News from Saint Xavier University: One of the most exciting World Series in recent memory came to a close Wednesday night with the Houston Astros claiming their first championship in franchise history, and for the first time a Saint Xavier alumnus was right in the middle of the celebration.
Astros reliever Luke Gregerson (2003-06) became the first Cougar to be on a World Series-winning team after the game seven victory, the highlight of his nine seasons in the Major Leagues. The 2014 SXU Hall of Fame inductee made two appearances in the World Series, first in a thrilling Game 5 in which Gregerson inherited two runners but struck out Los Angeles' Chris Taylor to end the threat. Houston would go on to come back later that night to win in extra innings, taking a 3-2 lead in the series. Gregerson also came on in the 8th inning of Game 6 to pitch two-thirds of an inning, recording one strikeout.
The Leones de Yucatán (Mérida) (45-60, first place in South Division) defeated the Bravos de León (63-42) 5-1 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on August 17. The win gives the Leones a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first round playoff series.
Four Leones pitchers, RHP Jose Samayoa, RHP Jesus Barraza, RHP Pedro Rodriguez, and RHP Ronald Belisario, held the Bravos to three hits. The starter, Samayoa, didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning. That was a double by SS Niko Vasquez, who scored the Bravos’ only run of the game on a single by 3B Miguel Torrero. The Bravos didn’t get another hit until the bottom of the ninth, a double by CF Junior Lake. Lake was stranded on third base when the game ended.
The Tigres de Quintana Roo (Cancun) (42-54) defeated the Bravos de León (40-56) 7-4 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 30.
The Bravos took a 2-0 lead with an RBI single by 1B Dan Johnson (Coon Rapids, MN) and a sacrifice fly by 2B Carlos Valencia in the bottom of the first inning. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the third inning with singles by Johnson and Valencia, and a bunt single by RF Leandro Castro. However, the next batter, SS Niko Vasquez, hit into a double play. Johnson scored, and the Bravos didn’t score again until the bottom of the ninth.
The Tigres got to starter RHP Mitch Lively in the top of the fourth. Lively hit 3B Brian Hernandez. One of Hernandez’ hands was injured. He couldn’t stay in the game, so he was replaced by 2B Abel Martinez. Martinez was forced out at second on a ground ball by 2B-3B Osniel Madera. The next batter, DH C.J. Retherford, hit a fly ball to right field. Castro made a good effort to get to the ball, but didn’t hold onto it long enough. (A review confirmed this.) Madera went to third on the play, then scored on a single by LF Ramon R. Ramirez. The next batter, C Francisco Cordoba, hit a fly ball to left field. Again, LF Gilberto Mejia made a great effort to get a glove on the ball, but he couldn’t hold on, and Retherford scored.
Marcos Dominguez is entering his second season as Head Coach of the Talladega College Tornados in Alabama. In his first season, the Tornados had a record of 36-24, and made an Opening Round appearance. Dominguez was voted Small School Coach of the Year by Black College Nines.
Dominguez attended the Ferreira Baseball Academy in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He played at Ranger College in Texas, and was recruited by Will Ramos to play at Talladega. After graduation, Dominguez stayed on at Talladega as an Assistant Coach, then took the Head Coaching job when Ramos was hired by the University of the Virgin Islands.
Bob Broughton, courtesyrunner.com: Talladega's baseball program started in 2009, right? You started having winning records in 2011. What do you think the reasons are for the program's success?
Marcos Dominguez: The program’s success came from the hard work of the baseball players. They always want to be successful.
BB: You pitched for the Tornados for two seasons, had eight wins and 85 strikeouts. What was the highlight of your playing career?
MD: My first win against U. of Mobile. Why? Before that, I had five no-decisions.
BB: Even in 2014, when you arrived at Talladega, they had a large number of Latino players. What makes Talladega attractive to them, yourself included?
MD: The head coach was a Latino and we are a family here at Talladega. The reason is the Latinos talk to each other. That was how I got here. I have a friend that was playing here and he talked to me about it. If the head coach is a Latino, all the Latino players are going to feel more comfortable.
The Rieleros (Railroaders) de Aguascalientes (52-38) defeated the Bravos de León (34-50) 8-7 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 16.
It took over four hours to play this game. Neither of the starting pitchers got through the third inning. The Rieleros used eight pitchers, and the Bravos used seven, despite the fact that both bullpens were depleted by the double-header the previous day.
This game was close all the way. The winning run came on an RBI single by 1B Jesus Castillo in the top of the sixth inning, and it put the Rieleros ahead 8-6. The Bravos stranded a baserunner on third in the bottom of the seventh. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, 2B Gilberto Mejia hit a ball down the right-field line to the fence that was just foul. A couple of pitches later, he hit a ball down the left-field line that was almost to the fence, and just fair, but it was caught by LF Amilcar Gomez for the second out. However, the next batter, CF Junior Lake, was hit by a pitch, and he went to second on defensive indifference. Lake then scored on a single by 1B Dan Johnson, and it was a one-run ball game. However, DH Carlos Valencia, after a long turn at bat, flied out, ending the game.
The Bravos got off to a good start. They ended the top of the first with a double play. LF Eduardo Arredondo led off the bottom of the first with a single. Mejia followed with a double, and Arredondo scored on a ground out by Lake. Johnson then hit a sacrifice fly to score Mejia.
Players from NAIA schools taken in the 2017 Major League Baseball draft:
|229||8||Rays||Riley O'Brien||story||C. of Idaho||RHP|
|269||9||Marlins||Cameron Baranek||story||Hope International||CF|
|293||10||Phillies||Connor Brogdon||story||Lewis-Clark State||RHP|
|426||14||Giants||Michael Sexton||story||The Master's||3B|
|569||19||Marlins||Micah Brown||story||Lewis-Clark State||SS|
|637||21||Mets||Aaron Ford||Tennessee Wesleyan||LHP|
|641||21||Red Sox||Lukas Young||story||Mobile||RHP|
|664||22||Cardinals||Kevin Hamann||Lewis-Clark State||RHP|
|678||23||Padres||Luis Roman||story||Texas Wesleyan||3B|
|681||23||A's||Mailik Jones||story||Missouri Baptist||RHP|
|750||25||Royals||Tyler James||William Carey||CF|
|818||27||Orioles||Nick Vichio||Missouri Baptist||RHP|
|834||28||Brewers||Roberto Delgado||story||Oklahoma City||RHP|
|869||29||Marlins||Henry McAree||Lewis-Clark State||RHP|
|905||30||Tigers||Kyle Thomas||story||Northwestern Ohio||RHP|
|912||30||Indians||Zack Draper||C. of Idaho||LHP|
|949||32||Rays||Seaver Whalen||Lewis-Clark State||3B|
|976||33||Twins||J.J. Robinson||Lewis-Clark State||1B|
|987||33||White Sox||Kevin George||Menlo||LHP|
|1041||35||A's||Cooper Golby||Lewis-Clark State||C|
|1089||36||Blue Jays||Jonathan Cheshire||story||Davenport||RHP|
More to come...
The Piratas de Campeche (24-32) swept a double-header against the the Bravos de León (19-37), 8-1 and 4-2, at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on June 4.
First game: RHP Rolando Valdez went the seven-inning distance for the Piratas, allowed eight hits, walked one, struck out four.
The Piratas got all the runs they needed in the top of the first inning. They loaded the bases on Bravos starter RHP Alfonso Sanchez with a walk, a base hit by DH Frank Diaz, and another walk. Sanchez then hit SS Paul Leon with a pitch to open the scoring. The next batter, LF Maxwell Leon, bunted for an RBI and the winning run. 1B Fernando Flores hit a double to score two runs, and RF Roberto Valencia hit a double to score another run.
Sanchez didn’t allow another hit until the fifth inning, when Diaz led off with a double. 3B C.J. Retherford followed with a home run. Sanchez walked the next batter, and was relieved by RHP Fredy Quintero, who gave up a single, then a double-play ball. Leon completed the scoring with home run in the seventh that went a long way over the left field fence.
The Bravos de León (17-34) trailed the Sultanes de Monterrey (36-13) 4-3 going into the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Bravos got three solo home runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 6-4 win at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on May 28.
The deciding inning started with a fly out. Then, 2B Carlos Valencia hit a home run to left field. The next batter, RF Brandon Macias, hit another home run to left field, and that one got out of the ball park in a hurry. The Sultanes replaced RHP Marcos Rivas with LHP Edgar Torres. Torres recorded a strikeout, but the next batter, C Marco Chicuate, completed the scoring with yet another home run over the left field fence. The Bravos sent in their closer, RHP Craig Stern, to pitch the top of the ninth, and he retired three of the four batters he faced.
The Bravos out-hit the Sultanes 14-7, but missed some opportunities in the early going. A single by Valencia in the third inning scored a run, giving the Bravos a 3-1 lead, but SS Niko Vasquez was tagged out at third; a review of the play upheld the call on the field. After a fly out, Valencia went to second on a single by 1B Leslie Anderson. The next batter, Chicuate, hit a single to left field, but Valencia was tagged out at home after a excellent throw by LF Zoilo Almonte.
The Sultanes opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first without a hit. CF Chris Roberson led off with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third, and came home on another wild pitch. The Bravos answered with a run walked in, RBI to Valencia. However, the Bravos left the bases loaded when Macias struck out. The Bravos got a runner on first in the bottom of the second, but 3B Agustin Murillo made a great catch of a line drive to prevent any damage.
The Sultanes tied it 3-3 with a two-run home run by Murillo in the top of the fourth. They went ahead 4-3 with a home run by Almonte in the sixth. They were kept off the board the rest of the way by relievers RHP Mitch Lively (seventh inning, one hit), RHP Gerardo Sanchez (eighth inning, no hits), and Stern.
Schedule for the first two days of the 61st NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 26-27, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):
8:30 AM: #7 seed Science and Arts of Oklahoma (47-15) vs. #10 The Master's (39-21)
Science and Arts of Oklahoma (Chikasha, OK) is making their second appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They went two-and-out last year, and were taken out by The Master's. The Drovers win the United Nations award for the second straight year; they have an Australian, five Puerto Ricans, and a Dominican Republican.
Rankings: #19 in coaches' poll, #27 in ISR. Strength of Schedule: #37
Quality wins: 3-1 vs. Bellevue, Davenport, 3-1 vs. Friends, Oklahoma Baptist
Top position players: UTL Christian Perez (.434, 10 HR, 59 RBI, Bayamon, Puerto Rico), RF Randy Ventura (.429, 10 HR, 52 RBI, Carolina, Puerto Rico), C Dillon White (.410, 15 HR, 80 RBI). White's 80 RBI are fifth-best in the NAIA.
Top pitchers: LHP Francis Ventura (10-1, 1.64 ERA, 88 K), LHP Jose Hidalgo (9-1, 2.04 ERA, 85 K), RHP Ruddy Estrella (1-1, 2.49 ERA, 29 K), LHP Carson Korff (8-0, 2.56 ERA, 52 K). Ventura's ERA is third-lowest in the NAIA, and lowest of the pitchers in this tournament. Hidalgo's ERA is 15th-lowest.
Coach: Mike Ross, 13th season
Outlook: The Drovers had to beat a really good Bellevue team twice and a good Davenport team to get here. This is a tough first round matchup for both teams.
The Master's (Santa Clarita, CA) is making their fourth appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They went 1-2 in last year's tournament. The win was 6-1 over Science and Arts of Oklahoma; RHP Brad Lohse pitched a complete game. They won the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament by winning five straight after losing the opening game.
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #7 in ISR. SoS: #6
Quality wins: 4-1 vs. Menlo, 2-0 vs. Georgia Gwinnett. Defeated Hope International twice in GSAC tournament.
Top position players: C Jonah Jarrard (.413, 12 HR, 46 RBI), 3B Michael Sexton (.401, 16 HR, 59 RBI), CF Max Maitland (.351), SS Aaron Shackelford (.316, 14 HR, 50 RBI), 1B David Sheaffer (262, 8 HR, 59 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Danny Lutz (2-1, 2.53 ERA, 29 K), RHP Aaron Alexander (10-4, 2.84 ERA, 95 K), RHP Robert Winslow (8-5, 2.92 ERA, 97 K), RHP Jason Karkenny (5-2, 4.28 ERA, 49 K)
Coach: Monte Brooks, 21st season
Outlook: After a slow start, the Mustangs went 24-4 since March 25, and enter this tournament with a nine-game winning streak. Preview from The Master's College.
2B-3B Brandon Macias batted in five runs to lead the Bravos de León (11-20) to a 12-3 win over the Olmecas de Tabasco (10-20) at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on May 6.
This was the first game for the Bravos' new manager Luis Carlos Rivera and new pitching coach Ray Loya. It was also the first game for 1B Leslie Anderson, who went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and three runs scored.
The Olmecas opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first on a triple by CF Yordanys Linares, who scored on a single by DH Sandy Madera. Olmecas starter LHP Carlos Teller didn't allow a hit until the forth inning. With two out and the bases empty, he walked LF Alfredo Marte. Anderson got the Bravos' first hit of the game. Teller then walked Macias to load the bases, then hit DH Joshua Banuelos to tie the game. The next batter, 3B Miguel Torrero, hit a two-RBI single, and the Bravos led 3-1 after four innings.
The Bravos got a "small ball" run in the fifth. CF Sergio Garcia opened the inning with a single. He moved to second on a hit batter (Teller hit three of them), and third on a line drive out. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Marte. Teller was relieved by RHP Rodolfo Aguirre after walking the next batter.