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Matt Parker is the Head Coach at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville.

Bob Broughton, courtesyrunner.com: You've been the Head Coach at Oklahoma Wesleyan for three years, and have had a winning record all three years. You took the Eagles for their first trip to the Baseball National Championship. What were the big factors in turning things around?
Matt Parker: I think the biggest thing for us in the process has been recruiting guys who fit our program and our University. Our coaching staff has really focused on finding those tough, gritty kind of players who fit our style of play. The other factor has been getting guys who buy into and believe in our program and the direction it is headed.

BB: Your team certainly got their money's worth in Lewiston: a ten-inning loss to eventual champion Cumberland, a 12-inning win over Tabor, and an 11-inning win over #1 Oklahoma Baptist. Let's talk about that Cumberland game first. How often does anyone come up against a ten-inning relief appearance?
MP: We definitely got all we bargained for in Lewiston. The relief appearance by the guy from Cumberland [RHP Clint Meadows] was tremendous! If you are going to win a National Championship, you need someone to step up and do something out of the ordinary, and he certainly did that. He really saved their bullpen that night. I thought we did a good job swinging the bat against him. I think we scored 7 runs that game, but he was good at dodging the big inning and keeping it small for them.

BB: And you missed a chance to win it in the ninth with a baserunning mistake. What happened there?
MP: We did have a chance. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what happened on the play. I know that Jose Ruiz drove the ball down the right field line with Jeff Butler on first. Jeff is a tremendous base runner, but I think got deked a little bit by the ball. I guess he lost the ball in the lights and turned around to see the outfielder catch it off the bounce. Jeff thought he had caught it in the air and began to return to first to tag up. By the time he and Jose saw each other, it was too late and they had passed one another.

Southern Polytechnic State University, in Marietta, GA, announced that they are discontinuing all athletic programs, effective July 1, 2014. The decision was fallout from Southern Polytechnic's merger with Kennesaw State. Press release

This is the loss of a successful baseball program. The Hornets made three trips to the Baseball National Championship. The most recent one was this season, where they got a win over Georgetown College before being taken out by Lewis-Clark State. They were ranked #8 at the end of the season. They got into the Opening Round by winning the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament.

The Hornets has a record of 350 wins and 137 losses since 2007. They won four other conference tournaments.

Also, Virginia Intermont College in Bristol closed its doors in May. The Cobras were 29-18 in 2013, and and 21-30 in 2014.

 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 23:00

The 2014 MLB draft

Players for NAIA schools taken in the 2014 MLB draft:

RHP Julian Merryweather, Oklahoma Baptist, Indians, fifth round (#158) story

LHP Brad Wieck, Oklahoma City, Mets, seventh round (#205) story

RHP Chris Pike, Oklahoma City, Rays, ninth round (#277) story

RHP Daniel Poncedeleon, Embry-Riddle, Cardinals, ninth round (#285) story

RHP Jay Gause, Faulkner, Astros, tenth round (#286) story

LHP Thomas Dorminy, Faulkner, Padres, tenth round (#297) story

RF Matthew Page, Oklahoma Baptist, Nationals, tenth round (#304) story

LHP Emilio Ogando, Saint Thomas, Royals, 12th round (#363) story

C Darryl Knight, Embry-Riddle, Mets, 14th round (#415) story

LHP Brennan Henry, Bellevue, Royals, 17th round (#513) story

LHP Michael Nolan, Oklahoma City, A's, 18th round (#552) story

RHP Jacob Webb, Tabor, Braves, 18th round (#553) story

CF Blake Drake, Concordia-Portland, Cardinals, 18th round (#555) story

RHP Tyler Wilson, Tennessee Wesleyan, Padres, 20th round (#597)

SS Osvaldo Vela, Oklahoma Baptist, Dodgers, 21st round (#639) story

1B Bryan Muniz, Southeastern, Astros, 22nd round (#646) story

C John Fidanza, Georgia Gwinnett, Diamondbacks, 23rd round (#690) story

RHP Zeke McGranahan, Georgia Gwinnett,  Orioles, 23rd round (#691) story

RHP Gabriel Hemmer, San Diego Christian, Tigers, 24th round (#730) story

RHP Tyler Carpenter, Georgia Gwinnett, Angels, 25th round (#749) story

LHP Kyle Kinman, Bellevue, Braves, 25th round (#763) story

CF Cade Gotta, San Diego Christian, Rays, 26th round (#787) story

2B Trevor Sprowl, Auburn-Montgomery, Braves, 26th round (#793)

1B Ryan Jones, Arizona Christian, White Sox, 27th round (#797)

RF Cody Lavalli, Lewis-Clark State, Angels, 27th round (#809) story

RHP Evin Einhardt, Brewton-Parker, White Sox, 29th round (#858)

RHP Jacob Butler, Saint Francis (IL), Tigers, 29th round (#880)

SS Josciel Veras, Cumberland, Reds, 30th round (#905)

LHP Timothy Hill, Bacone, Royals, 32nd round (#963)

OF Edwin Medina, Saint Thomas, Astros, 33nd round (#976)

RHP Keegan Yuhl, Concordia-Irvine, Astros, 35th round (#1036)

RHP Joey Aquino, San Diego Christian, Blue Jays, 35th round (#1044) story

LHP Spencer Hermann, Fisher, Mariners, 36th round (#1071)

C Brandon Gildea, Westmont, Astros, 36h round (#1079) story

RHP Cody Chartrand, Lewis-Clark State, Rangers, 36th round (#1086) story

RHP Andre Del Bosque, Houston-Victoria, Mets, 38th round (#1142)

Oklahoma Baptist, Georgia Gwinnett, and San Diego Christian each had three players drafted.

The Cumberland Bulldogs won their third national championship by defeating Lewis-Clark State 3-0. Anthony Gomez pitched his second complete game of the tournament, allowed six hits, threw 138 pitches. It was his second win of the tournament over the Warriors. The only run he allowed in the previous game was unearned.

RF Richie Seaton hit a two-RBI double in the second inning for the winning run. Attendance: 5,010

Box score and play-by-play

2B Sam Lind was the tournament MVP. Jeff Butler of Oklahoma Wesleyan won the Charles Berry Hustle Award.

Story from NAIA: Cumberland (Tenn.) Wins Third All-Time World Series

Story from Cumberland site: Bulldogs claim third national title with 3-0 victory

 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 00:00

National Championship, day 3

The Memorial Day prime-time game was a ten-inning barn burner. Cumberland's starter was pulled after giving up three runs and not recording an out. Clint Meadows took over, and made a ten-inning relief appearance, allowed four runs on nine hits. Richie Seaton singled in the winning run with two out in the bottom of the tenth. Story by Brian Adamowsky: Cumberland Continues Magical Run with Walk-Off Win

Top seed Oklahoma Baptist dodged a bullet. They gave up two runs in the first, and left the bases loaded. They held defending champion Faulkner off the scoreboard the rest of the way, but didn't put the game away until they scored five runs in the eighth inning. The Bison play Cumberland in a matchup of unbeaten teams at 6:30 PM PDT.

Lewis-Clark State stayed in the tournament with a 9-1 win over Southern Polytechnic, in a game that was close until the eighth inning. The Warriors play Faulkner in a loser-out game at noon PDT.

Tabor stayed in the tournament with another one-run win, 6-5 over Georgia Gwinnett. The Bluejays came up with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to do it. They tied it with an RBI double by Grant Silva. Silva stole third, then scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Seeger. The Bluejays were out-hit 13-6. They play Oklahoma Wesleyan in a loser-out game at 3 PM.

Dakstats page with results, box scores

NAIA Schedule and Results page with links to recaps

Live video from nmnathletics

Live radio from KOZE

Sunday, 25 May 2014 00:00

National Championship, first two days

Of the eight games played so far, four of them were decided by one run. Cumberland got two big wins. The fans saw excellent pitching performances by Julian Merryweather of Oklahoma Baptist and Anthony Gomez of Cumberland. Saturday night's game drew 4,175. Unless you're a fan of San Diego Christian or Georgetown College, this tournament is going well.

Dakstats page with results, box scores

NAIA Schedule and Results page with links to recaps

Live video from nmnathletics

Live radio from KOZE

A slide show of pictures taken by The Master's College photographer Tony Berru:

 

Results from the third day of the Opening Round tournament in Santa Clarita, CA:

British Columbia 4, Davenport 3
San Diego Christian 2, British Columbia 0

British Columbia 4, Davenport 3 (Davenport eliminated)

The Thunderbirds trailed 3-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. SS Tyson Popoff led off with a single. CF Bryan followed with a double. The Panthers brought in Ryan Butzer to replace reliever Jonanthan Cheshire, and RF Jerod Bartnik was intentionally walked. With the tying run on third and nobody out, the Panthers had the infield at double-play depth. LF Tyler Enns hit a single to score Popoff and tie the game. With the bases still loaded, 3B Kevin Biro was hit by a pitch, scoring Arthur to end the game.

The Panthers led the game most of the way. They got on the board first when DH E.J. Grochowalski came home on a double play in the fourth inning. They took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning on an RBI double by SS Derek Dennis and a sacrifice fly by Grochowalski.

Results from the second day of the Opening Round tournament in Santa Clarita, CA:

Vanguard 2, The Master's 0 (The Master's eliminated)
San Diego Christian 2, Davenport 1
British Columbia 10, Vanguard 4 (Vanguard eliminated)

Vanguard 2, The Master's 0 (The Master's eliminated)

RHP Eddie Rivera pitched the third shutout of the tournament in four games, and the host team went two-and-out without scoring a run. Rivera held the Mustangs to one hit, struck out three, walked two, threw 106 pitches.

The winning run came in the second inning, on a classic example of small ball. CF Thomas Mobley led off with a double, was bunted to third base by RF John Schwer, then scored on a sacrifice fly by 2B Taylor McKnight. The insurance run came in the eighth inning, when SS Nick Rodda scored on a single by LF Brandon Sandoval. Rodda reached on a fielder's choice, then went to third on a bad pickoff attempt.

British Columbia 1, Vanguard 0
Davenport 4, The Master's 0
San Diego Christian 12, British Columbia 2

British Columbia 1, Vanguard 0

RF Jerod Bartnik led off the eighth inning with a home run off RHP Clayton Voechting for the only run of the game. Voechting had struck out the side in the previous inning, and the home run was only the second hit he had allowed.

LHP Conor Lillis-White, LHP Sean Callegari, and RHP Matt Thornton combined for the shutout, and allowed a total of six hits; Callegari got the win. However, much of the credit should go to the Thunderbirds' defense, which has traditionally been among the best in the NAIA. The Thunderbirds and second in the NAIA with a fielding percentage of .975. (The Master's is first, at .978.)

The Thunderbirds had a double play in the first inning. 2B Matt Spillman made a good defensive play to prevent a run from scoring in the third inning. CF Bryan Arthur robbed 1B Ian Sakry of a hit in the fifth inning. In the bottom of the seventh, a bunt attempt with runners at first and second with nobody out resulted in a force out at third. C Brody Hawkins caught courtesy runner Justin Davis attempting to steal third for the second out of the inning, then threw out Sakry attempting to steal second to end the inning. Callegari picked off a baserunner at first in the eighth inning.

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