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Sunday, 15 November 2015 17:36

2016 Preseason top 25

The 2016 NAIA Baseball Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll (Nov. 10)

1 1 Lewis-Clark State (ID) 46-12 467
2 2 St. Thomas (FL) 48-18 448
3 3 Faulkner (AL) 51-15 437
4 7 Tabor (KS) 54-12 417
5 11 Oklahoma City 46-13 397
6 9 Davenport (MI) 51-12 395
7 10 Lindsey Wilson (KY) 41-19 385
8 13 Georgia Gwinnett 50-14 354
9 14 Oklahoma Wesleyan 49-14 324
10 24 The Master’s (CA) 42-14 321
11 15 LSU Shreveport (LA) 46-14 303
12 16 Bellevue (NE) 46-15 292
13 18 Auburn Montgomery (AL) 40-18 285
14 12 Tennessee Wesleyan 45-12 278
15 20 Keiser (FL)
(formerly Northwood)
42-14 270
16 19 Westmont (CA) 41-17 242
17 17 Northwestern Ohio 45-15 233
18 23 Freed-Hardeman (TN) 37-16 205
19 22 Campbellsville (KY) 30-13 184
20 21 Sterling (KS) 47-15 178
21 RV Missouri Baptist 43-13 167
22 8 Vanguard (CA) 39-22 154
23 25 Bryan (TN) 46-18 130
24 RV LSU Alexandria (LA) 39-16 91
25 RV Rio Grande (OH) 35-22 76

 First place votes: Lewis-Clark State 17

Thursday, 05 November 2015 06:56

Interview with Saint Thomas Coach Jorge Perez

Jorge Perez is the Head Coach of the Saint Thomas University Bobcats. The Bobcats were runners-up at the NAIA Baseball National Champiosnip last season, and Perez was selected ABCA/Diamond Regional Coach of the Year. His record at Saint Thomas over seven seasons is 240-172.

Bob Broughton, In the final game of the National Championship tournament last Spring, you led Lewis-Clark State 7-1 after five innings, and 7-4 after seven innings. What was going through the minds of you and your players at that stage of the game?

Jorge Perez: We did not get caught up in the score of the game.  We were living in the moment and thinking pitch-by-pitch.

BB: But you got two big wins in the tournament over Oklahoma Baptist and Faulkner. Tell us about them.

JP: We felt good vs. Oklahoma Baptist. We led the entire game and played very well. Faulkner’s game was a true indication of the character of this team. We played the entire 27 outs.

BB: And on the way, you got a shutout against a good Westmont team.

JP: Our ace Marcos Barrios pitched great and we got several clutch hits when we needed them.

Wednesday, 04 November 2015 22:53

2016 Preseason All-Americans

The headliners are DH Keivan Berges of Keiser (Formerly Northwood FL) and LHP Adam Hines of LSU-Shreveport. Berges batted .333 with 156 home runs last season. Hines had an ERA of 0.96, and pitched seven complete games, including four straight. OF Colton Nash of Bellevue batted .352, hit grand slam home runs in three consecutive games. RHP Curtis Taylor of British Columbia had an ERA of 1.02. SS Cabe Reiten of Lewis-Clark State batted .411, started all 58 games.







Ryan Crowe

Westmont (Calif.)


Ladera Ranch, Calif.


Scott Morton

Briar Cliff (Iowa)


Ventura, Calif.


Alex Bush

Westmont (Calif.)


Menifee, Calif.


Houston Looser

Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)


Muscle Shoals, Ala.


Alex Couch

Tabor (Kan.)


Castlewood, Va.


Cabe Reiten

Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)


Spanaway, Wash.


Wardy Polanco

Tennessee Wesleyan


Haverstraw, N.Y.


Keivan Berges

Keiser (Fla.)


Wellington, Fla.


Logan Coughlin

IU Southeast (Ind.)


Brownsburg, Ind.


Jordan Espino

Sterling (Kan.)


Buena Park, Calif.


Preston King

Bryan (Tenn.)


Kingston, Tenn.


Colton Nash

Bellevue (Neb.)


Bonney Lake, Wash.


Adam Hines

LSU Alexandria (La.)


Bunkie, La.


Victor Arche

Faulkner (Ala.)


Miami, Fla.


Brandon Guske

Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.)


Spring Hill, Tenn.


Phillipe Graham

MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)


St. Chrysostome, Quebec


Curtis Taylor

British Columbia


Port Coquitlam, B.C.

A three-run home run by LF Jose Ruiz in the top of the sixth inning provided the winning run for the Acereros (Steelers).

The game was tied 1-1 going into the sixth. CF Eliezer Ortiz opened the scoring with a home run in the bottom of the third for the Rieleros (Railroaders), and 3B Olmo Rosario hit a long home run over the center field fence. Rieleros starter RHP Fredy Quintero was replaced by LHP Jose Sanchez after Quintero walked Rosario to start the sixth inning. Sanchez only faced two batters. He walked the first one, DH Brett Harper. (He was obviously having control problems.) The second batter he faced was Ruiz, and the result was the home run.

Ruiz' home run seemed to wake up the Rieleros offensively. DH Saul Soto led off the bottom of the sixth with a double. The next batter, 3B Danny Richar, drew a walk, and Soto and Richar moved to third and second on a wild pitch by Acereros starter RHP Jose Oyervidez. The next batter, C Carlos Rodriguez, hit a fly ball that was very close to being a three-run home run, but was a sacrifice fly instead. Richar moved to third. The next batter hit a popup that wasn't deep enough for Richar to come home, and he was stranded on third when a ground out ended the inning.

The Rieleros (Railroaders) of Aguascalientes entered this game one game out of the Mexican League playoffs. They played tonight like they want that playoff spot, but came up short in extra innings.

The starter for the Rieleros, Dominican Republican RHP Lorenzo Barcelo, has good credentials for playing in this league; he pitched 66 innings for the White Sox during 2000-02. He was upstaged by Acereros (Steelers) starter RHP Josh Lowey of Fort Walton Beach, FL, who played college ball at Mercer, then played several seasons of independent league ball before going to the Acereros last season. Lowey pitched six innings, allowed two runs on six hits, struck out nine. When he left the game, the Aceros had a 7-2 lead.

The lead didn't hold up. The first reliever for the Acereros, Juan Ramon Noriega, was charged with three runs on three hits, didn't record an out, and the Acereros lead was 7-5 after seven innings. (A sacrifice fly by 1B Jesus Castillo was just short of a three-run home run.) Rieleros relievers Emmanuel Torres and Jose Sanchez were able to keep the Acereos off the board in the top of the eighth. (The scoreboard in Estadio Alberto Romo Cavez doesn't show pitch speeds, but Torres was throwing some serious heat.) The Rieleros then took an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the eighth on a leadoff home run by 3B Danny Richar, followed by RBI singles by RF Carlos Ibarra and pinch-hittehr Omar Mendoza. Ibarra scored the go-ahead run, and it was the result of a defensive mistake. On his base hit, the Acereros threw home, even though the run had scored long before the throw. Ibarra was able to move to second on this throw, putting him in scoring position for Mendoza.

The USA won the first-ever women's baseball gold medal at the Pan American Games in Ajax, Ontario, defeating Canada 11-3 in the final. The game drew a capacity crowd of 5,224.

RHP Marti Sementelli, who played baseball and softball at Montreat, played a key role in this. She made two appearances, both in the preliminary round. She pitched the final inning of a 10-6 win over Venezuela, allowed no hits, walked one. She started the final preliminary round game against Canada, which the USA won 3-1. She pitched six shutout innings, scattered seven hits, struck out three, walked one, and got the win. She had to pitch her way out of a bases loaded and no outs situation in the fifth inning, and escaped with a pair of popups and a strikeout.

This game decided first place in the preliminary round, which meant that the USA got the next day off while Canada had to play Venezuela to get into the gold medal game. USA Coach Jonathan Pollard said, "Marti is probably our most experienced vet on this team with the exception of [Malaika] Underwood. No moment is too big for her which is why we had her going against Canada because we knew she could handle situations like that.”

Sementelli, of Sherman Oaks, CA, made 15 relief appearances for the Cavaliers in 2012, her freshman year. Her numbers were 0-1 (two saves), 5.94 ERA, seven strikeouts, and four bases on balls in 16 2/3 innings pitched. She switched to softball for the remainder of her time at Montreat.

Story from USA Baseball: WNT advances to gold-medal game with 3-1 win over Canada

Canada won its second straight gold medal in baseball in the 2015 Pan American Games, played in Ajax, Ontario.

In both 2011 and 2015, alumni of NAIA schools played a key role in Canada's win. The 2011 team had four players who played at NAIA schools, and RHP Chris Kissock of Lewis-Clark State played a key role for that team (story).

The 2015 edition included two NAIA alumni, LHP Jeff Francis of British Columbia and RHP Jared Mortensen of LSU-Shreveport. Francis got two saves during the preliminary round, retired all six batters he faced, struck out two of them. He was called upon to start the gold medal game against the USA. He went seven innings, allowed four runs (two of them on a home run by DH Patrick Kivlehan [Mariners organization, Rutgers]) on eight hits, struck out seven, and walked one. He got a no-decision; the game was tied 4-4 when he left it. Canada ultimately won the game 7-6 in ten innings; the tying and winning runs came on a bad pickoff attempt followed by a throwing error.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 10:56

2015 MLB draft

Players from NAIA schools taken in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft:

Pick Round Team Player Story School Pos.
64 2 Kansas City Royals Josh Staumont story Azusa Pacific,
transfer from Biola
164 5 Washington Nationals Taylor Hearn story Oklahoma Baptist LHP
166 6 Arizona Diamondbacks Tyler Mark story Concordia (Calif.) RHP
296 10 Miami Marlins Kelvin Rivas story Oklahoma Baptist RHP
306 10 San Francisco Giants Tyler Cyr story Embry-Riddle (Fla.) RHP
364 12 Cleveland Indians Ryan Perez story Judson (Ill.) LHP
441 15 Boston Red Sox Jerry Downs story St. Thomas (Fla.) OF
488 16 Oakland Athletics Dustin Hurlbutt story Tabor (Kan.) RHP
506 17 Miami Marlins Max Whitt story Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) SS
526 18 Arizona Diamondbacks Daniel Comstock story Menlo (Calif.) C
547 18 Pittsburgh Pirates Stephan Meyer story Bellevue (Neb.) RHP
571 19 Milwaukee Brewers Steven Karkenny story The Master's (Calif.) 1B
578 19 Oakland Athletics Seth Brown   Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 1B
584 19 Washington Nationals Clayton Brandt   MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) SS
595 20 Cincinnati Reds Rock Rucker   Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) LHP
610 20 Detroit Tigers Logan Longwith   Tennessee Wesleyan RHP
632 21 Toronto Blue Jays Tayler Saucedo   Tennessee Wesleyan LHP
648 22 Texas Rangers Josh Altmann   Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) SS
653 22 Chicago Cubs Alex Bautista   Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) OF
720 24 Atlanta Braves Jacob Lanning   Holy Cross (Ind.) 3B
735 24 Los Angeles Angels Mitch Esser story Concordia (Calif.) CF
792 26 Los Angeles Dodgers Marcus Crescentini story Missouri Baptist RHP
794 26 Washington Nationals Russell Harmening story Westmont (Calif.) RHP
829 28 Houston Astros Zac Grotz story  Embry-Riddle (Fla.) RHP
837 28 San Diego Padres Corey Hale   Mobile (Ala.) LHP
853 28 Baltimore Orioles Christian Turnipseed   Georgia Gwinnett RHP
875 29 Seattle Mariners Jared West   LSU Shreveport (La.) LHP
886 30 Arizona Diamondbacks Jeff Smith   Missouri Baptist IF
892 30 Chicago White Sox Jack Charleston   Faulkner (Ala.) RHP
919 31 Houston Astros Keach Ballard story Oklahoma Baptist SS
932 31 Toronto Blue Jays Josh Degraaf   Taylor (Ind.) RHP
948 32 Texas Rangers John Werner   St. Catharine (Ky.) RHP
950 32 Minnesota Twins Andrew Vasquez   Westmont (Calif.) LHP
954 32 Philadelphia Phillies Reggie Wilson story Oklahoma City CF
958 32 Tampa Bay Rays Ty Jackson   Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) RHP
975 32 Los Angeles Angels Conor Lillis-White story British Columbia LHP
999 33 Kansas City Royals Nathan Esposito   Concordia (Ore.) C
1040 35 Minnesota Twins Hector Lujan   Westmont (Calif.) RHP
1077 36 San Diego Padres Alex Webb   British Columbia RHP
1083 36 New York Yankees Dustin Cook   Oklahoma City RHP
1151 38 St. Louis Cardinals Orlando Olivera   Missouri Baptist OF
1186 40 Arizona Diamondbacks Tucker Ward   Mobile (Ala.) RHP


Thursday, 04 June 2015 14:27

2015 All-Americans, Gold Gloves

2015 NAIA Baseball All-America First Team

Position First Last Year School Hometown
C Jesse Baker Sr. Edward Waters (Fla.) Sebring, Fla.
C Osvaldo Gonzalez Sr. Bellevue (Neb.) Miami, Fla.
1B Ty Abbott Sr. Georgia Gwinnett Milton, Ga.
2B Yariel Gonzalez Jr. Oklahoma Baptist San Sebastian, P.R.
SS Clayton Brandt Sr. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) Stewardson, Ill.
3B Ridge Hoopi-Haslam Sr. Tennessee Wesleyan Hilo, Hawaii
INF Randy Santiesteban Sr. Peru State (Neb.) Hialeah, Fla.
DH Keivan Berges So. Northwood (Fla.) Wellington, Fla.
OF Jordan Tescher Sr. Dickinson State (N.D.) Beach, N.D.
OF Orlando Olivera+ Sr. Missouri Baptist Miami, Fla.
OF Chris Madera Sr. Faulkner (Ala.) Santo Domingo, D.R.
OF Alex Bautista Sr. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) Brooklyn, N.Y.
SP Adam Panayotovich Sr. St. Francis (Ill.) Palos Park, Ill.
SP Corey Hale Sr. Mobile (Ala.) Luverne, Ala.
SP Adam Hines Jr. LSU Alexandria (La.) Bunkie, La.
SP Kelvin Rivas Sr. Oklahoma Baptist Guaynabo, P.R.
RP Tyler Mark Jr. Concordia (Calif.) Los Angeles, Calif.

2015 Rawlings-NAIA Baseball Gold Glove Team

Position Player School
C Cam Firth British Columbia
1B Alex Bush Westmont (Calif.)
2B Mitch Huckabay LSU Alexandria (La.)
3B Alex Montero LSU Shreveport (La.)
SS Jose Rojas Vanguard (Calif.)
CF Mitchell Esser Concordia (Calif.)
LF Demetrius Moorer Point Park (Pa.)
RF Bryan Hernandez Southwest (N.M.)
P Jordan Hackett Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)
Sunday, 17 May 2015 21:38

National Championship preview

Schedule for the first two days of the 59th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 22-23, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

9 AM: #7 seed Lindsey Wilson (41-17) vs. #10 Vanguard (38-20)

Lindsey Wilson (Columbia, KY) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship.
Nickname: Blue Raiders
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #31 in ISR. Strength of schedule: #105
Quality wins: 2-1 vs. Auburn-Montgomery, 1-1 vs. Faulkner, 2-1 vs. Campbellsville, 2-1 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan
Top position players: RF Alex Bautista (.383, 19 HR, 72 RBI), 3B Ryan Harper (.400). Bautista's 72 RBI is fourth-best in the NAIA.
Top pitchers: LHP Scott Sebald (10-3, 1.07 ERA), LHP Ryan Hartman (10-2, 2.04 ERA, 103 K)
Coach: Jonathan Burton, fourth season
Outlook: Happy to be here.

Vanguard (Costa Mesa, CA) is making their second appearance at the Baseball National Championship; the first one was in 1985.
Nickname: Lions
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #16 in ISR. SoS: #12
Quality wins: 4-2 vs. Westmont, British Columbia, Northwestern Ohio
Top position players: OF Brandon Sandoval (.291, 36 stolen bases), SS Jose Rojas (.333, 12 HR, 57 RBI), OF Paul Keating (.330)
Top pitchers: RHP Sean Isaac (9-5, 2.91 ERA, 92 K), RHP Scott Torrey (6-1, 3.07 ERA)
Coach: Rob Pegg, third season
Outlook: The Lions play in the very competitive Golden State Athletic Conference, and got to the National Championship by winning the toughest Opening Round bracket. They should do better than their #10 seeding, but won't be championship contenders.

Noon: #8 Concordia-Irvine (47-16) vs. #9 Saint Thomas (44-16)

Concordia-Irvine (CA) is making their third appearance at the Baseball National Championship. (It will be their final appearance; they are moving to Division II next year.) They won the championship in 2011.
Nickname: Eagles
Rankings: #19 in coaches' poll, #2 in ISR. SoS: #3 (highest in tournament)
Quality wins: 1-1 vs. Oklahoma City, 1-1 vs. Lewis-Clark State, 6-1 vs. Vanguard
Top position players: SS Ryan Goodman (.314), OF Robert Shiroky (.292), OF Mitchell Esser (.312, 52 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Tyler Mark (5-1, 1.30 ERA, 64 K), RHP Dillon Moran (9-4, 3.63 ERA, 64 K), RHP Isaiah Terrazas (6-2, 2.61 ERA). Mark has 23 saves, the most in the NAIA.
Coach: Mike Grahovac, seventh season
Outlook: The Eagles won the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament, and split with #1 Oklahoma City in the Opening Round to make it here. They should be a contender for the championship.

Saint Thomas (Miami Gardens, FL) is making their fifth appearance at the Baseball National Championship; the last one was in 2007.
Nickname: Bobcats
Rankings: #20 in coaches' poll, #22 in ISR. SoS: #25
Quality wins: 2-1 vs. Northwood, 2-1 vs. Georgia Gwinnett, Westmont
Top position players: 1B Eric Santamaria (.374, 53 RBI), 3B Paul Chacin (Maracuabo, Venezuela; .335, 69 RBI), LF Jerry Downs (.348, 7 HR, 51 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Marcos Barrios (9-2, 3.63 ERA, 78 K), RHP Alex Hernandez (3-1, 2.93 ERA, 43 K). RHP Chris Rodriguez (2-0, 3.00 ERA, 26 K, 12 saves)
Coach: Jorge Perez, sixth season
Outlook: The Bobcats are happy to be here.

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