Six NAIA schools with baseball teams will the playing their final NAIA season this spring.

The most prominent departure is Lee. Their record for the past six seasons under Head Coach Mark Brew has been astonishing: 326-771-1, a trip to the Baseball National Championship every season, and they came within one out of winning the championship in 2008.

Lee also has successful in women's basketball and soccer, and volleyball. However, until recently, they had some difficulty attracting press attention in southeastern Tennessee, and the "NCAA brand" was a factor in their decision. Also a factor was the loss of traditional opponents, Union U. (TN), Berry, and Shorter to Division II.

Lee will become a member of the Gulf South Conference.

Lubbock Christian has a well-funded baseball program. They won the National Championship in 1983 and 2009, and were runners-up in 2011. They will be competing in the Heartland Conference.

Jeremiah Robbins, who coached Division II power Western Oregon to seven straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference titles, and ran up a record of 252-109, was hired as Head Coach as Lewis-Clark State on June 22.

Gary Picone, who coached the Warriors the past two seasons, continues as Lewis-Clark State's Athletic Director. His record was 80-31, and the Warriors won the NAIA West regular season pennant in 2012.

The general reaction in Lewiston was, they got the guy they wanted.

Thursday, 14 June 2012 14:37

Rob Pegg hired as Vanguard coach

Rob Pegg, former Head Coach of Division II Colorado Christian, has been hired as Head Coach at Vanguard. Pegg was the starting catcher for the Lions in the 1996 and 1997 season. He was at Colorado Christian for seven years, and is the only head coach that program has had. Story from Vanguard site: Lions Pegg New Skipper

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 20:31

The 2012 MLB draft

Players from NAIA schools taken in the 2012 MLB draft:

Dane Phillips, C, Oklahoma City, Padres, 70th overall pick Story

Corey Black, RHP, Faulkner, Yankees, 157 Story

Ryan Newell, RHP, Shorter, Marlins, 227 Story

David Otterman, LHP, British Columbia, Brewers, 245 Story

Kris Hall, RHP, Lee, A's, 259 Story

Michael Heesch, LHP, South Carolina-Beaufort, Cubs, 254 Story

Jordan Leyland, 1B, Azusa Pacific, Blue Jays, 295

Charles Gillies, RHP, The Master's, Tigers, 334

Joseph Shiver, RHP, Southern Polytechnic, 336

Keith Glenn, CF, Arizona Christian, Diamondbacks, 393

Michael Vaughn, C, Fresno Pacific, Marlins, 437

Blake Schwartz, RHP, Oklahoma City, Nationals, 534

Ricky Gingras, C, Point Loma Nazarene, Astros, 549

Patrick Merkling, LHP, Lee, Marlins, 557 Story

Miguel Beltran, 1B, Oklahoma City, Rays, 602

Gary Ward, LHP, Bethel U. (TN), Mets, 650

Jeremy Fitzgerald, RHP, Tennessee Wesleyan, Braves, 659

Cory McGinnis, RHP, Auburn-Montgomery, White Sox, 681

Alan Garcia, RHP, Azusa Pacific, Dodgers, 686

Levi Dean, RHP, Tennessee Weslayan, Mariners, 701

Keaton Briscoe, 2B, British Columbia, Red Sox, 751

Chad Carman, C, Oklahoma City, Phillies, 758

Dane Stone, RHP, Saint Thomas (FL), Marlins, 767

Alec Mehrten, SS, Fresno Pacific, Rockies, 768

Storm Throne, RHP, Morningside, White Sox, 771

Vincent Spilker, RHP, Lee, Diamondbacks, 783

Brandon Alger, LHP, Indiana Tech, Padres, 795

Adam Paulencu, RHP, Embry-Riddle, Rockies, 798

Chris Fern, LHP, Union C. (KY), Giants, 838

Lance Rymel, C, Rogers State, Cubs, 854

Joel Capote, CF, Saint Thomas (FL), Angels, 867

Austin Pentecost, RHP, Lewis-Clark State, Cubs, 884 Story

Andy Hillis, RHP, Lee, Cardinals, 900

Izaac Garsez, RF, C. of Idaho, Cubs, 914

Matt Kimbrel, RHP, Southern Polytechnic, Braves, 959

Jorge Saez, C, Lee, Blue Jays, 985

Ben Kline, SS, Embry-Riddle, Rays, 992

Nick Anderson, RHP, Mayville State, Brewers, 995

Luke Goodgion, LHP, Lewis-Clark State, Rays, 1022

Zachary Livingston, C, Arizona Christian, Angels, 1047

Cory Bafidis, LHP, Texas Wesleyan, Nationals, 1074

Jose Sermo, SS, Bethany C. (KS), Brewers, 1085

Michael Smith, LHP, Cumberland, Marlins, 1157

Anthony Renteria, OF, Cal State-San Marcos, Padres, 1185

Monday, 04 June 2012 18:47

National All-Americans, Gold Gloves

Miguel Beltran of Oklahoma City is the NAIA Player of the Year. Click here for the story from Oklahoma City. This is the second straight year that an Oklahoma City player has gotten this honor.

Click here for the NAIA's list of All-Americans. It includes three players from Oklahoma City and Lee, and two from LSU-Shreveport.

Click here for Rawlings-NAIA Baseball Gold Glove team. Chad Carman of Oklahoma City and Kyle Pearson of LSU-Shreveport made both lists. Two players from Siena Heights received Gold Gloves.

The Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs got five RBI from 3B Taylor Oldham and five unearned runs to defeat Rogers State 10-6 in the final. It was the fourth time in the tournament that the Bulldogs scored in double figures.

RF Jordan Guida hit a home run, and his seven home runs for the tournament is a record. (He hit only five home runs during the regular season.) The Bulldogs trailed 6-5 after seven innings, but they put up five runs in the bottom of the eighth. Three of them came from a home run by Oldham, but the winning run came on a two-RBI single by 1B Jake Stone.

Corey Rhoney and Corey Collins held the Hillcats scoreless over the last six innings. Collins got the win, Rhoney recorded five strikeouts.

Attendance: 3,075

Story from NAIA site: Tennessee Wesleyan Wins 2012 Avista-NAIA World Series
Box score and play-by-play

Guida was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Kade Billeaudeaux of LSU-Shreveport won the Charles Berry Hustle Award.

Thursday, 31 May 2012 23:39

National Championship recap for May 31

RF Jordan Guida hit three home runs, batted in six runs, and Tennessee Wesleyan defeated LSU-Shreveport 17-10, before a crowd of 1,870. The Bulldogs led 13-2 at one point. The Pilots got as close as 13-9 before the Bulldogs put it away with four runs in the top of the eighth, two of them on Guida's third home run.

This is the third time the Bulldogs have scored more than ten runs during this tournament.

The Bulldogs play Rogers State on Friday at 6:35 PM PDT for the championship. Both teams are going for their first-ever championship.

Story from NAIA site: Tennessee Wesleyan Advance to Title Game
Box score and play-by-play

All games are webcast by KOZE Radio (audio and free) and nmnathletics.com (video and $9.95 for a day). Live stats are available for all games by clicking here.

Saturday, 26 May 2012 22:34

National Championship recap for May 26

Brandon Bargas recorded 18 strikeouts for Rogers State in a 2-1 upset of the #1 seed LSU-Shreveport. Bargas went the distance, allowed four hits, threw 128 pitches.
Story from NAIA site: Rogers State Out Duels LSU Shreveport, 2-1
Box score and play-by-play

Embry-Riddle and College of Idaho went two-and-out.

Schedule for Monday, May 28 (all times PDT):

9 AM: South Carolina-Beaaufort vs. Point Park
noon: Lewis-Clark State vs. LSU-Shreveport
3 PM: Tennessee Wesleyan vs. Rogers State
6:30 PM: Oklahoma City vs. Lee

All games are webcast by KOZE Radio (audio and free) and nmnathletics.com (video and $39.95 for the series, or $9.95 for a day). Live stats are available for all games by clicking here.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 22:57

National Championship preview

Schedule for the first two days of the 56th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday, May 25, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

9 AM: #7 seed Point Park (51-9) vs. #10 College of Idaho (41-19)

Point Park (Pittsburgh) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship since 1998.
Nickname: Pioneers
Rankings: #12 in coaches' poll, #17 in ISR. Strength of schedule: #160
Significant wins: Campbellsville
Top position players: OF Tom Pasinski (.351), IF Tom Birko (.343)
Top pitchers: RHP Derek Peluso (9-1, 2.23 ERA, 73 K), RHP Manny Perdomo (7-0, 1.47 ERA), LHP Nathan Spohn (8-0, 2.29 ERA), RHP Sean Clark (7-0, 2.55 ERA)
Coach: Loren Torres, third season
Outlook: The Pioneers are happy to be here.

College of Idaho (Caldwell, ID) is making their first trip to the Baseball National Championship since 2002. They won the championship in 1998.
Nickname: Coyotes
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #28 in ISR. SoS: #31
Significant wins: 1-1 vs. Azusa Pacific, 3-1 vs. British Columbia, 2-3 vs. Lewis-Clark State
Top position players: LF Izaac Garsez (.396, 8 home runs, 52 RBI), Jarel Lewis (.374, 6 home runs, 56 RBI), Tanner Hodges (.373, 66 RBI), 3B/RHP Todd Griffiths (.258), DH Jesse Dodd (.369).
Top pitchers: RHP Taylor Nicholson (9-2, 2.47 ERA, 63 K), LHP Zachary Fabricius (5-4, 4.04 ERA, 39 K), RHP Chad Yeggy (8-3, 3.71 ERA), LHP Joshua Orr (7-4, 4.09 ERA), RHP Todd Griffiths (4-1, 2.58 ERA).
Coach: Shawn Humberger, 12th season
Outlook: The Coyotes played well all season in a good conference, and got a win at Azusa Pacific to get here. They should get a couple of wins in this tournament.

Oklahoma City, Lee, South Carolina-Beaufort, and the College of Idaho have qualified for the Baseball National Championship tournament. Results from the fifth day of the NAIA Baseball Opening round:

At Oklahoma City, OK:

Oklahoma City 3, Sterling (KS) 0: The Stars finished this tournament with a phenomenal three straight shutouts. Sterling had the tying run at the plate with no outs in the top of the ninth, and Patrick Goelz came in, threw nine straight strikes to end it.

The winning run came in the third inning, on an RBI double by 1B Miguel Beltran. Beltran went 3-for-4 for the game. Starter Blake Schwartz got the win, went six innings, allowed five hits, struck out seven.

At Hardeeville, SC:

South Carolina-Beaufort 11, Saint Thomas (FL) 2: The Sand Sharks scored eight runs in the fourth inning. 1B Brandon Collins went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and three RBI.

The Sand Sharks earned this trip to Lewiston in only the fourth year of their program.

At Azusa, CA:

College of Idaho 7, Azusa Pacific 6: CF Tyler Andazola hit a ground ball in the bottom of the ninth to score SS Tanner Hodges from third base to give the Coyotes their first trip to the National Championship tournament since 2002.

Todd Griffiths, who pitched a complete-game shutout against Menlo on Friday, went 8 1/3 innings in this one, allowed 11 hits. He was relieved by Taylor Nicholson after the Cougars tied it with two runs in the top of the ninth. Nicholson threw eight pitches, got the win.

At Cleveland, TN:

Lee 8, Missouri Baptist 5: The Flames scored five runs in the top of the third inning to break a 2-2 tie. 1B Roberto Reyes hit a three-RBI double.

This will be the sixth straight trip to Lewiston for the Flames since Mark Brew took over as Head Coach.

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