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Ave Maria's Sullivan leads South in Sun Conference All-Star Game

The South defeated the North 11-2 in the 2014 Sun Conference All-Star Game, played Jan. 18 in Babson Park, FL. Four of the South's runs were batted in by Ave Maria C Conor Sullivan, three of them on a bases-loaded double in the sixth inning. The winning run was also scored in the sixth, by Warner RF Justin Burgess on a single by Northwood (FL) DH Angel Garcia. Garcia went 2-for-5 with an RBI for the game.

Sullivan earned a Rawlings Gold Glove for the 2013 season. He batted .277, and wasn't charged with a single error.

The South used ten pitchers for the game, the North nine. The best pitching performance was turned in by Webber International RHP Josh Ganus of the North, who gave up an unearned run, but struck out three of the four batters he faced. Ganus is a transfer from North Carolina A&T, had a good summer with Leesburg of the Florida Collegiate Summer League.

Box score

2014 Preseason Top 25

The 2013-14 NAIA Coaches' Preseason poll, released November 12:

1 1 Faulkner (Ala.) 56-11 529
2 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 45-15 507
3 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 50-15 498
4 5 Missouri Baptist 37-14 473
5 10 Oklahoma City 49-13 461
6 8 York (Neb.) 44-12 421
7 9 Sterling (Kan.) 48-14 405
8 12 Tennessee Wesleyan 45-18 403
9 19 Concordia (Calif.) 35-21 390
10 14 Cumberland (Tenn.) 49-19-1 371
11 17 Oklahoma Baptist 44-19 369
12 6 The Master’s (Calif.) 44-17 345
13 7 Northwood (Texas) 43-11 338
14 15 Bellevue (Neb.) 45-10-1 337
15 20 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 45-20 274
16 18 Cal State San Marcos 35-12 256
17 RV Southern Poly (Ga.) 39-18 225
18 22 Judson (Ill.) 46-17 216
19 23 Point Park (Pa.) 39-16 209
20 16 Texas Wesleyan 42-17 200
21 RV LSU Shreveport (La.) 40-18 188
22 RV San Diego Christian (Calif.) 39-20 133
23 25 Georgetown (Ky.) 36-19 120
24 RV William Carey (Miss.) 36-23 117
T25 RV Ave Maria (Fla.) 38-21 116
T25 NR Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 38-13 116

First-place votes: Faulkner 18, Lewis-Clark State 1

NAIA press release

2014 NAIA Baseball Preseason All-Americans Announced

1B Matt Page of Oklahoma Baptist leads the team. Two players from Northwood (TX) and DH Michael Cruz from defending champion Faulkner.

Name Institution Pos. Class Hometown
Tyler Latham Bryan C Sr. Spring City, TN
Blake Marchant Grand View C Jr. Indianola, IA
Matt Page Oklahoma Baptist 1B Sr. Redwood City, CA
Isaac Maturino Northwood (TX) 2B Sr. Grand Prairie, TX
Nate Mullins Bellevue 3B Sr. Snohomish, WA
Randy Santiesteban Peru State SS Jr. Hialeah, FL
Jordan Crowell Point Park UT Jr. Milford, OH
Seth Neely Arizona Christian OF Sr. Phoenix, AZ
Cody Lavalli Lewis-Clark State OF Sr. Apple Valley, CA
David Kuhne St. Francis (IL) OF Sr. Metamora, IL
Steven Karkenny The Master’s OF Jr. Chatsworth, CA
Michael Cruz Faulkner DH Sr. Dominican Republic
Chris Good Belhaven SP Jr. Forney, TX
Anthony Gomez Cumberland SP Sr. Norwalk, CA
Jarrod Jameson Tennessee Wesleyan SP Sr. Oklahoma City, OK
Stetson Nelson Embry-Riddle SP Jr. Leesburg, FL
Cody Gray Northwood (TX) RP Sr. Glendale, AZ

NAIA press release

Embry-Riddle, Concordia-Irvine, and Concordia-Portland applying to Division II

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, has applied for membership in the Division II Sunshine State Conference.

The Eagles have made 12 trips to the National Championship tournament, ten of them in the last 11 seasons, under coaches Greg Guilliams and Randy Stegall. Their best finish was in 2005, when they were runners-up to Oklahoma City.

Joining the Sunshine State Conference would put the Eagles in the same conference with former NAIA opponents Barry and Rollins. The Eagles have been playing non-conference games against Tampa, the defending national Division II champions. The Eagles lost to them 2-1 (ten innings) this season.

Story by Brent Woronoff in the Daytona Beach News-Journal: ERAU makes case to NCAA conference

Concordia-Irvine won the National Championship in 2011. They would be joining former GSAC members Cal Baptist, Point Loma Nazarene, Azusa Pacific, and Fresno Pacific in the PacWest Conference.

Concordia-Portland is the defending champion of NAIA West. The Cavaliers went to the National Championship tournament in 2004. Rob Vance has been their Head Coach for 15 seasons. They have a new, good quality ballpark. They would, if accepted, compete in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). Whether they can break Western Oregon's long streak of conference championships remains to be seen.

These three schools would continue to complete in the NAIA through the 2015 season.

Georgetown College (KY) has applied for membership in the Division II Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC). A previous application by Georgetown C. was turned down.

Melville Millionaires win 2013 WMBL championship

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.

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.

Faulkner wins 2013 National Championship

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

National Championship, day 2: Faulkner pitches no-hitter for Northwood (TX)

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

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