NAIA baseball action during the past week.
#1 Tennessee Wesleyan lost a mid-week game to #12 Lindsey Wilson 4-3. The Bulldogs outhit the Blue Raiders 9-7; LF Leandro Andino hit a sacrifice fly to send in the winning run. (story). The defending champions then swept three games against Indiana-Southeast, 12-2, 3-1, and 2-1. In the first game, Four Bulldog pitchers combined to hold the Grenadiers to four hits; Jarrod Jameson got the win. SS Wes Minton scored the winning run in the second game on a passed ball; Corey Rhoney got the win, went 5 2/3 innings, allowed four hits, struck out five. In the third game, the Bulldogs managed only two hits off Grenadiers pitcher Lucas Harry, but RF David Donald was hit by a pitch and scored on a ground out for the first Bulldog run, and Minton hit a solo home run for the winning run. Tyler Wilson got the win; he went 4 2/3 innings, allowed two hits, struck out seven.
The Bulldogs host Georgia Gwinnett February 27, and Saint Andrew's, who is 9-1, March 2-3.
#2 LSU-Shreveport swept Texas College, 14-4, 3-2, and 8-4. Rory Young got the win in the first game. The Pilots needed a two-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh and final inning by C David Dorton to win the second game. CF Ridge Gonsoulin hit a two-run home run in the third game, finished 2-for-4 with three RBI.
The Pilots host Division III Louisiana College February 26, and visit Texas Wesleyan March 1-2.
NAIA baseball action during the past week.
#1 Tennessee Wesleyan swept Indiana Tech 7-6, 4-1, and 3-1. The first game was tied 5-5 going into the seventh and last inning. The Warriors got a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI triple by RF Bryan Brudi, but the defending champions tied it on an RBI single by RF David Donald, and won it on an RBI single by 1B Trey Griffin. Griffin went 4-for-4, Donald went 3-for-4 with three RBI. Both teams had three hits in the third game. The winning run came on a sacrifice fly by C Brackton Smith. Jarrod Jameson got the win; he went seven innings, allowed no earned runs, struck out seven.
The Bulldogs have won eight straight after losing the first three games of the season. They host #12 Lindsey Wilson on February 20, and Indiana-Southeast February 22-23.
#2 LSU-Shreveport won two of three against Culver-Stockton. Jason Mouton and Cade Bowen combined for a one-hitter in the first game, won by the Pilots 5-0. Mouton went six innings, allowed the only hit in the fifth inning, struck out five. Bowen pitched a perfect inning, struck out one. In the second game, the Pilots committed five errors, walked seven batters, hit seven batters, and lost 14-3 (story). The third game went eleven innings, and the Pilots won 6-5. CF Ridge Gonsoulin hit an RBI single for the winning run. Winning pitcher Ben Suit retired every batter he faced over the last three innings (story).
The Pilots host Division II Southern Arkansas on February 19, and Texas College February 22-23.
#3 Lee swept Mobile 6-3, 3-1, and 12-0. Myles Smith got the win in the first game, and 2B Mark Silva went 3-for-3 with an RBI. RF Corey Davis hit a two-RBI single for the winning run in the second game. Kyle Briner got the win in relief; he struck out five of the seven batters he faced. The Rams got an excellent effort from Ryan Hines, who struck out 11 (story). 3B Roberto Duran went 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and four RBI in the third game. LHP Clint Terry and C.J. Lusted combined for the three-hit shutout; Terry went six innings, struck out five (story).
The Flames are 10-2. They host Rio Grande February 18, visit Union C. (KY) February 19, and host #18 Auburn-Montgomery February 22-23.
Results from Tuesday, February 12:
#3 Lee outhit defending champion Tennessee Wesleyan 9-5, and the Flames led until the bottom of the eighth inning. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with three walks in the bottom of the eighth, and tied the game when SS Wes Minton was hit by a pitch. The next batter hit into a double play, but LF David Donald went home on the play to score the winning run. The Flames got the tying run to third in the top of the ninth, but closer Brian Bardis got a strikout to end the game.
The Bulldogs were held to one hit over the first four innings by Keegan Yuhl, and the Flames led 2-0. Minton hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 2-1. Story from Tennessee Wesleyan site: Bulldogs rally to put out Flames. These two teams meet again on March 27, in Athens, TN.
#2 LSU-Shreveport completed a home-and-home sweep of Houston-Victoria by winning a double-header in Victoria, TX, 12-2 and 8-1. 1B Kyle Pearson hit a bases loaded triple in the first game, and Caleb Olson got the win. C David Dorton hit a two-run home run in the second game, and Trent Cormier got the win. Story from LSU-Shreveport site: Pilots sweep UHV again
Cal State San Marcos got another win against Division III Chapman, 9-5, to run their record to 5-0. 3B Kenny Belzer hit a two-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to break a 5-5 tie. 1B Brandon Bentson went 4-for-4 with two RBI. Frank Charlton got the win in relief. Story from Cal State San Marcos site: CSUSM Breaks Away Late to Remain Perfect
Nine of the NAIA's top ten teams have started their seasons.
#1 Tennessee Wesleyan swept three games against West Virginia Tech, 6-5, 5-2, and 13-2. Brady Frey, Zach Fleshman, and Jarrod Jameson got the wins. SS Wes Minton had a good weekend; 5-for-7, two home runs, five RBI. The Bulldogs host #3 Lee on February 12, and Indiana Tech February 16-17.
#2 LSU-Shreveport swept Houston-Victoria 7-6, 3-0, and 3-2. Paul Barton got the win in the first game, stranded seven baserunners. Rory Young pitched a one-hit shutout in the second game, 1B Kyle Pearson hit a three-run home run in the first inning for all of the Pilots' runs. Jason Mouton got the win in the third game.
The Pilots and Jaguars play two more games in Victoria February 12. The Pilots host Culver-Stockton February 15-16.
#3 Lee defeated Bluefield 23-2, #20 Georgetown C. (KY) 6-1, and Rio Grande 9-0. 3B Roberto Duran went 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBI in the win over Georgetown C. Four Flames pitchers combined for the three-hit shutout against Rio Grande; starter Jose Samayoa got the win. Duran went 2-for-3, got three more RBI.
The Flames then lost a game to #24 Madonna, 4-3. Starter Jeremy Gooding got the win for the Crusaders, went six innings, struck out seven. story. The Crusaders lost 8-3 to Georgetown C., and are 3-1. They don't play again until March 1.
The Flames host U. of Mobile February 15-16, and Rio Grande February 18.
Eight of the NAIA's top ten teams have started their seasons.
#9 Faulkner, a team with heavy graduation losses, started their season with a double-header sweep of defending champion and #1 Tennessee Wesleyan, 5-4 and 12-0. The next day, the Eagles split a double-header with #12 Lindsey Wilson, winning 5-2, and losing 10-7 (ten innings, scheduled for seven). SS Dauris Holguin singled in the winning run in the first game against Tennessee Wesleyan. Johnny Shuttlesworth and Dustin Spruiell combined for the shutout in the second game, held the Bulldogs to three hits. Julian Esquibel got the win in the first game against Lindsey Wilson. They nearly made it four straight; Lindsey Wilson got an unearned run in the seventh inning to send it into extra innings, then got three runs in the tenth to win it.
The Bulldogs got another loss against #18 Auburn-Montgomery, 5-4, before getting their first win of the season against the Warhawks 12-3. 3B Jake Stone hit a double and a home run in the win.
The Bulldogs open their home schedule against West Virginia Tech February 9-10. The Eagles host Talladega February 5, Shawnee State February 9, and U. of the Cumberlands February 10.
The 57th NAIA baseball season is already under way, and the Golden State Athletic Conference is already playing conference matchups. The season gets going in earnest this weekend. Defending champion Tennessee Wesleyan visits #9 Faulkner, #2 LSU-Shreveport visits William Carey, Northwestern Ohio visits #3 Lee, #23 Doane visits #4 Oklahoma City, #5 Rogers State visits Arlington Baptist, #20 Georgetown College (KY) visits #7 Embry-Riddle, and #10 Oklahoma Baptist visits Southwestern Oklahoma.
Here is an evaluation of the top 10 teams according to the pre-season coaches' poll:
#1 – Tennessee Wesleyan: Pre-season All-American OF Jake Stone (.407, 13 home runs) is back. He had a great summer, led the Coastal Plain League in hitting with a .375 average. Other returnees are OF-DH Drew Levi (.326, 12 HR), OF Travis Burnside (.284), RHP Corey Rhoney (10-0, 2.31 ERA, 64 K), and LHP Josh Coller (10-2, 3.02 ERA, 99 K). The Bulldogs also have a prize recruit, OF Kendall Radcliffe, selected in the 25th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Games to watch: at Faulkner Feb. 2, at Auburn-Montgomery Feb. 3, Lee Feb. 12, Lindsey Wilson Feb. 20, Georgetown C. March 19, Lee March 27, Cumberland March 29-30, at Georgetown C. April 3, at Lee April 9
#2 – LSU-Shreveport: OF Kyle Pearson (.353, 14 HR, 66 RBI, 13 stolen bases, 1.000 fielding percentage) is a pre-season All-American. Other returnees are 1B Greg Friesen (.391, 15 HR, 68 RBI), OF Kade Billeaudeaux (.380), RHP Jason Mouton (1-0, 3.60 ERA), RHP Ben Suit (2-0, 2.25 ERA), LHP Jake Byrd (0-0, 0.00 ERA), and LHP Caleb Olsen (0-0, 0.00 ERA). C Jared Vial is a newcomer with the Pilots. Games to watch: Houston-Victoria Feb. 8-9, at Houston-Victoria Feb. 12, Southern Arkansas Feb. 19, Texas-Tyler March 19, at Southern Arkansas April 2, at Centenary April 17, Centenary April 23
It wasn't pretty, but five Biola pitchers combined for a 6-0 no-hitter against The Master's, giving the Eagles the series win, and their first no-hitter since 1970.
Josh Staumont pitched the first 5 1/3 innings for the Eagles, got the win. He struck out three, walked five. The next pitcher, Garrett Picha, faced only one batter. He walked him, and threw a wild pitch while doing it. He was relieved by Erick Allen, who went 2 1/3 innings. Javier Martinez came in with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, and a ground ball to third base was scored as an error, the only one of the game. Martinez got a fly out to end the inning, and struck out the first batter in the bottom of the ninth. Will Emerson recorded a fly out and a strikeout to complete the no-hitter.
C Nick Oddo went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI for the Eagles. 1B Sage Poland singled in the winning run in the second inning. Eagles Head Coach John Verhoeven didn't realize that his team got a no-hitter until ten minutes after the game was over.
Story from Biola site: Five Biola Pitchers Combine to No-Hit The Master's
The Eagles and Mustangs traded 2-0 shutouts on Saturday. A.J. Work and Daniel Sheaffer combined for the shutout for the Mustangs in the first game, Nick Turner and Javier Martinez combined for the shutout for the Eagles in the second game.
LHP Cole Swanson, a transfer from San Diego State (he pitched 26 1/3 innings for the Aztecs last year, struck out 21), got the start for Concordia-Irvine's season opener, and he delivered a complete-game one-hitter against Arizona Christian. He struck out 14. The one hit was a two-run home run by 1B Ryan Jones in the seventh inning. The final score was 4-2. The winning run for the Eagles came on an RBI single by LF Dylan Bryant in the fifth inning. 1B Bryan Garza completed the Eagles' scoring with a home run in the sixth.
The Eagles, the pre-season pick to win the Golden State Athletic Conference, got a win in the first good matchup this season. The Tritons are ranked #23 in the Division II pre-season poll.
The Eagles got an early 2-0 lead on an RBI single by C Chris Kuber and a sacrifice fly by SS Matt Palmer. The Tritons got one back on a solo home run by starting pitcher Justin Rahn. The Eagles took a 5-1 lead in the top of the fifth on RBI singles by 2B Spencer Ofelt and DH Joe Golderberg, and a run scored by Ofelt on a double play. However, the Tritons tied it with four runs on the bottom of the fifth, led by a two-RBI triple by 1B Richard Siegel. Siegel actually hit a home run, but the home run was taken away because he failed to touch home plate.
Four Eagles pitchers, Chris Garrison, Phil Gerber, Sean Buford, and Danny Romero, held the Tritons scoreless the rest of the way. Gerber and Buford pitched hitless innings, and Romero, who pitched the 11th inning, struck out three of the four batters he faced.
The Eagles pushed across the winning run when Kuber and Palmer drew walks to start the 11th inning. Pinch-hitter Chance Kopacz hit a ground ball to shortstop, and a throwing error by the second baseman allowed Steven Hurst, pinch-running for Kuber, to score.
Rahn finished the game 3-for-4 for the Tritons. Buford got the win for the Eagles, and Romero got a save.
11 South pitchers combined to hold the North to four hits in a game played in Daytona Beach, FL. The South led the game all the way, starting with two unearned runs in the top of the first. The South extended their lead to 4-0 with a two-RBI double by 2B Andy Ruiz (Florida Memorial) in the top of the second.
The North answered with a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI triple by CF Billy Farrell (Webber International), who then came home on a ground out by 2B Terry McClinton (South Carolina-Beaufort). The North got as close as 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh when LF Josh Longbrake (Webber International) was hit by a pitch, and scored on an error.
The South got the winning run in the top of the eighth. CF Brandon Kirby (Warner) walked, stole second and third, and scored on a throwing error.
John Verhoeven, Head Coach of the Biola Eagles for 16 seasons, has resigned, effective at the end of the 2013 season.
Verhoeven is a highly-regarded coach at a highly-regarded program. His record is 521-275-6, and he had only one losing season. He took the Eagles to five Golden State Athletic Conference championships, and to the Baseball National Championship in 2001, 2003, and 2005.
Verhoeven played four American League seasons as a right-handed pitcher with the Angels, White Sox, and Twins. He had a career ERA of 3.76.
Official Biola University press release: Baseball Coach John Verhoeven to Resign at End of Season