. Every one of the Warriors’ starting position players got a hit.

NAIA Baseball National Championship, fourth day

Results of the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID for May 30.

Lewis-Clark State 8, Taylor 3 (Taylor eliminated)

The Warriors took at 5-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a grand slam home run by Dominic Signorelli. After that, Greg Blackman and Alec Holmes held the Trojans to two hits over the next seven innings. Blackman entered the game in the top of the first inning after Warrior starter Dallas McGill gave up a two-run home run by T.J. Bass. He pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowed one run (unearned) on two hits, walked five, and struck out five. Holmes came in in the sixth inning and went the rest of the way. He didn’t allow a hit until two out in the top of the ninth. He struck out two, and walked one.

The rest of the Warriors’ runs all came on sacrifice flies, by Isaiah Thomas in the fifth inning, and Nick Seamons in the sixth and eighth innings. Thomas finished 2-for-3 with a double. Bass finished 2-for-5. Kaleb Kolpien finished 2-for-3, and drew a walk to force in only other Trojan run. Trojan starter Gabel Pentecost got the loss.

NAIA Baseball National Championship, third day

Results of the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID for May 29.

Indiana Wesleyan 11, Georgia Gwinnett 10 (Georgia Gwinnett eliminated)

The Wildcats got ten runs in the first two innings, and they needed every one of them, plus one more that they added in the bottom of the eighth.

The Wildcats’ barrage was led by three-run home runs by Ty Mathews and Jeff Morton in the second inning. However, the Grizzlies got back into the game with five runs in the top of the fourth, led by a three-run home run by Braxton Meguilar, and a solo home run by Caden Smith. Ajay Szcepkowski added another solo home run in the fifth, and the Wildcats’ lead was cut to 10-6. The Grizzlies made it a one-run game by scoring three runs in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Cohen Wilbanks, an RBI single by Devin Warner, and a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Brody Parkerson. However, in the bottom of the eighth, the Bobcats got what turned out to be a crucial insurance run. The Grizzlies got within one run again with Szcepkowski’s second home run of the game in the top of the ninth, but the game ended with a double play.

NAIA Baseball National Championship preview

Schedule for the first two days of the 66th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 26-June 2, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

Friday, 8:35 AM: #10 seed MidAmerica Nazarene (34-26) vs. #7 Taylor (40-15)

MidAmerica Nazarene (Olathe, KS) is making their second appearance in the Baseball National Championship. They went 0-2 last year. They were runners-up in the Heart of America Conference tournament. Twitter: @mnusports
Nickname: Pioneers
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #67 in Boyd Nation's Iterative Strength Rating (ISR). Strength of Schedule: #65
Quality wins: 3-2 vs. Central Methodist, Morningside, 2-1 vs. LSU-Shreveport
Top position players: 1B/RHP Noah Castillo (.357, 11 HR, 45 RBI, and 1-6, 7.45 ERA, 26 K on the mound), SS Brycen Sherwood (.304, 10 HR, 37 RBI), IF Javier Melendez (Salinas, Puerto Rico; .350, 8 HR, 47 RBI), OF Sean Maple (.300, 8 HR, 36 RBI), 3B Dionathan Cornet (San Nicolas, Aruba; .282, 9 HR, 43 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Reece Holland (Moose Jaw, SK; 5-0, 3.52 ERA, 25 K), RHP Zach Trevino (9-2, 4.06 ERA, 98 K), LHP Kristian Hurtado (3-1, 3.58 ERA, 30 K), RHP Tyler Frieders (10-5, 4.85 ERA, 96 K)
Coach: Ryan Thompson, 17th season
Outlook: The Pioneers have improved their pitching since last year, but it might not be enough to come home with a win.

Taylor (Upland, IN) is making their second appearance in the Baseball National Championship; the previous one was in 1969. They won the Crossroads League regular season championship. Twitter: @taylorbaseball
Nickname: Trojans
Rankings: #19 in coaches' poll, #27 in ISR. SoS: #64
Quality wins: Benedictine-Mesa, Kansas Wesleyan, 4-0 vs. Indiana Wesleyan
Top position players: RHP/OF Kaleb Kolpien (.431, 6 HR, 51 RBI), C Ben Kalbaugh (.346, 7 HR, 46 RBI), 1B Cade Vander Molen (.305, 13 HR, 58 RBI), C/OF T.J. Bass (.281, 18 HR, 56 RBI). Kolpien's average is the 17th highest in the NAIA.
Top pitchers: RHP Jack Ross (6-0, 2.89 ERA, 51 K, 8 saves), RHP Matt Dutkowski (7-2, 3.35 ERA, 81 K), RHP Alec Holcomb (6-2, 4.64 ERA, 66 K), RHP Dalton Swinehart (4-1, 5.45 ERA, 72 K)
Coach: Kyle Gould, 19th season
Outlook: The Trojans should win a game.

2022 MLB draft

Players from NAIA schools taken in the 2022 Major League Baseball draft:

Position Player School Round Overall MLB team Story
C Simon Reid Westmont 10 315 Dodgers story
OF Chris Williams Jr. William Carey 18 537 Tigers story
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