The Melville Millionaires won their first-ever Western Major Baseball League championship, defeating the Medicine Hat Mavericks three games to two in the final.

Both teams were loaded with NAIA players. The Millionaires' roster included six players from British Columbia (see picture): Alex Webb, Cam Firth, Tyler Enns, Kevin Biro, Jeremy Newton, and Nathan Kirby. Also Jaime Paxton (Northwood (TX)), Allen Rimer (Bacone), and Chase Medler (Lyon). The Mavericks' roster included four players from Tabor: Alex Mann, Jacob Webb, Grant Silva, and C.J. DeDeaux. The also had Alex Bos (Concordia-Portland), Alex Graham (British Columbia), Kyle McKay (Saint Francis (IN)), Ched Gaskin (Purdue North Central), and Bryan Arthur (British Columbia).

Biro led the Millionaires in hitting during the regular season with a .366 average, and, for the Sabermetricians, 29.668 runs created. Bos led the WMBL with an 8-0 won-lost record. Webb had three starts and three wins during the playoffs, did not allow an earned run in 17 2/3 innings pitched. Silva batted .337 for the Mavericks.

Anthony Armanino of Lewis-Clark State, playing for the Swift Current Indians, had an astonishing 24 strikeouts during three playoff games (19 innings pitched). He had a regular season record of 4-0, 2.25 ERA, 60 strikeouts.

Saturday, 08 June 2013 20:00

The 2013 MLB draft

Players for NAIA schools taken in the 2013 MLB draft:

RHP Myles Smith, Lee, Red Sox, 4th round story

RHP James Dykstra, Cal State San Marcos, White Sox, 6th story

RHP Calvin Drummond, Arizona Christian, Tigers, 6th story

RHP Nick Blount, Southern Polytechnic, White Sox, 9th story

LF Henry Yates, Texas Wesleyan, Dodgers, 9th story

RHP Jose Samayoa, Lee, Rangers, 9th story

RHP Andy Hillis, Lee, Brewers, 11th story

CF Jimmy Bosco, Menlo, Cardinals, 13th story

RHP Fabian Roman, Lubbock Christian, Reds, 16th story

LHP Clint Terry, Lee, Brewers, 18th story

CF Michael Carballo, Tennessee Wesleyan, White Sox, 18th

LHP Cory Bafidis, Texas Wesleyan, Nationals, 18th story

SS Christian Vasquez, Lubbock Christian, Blue Jays, 19th story

LHP Cole Swanson, Concordia-Irvine, Angels, 19th

LF Jon Kemmer, Brewton-Parker, Astros, 21st

RHP Ben Heller, Olivet Nazarene, Cubs, 22nd

SS Chase Jensen, Oklahoma City, Padres, 22nd story

LHP Christopher O'Hare, Fisher, Pirates, 22nd

RHP Cody Harris, The Master's, Marlins, 24th story

C Orrin Sears, Arizona Christian, Braves, 24th story

RHP Johnnie Kirkland, Southeastern, Tigers, 25th

C Kyle Wheeler, Belhaven, A's, 26th

RHP Ricky Claudio, St. Thomas (FL), Mariners, 27th

1B Jake Stone, Tennessee Wesleyan, Cardinals, 27th

RHP Jace Chancellor, Lubbock Christian, Padres, 28th (red-shirted this season, made seven appearances for Wayland Baptist in 2012, never played for the Chaparrals) story

RHP Johnny Shuttlesworth, Faulkner, Diamondbacks, 28th

RHP Alex Moore, Lee, Brewers, 28th

LHP Derek Loera, Lubbock Christian, Rays, 28th story

LHP Joey Webb, Menlo, Nationals, 28th story

RHP Justin Sprenger, Tennessee Wesleyan, Rangers, 29th

RHP Blake McMullen, Science and Arts of Oklahoma, A's, 29th

RHP Colton Reavis, Northwood (TX), Rays, 30th

C Joel Thys, Arizona Christian, Diamondbacks, 31st story

RHP Cody Crabaugh, Oklahoma City, Marlins, 32nd story

LHP Eric Greene, Embry-Riddle, Orioles, 36th

OF Cody Lavalli, Lewis-Clark State, Rangers, 37th

RHP Blake McKnight, Evangel, Cardinals, 38th

A huge day for Lee, with five players drafted, three by the Brewers. Also a good day for Lubbock Christian, Arizona Christian and Texas Wesleyan.

Monday, 03 June 2013 14:32

2013 All-Americans, Gold Gloves

1B Matt Page of Oklahoma Baptist was named Player of the Year. National Champion Faulkner had three players named to the first team. The first team includes two Puerto Ricans, and one Dominican Republican. Here's the list: 2013 NAIA Baseball All-Americans Announced

2013 Rawlings-NAIA Baseball Gold Glove Team Announced

The Faulkner University Eagles won their first-ever NAIA Baseball National Championship, defeating the Lewis-Clark State Warriors 11-4 in the final. RHP Johnny Shuttlesworth got his 16th win of the season, and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. (The record for wins is 19, set by Dan Quisenberry in 1975.) He allowed 14 hits over 7 1/3 innings, but only four earned runs. He threw 122 pitches.

The Eagles got all the runs they needed in the second inning, jumping on Warriors starter RHP Ryan Sells. Sells also plays shortstop for the Warriors (he batted .338 for the season), and this was only his fifth start. The winning run came on a two-RBI single by DH Michael Cruz.

The Warriors had some chances to get back in the game. The best one was in the bottom of the fourth. They started the inning with two straight singles, and had the bases loaded with one out, but the Eagles turned the only double play of the game to get Shuttlesworth out of the jam.

RF David Bishop hit a solo home run in the seventh inning. He was 3-for-5 for the game, with two RBI and two runs scored. Cruz finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Attendance: 4,265

Cody Faulkner, a sophomore LHP from Irving, TX, pitched the fourth no-hitter in the history of the National Championship tournament, and the first since 1992. He led Northwood (TX) to a 1-0 win in an elimination game over Sterling.

Faulkner threw 94 pitches. He walked two, and they were the only baserunners the Warriors had. One of them was taken out in a double play.

The only run of the game came in the top of the first inning. 3B Logan Brumley hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a walk, and moved to third on a bunt single by SS Elvin Rodriguez. He scored on a sacrifice fly by C Adam Humes.

Warriors ace Steven Cazares went the distance for the Warriors. He threw 131 pitches, and came close to matching Faulker's performance. He allowed six hits, walked two, and struck out six.

Box score and play-by-play
NAIA press release

In other action, York was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to Rogers State. #1 Faulkner won their opening game in another good pitching duel, 2-0 over Missouri Baptist. Johnny Shuttlesworth and Labradford Griffis combined for the shutout. Shuttlesworth got his 15th win of the year, went seven innings, allowed five hits, struck out four. C Zac Colby singled in both runs of the game in the seventh inning.

Lee defeated Lewis-Clark 14-11. Lee 1B Karsten Strieby hit a home run that cleared the center field fence.

Schedule for Monday, May 27 (all times PDT):

9 AM: Rogers State vs. Missouri Baptist (loser out)
noon: Northwood vs. Lewis-Clark State (loser out)
3 PM: The Master's vs. Faulkner
6:30 PM: Embry-Riddle vs. Lee

Monday, 20 May 2013 22:32

National Championship preview

Schedule for the first two days of the 57th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 24-25, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

9 AM: #8 seed Sterling (48-12) vs. #9 Missouri Baptist (35-12)

Sterling (Sterling, KS) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship.
Nickname: Warriors
Rankings: #15 in coaches' poll, #31 in ISR. Strength of schedule: #105
Quality wins: Oklahoma City, Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 1-1 vs. York
Top position players: IF Joe Battaglia (.422, 10 HR, 63 RBI), IF Joe Williams (.395), OF Jared Forbush (.391)
Top pitchers: RHP Steven Cazares (9-1, 0.86 ERA), RHP Daniel Cloteaux (10-3, 2.81 ERA, 70 K). Cazare's ERA is second-lowest in the NAIA.
Coach: Adrian Dinkel, second season
Outlook: Happy to be here.

Missouri Baptist (Saint Louis) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship.
Nickname: Spartans
Rankings: #20 in coaches' poll, #23 in ISR. SoS: #56
Quality wins: 2-1 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, including a 19-inning win in the final of the Kingsport bracket. 1-1 vs. Cumberland, 1-1 vs. Lindsey Wilson
Top position players: IF Patrick Johnson (.387), OF Ryan Gunhouse (.373, 7 HR, 40 RBI), IF Pier Olivier-Dostaler (.322, 34 RBI), IF Joseph Taylor (.241, 9 HR, 43 RBI). Olivier-Dostaler is one of six Canadians on the Spartans' roster, and they also have two Puerto Ricans.
Top pitchers: RHP Ethan Gibbons (10-0, 2.09 ERA, 85 K), RHP Julien Soucy (5-2, 1.90 ERA)
Coach: Eddy Uschold, 14th season
Outlook: The Spartans will go home with a win.

The Rieleros de Aguascalientes (“Railroaders”) split a Mexican League double-header at home against the Saraperos de Saltillo (“Serape Makers”) on May 15. The Rieleros won the first game 7-3, and lost the second game 10-4. A double-header (two seven-inning games) was played because of a rainout the previous night.

First game: The starters were Fredy Quintero for the Rieleros, and Victor Garate for the Saraperos. Quintero was in the Dodgers organization in 2008 and 2009. Garate, a Venezuelan left-hander, made four appearances for the Nationals in 2009. He was in the Astros, Dodgers, and Brewers organizations from 2005 to 2012.

Neither of the starters lasted very long. The Saraperos opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by CF Jesus Cota in the top of the first. The Rieleros answered with an RBI single by CF Rene Reyes and a two-RBI double by 1B Willis Otanez. (Otanez played three games for the Orioles in 1998, and split the 1999 season between the Orioles and Blue Jays; he hit seven home runs in 1999.)

In the top of the third inning, Rufino Candelario reached first on an error with one out. He was forced out at second when 3B Henry Mateo hit a ground ball, and Mateo reached on a fielder's choice. (Mateo is a Dominican Republican who played six seasons with the Expos/Nationals.) The Saraperos then executed a perfect hit-and-run. Daniel Castro hit a slash bunt toward the shortstop, and Mateo had a good enough head start so that there was no play. A walk loaded the bases, but a fly out ended the inning with the bases loaded.

Monday, 13 May 2013 17:20

2013 Opening Round Results, part II

Missouri Baptist will be making their first-ever trip to the National Championship tournament. They defeated defending champion Tennessee Wesleyan 4-3 (19 innings) in the “if necessary” game of the Kingsport bracket. The Spartans led 3-1 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, and starter Ethan Gibbons held the Bulldogs to seven hits over the first eight innings; the only run he allowed was on a wild pitch. The Spartans got a run in the fourth on an RBI single by C Garrett Vail, and two runs in the seventh on a home run by DH Joe Stropp. Gibbons got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, but the next two batters got base hits. The next batter hit a ground ball to second that should have ended the game, but it was bobbled, and a run scored. The Bulldogs sent it into extra innings with an RBI single by CF Travis Burnside.

The Bulldogs left the winning run on third in the bottom of the tenth and 15th. The Spartans left the bases loaded in the top of the 12th, and left runers on second in the tenth, 13th, 14th, and 16th innings. The Spartans got the winning run when SS Patrick Johnson opened the 19th with a single, went to second on a walk, and was bunted to third. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Vail.

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