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Olympic Qualifying: Mexico 8, USA 2

Mexico defeated USA 8-2 in the second game for both teams in the Premier12 qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics. The game was played at Estadio de los Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Six Mexico pitchers combined to hold USA to six hits. RHP Felipe Gonzalez (Monterrey) got the win, but RHP Jesus Cruz (Memphis Redbirds) RHP Carlos Bustamente (Monclova) were especially effective. They both pitched two hitless innings. Cruz struck out two, and Bustamente struck out three.

The Mexicans got on the board in the top of the first. The first pitch of the game from RHP Tanner Houck (Pawtucket Red Sox) hit CF Jonathan Jones (Yucatan). He moved to second on a single by LF Juan Perez (Saltillo). Both of them moved up a base on a ground out by 2B Esteban Quiroz (El Paso Chihuahuas), then scored on a single by 3B Christian Villanueva (Yomiyuri Giants).

Olympic Qualifying: Dominican Republic 14, The Netherlands 4

The Dominican Republic defeated The Netherlands 14-4 in a game halted by the mercy rule after seven innings. This was the second game for both teams in the Premier12 qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics. The game was played at Estadio de los Charros de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.

CF Roger Bernardina (Unión Laguna) of The Netherlands hit the first pitch in the bottom of the first over the fence. Four batters later, C Chadwick Tromp (Louisville Bats) hit a two-run home run, and The Netherlands had a 3-0 lead.

The Netherlands didn't score again until the sixth inning, when SS Sharlon Schoop (L&D Amsterdam) came home on a wild pitch. Meanwhile, DR scored in every inning, and came a run short of putting it away with six runs in the top of the sixth. C Charlie Valerio (Akron RubberDucks) got it started with a home run in the top of the second. DR tied it with two runs in the top of the third, and CF Gilberto Celestino (Fort Myers Miracle) hit an RBI double in the top of the fourth for the winning run.

Bravos de León 5, Leones de Yucatán 4

The Bravos de León (46-68) defeated the Leones (Lions) de Yucatán (64-51) at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on August 25. This was the Bravos' final home game of the season. They lost the previous four games. This was a good ball game, so they finished the season on a positive note, in front of a good crowd.

The Bravos got all five of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. SS Marco Jaime got it started with a single. 3B Marco Guzman hit a double, the 1B Matt Clark was hit hard by a pitch to load the bases. (Clark returned to first base in the top of the fourth, but was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fourth.) The next batter, DH Carlos Rivero, hit a ground ball that resulted in a force out at second base, but Jaime scored. LF Felix Pie hit a double to score Guzman. RF Cedric Hunter drew a walk to load the bases again, then CF Jose Cardona hit a two-RBI single. 2B Carlos Alvarez hit a single to score Hunter, then C Omar Renteria hit into a double play to end the inning.

Guerreros de Oaxaca 6, Bravos de León 1; Bravos de León 9, Guerreros de Oaxaca 3

The Bravos de León (42-60) split a double-header with the Guerreros (Warriors) de Oaxaca (57-46) at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on August 11. The Guerreros won the first game 6-1, and the Bravos won the second game 9-3.

First game: LHP Alex Delgado when the seven-inning distance for the Guerreros. The Guerreros out-hit the Bravos 13-6, and Delgado struck out seven, walked one.

The Guerreros got on the board in the top of the third inning when LF Alonzo Harris hit a double with two out, and scored on a single by 2B-1B Alex Valdez. The next batter, 1B Moises Sierra, hit a single, but missed a chance to do further damage with a base-running blunder. A pitch by Bravos starter RHP Alex Sanabia bounced off the catcher's mitt and back to the mound. Sierra had gone to second, thinking that it was a passed ball. Valdez started for third, then went back. Sanabia threw to second, and Sierra was tagged out because he and Valdez were unable to occupy second at the same time.

Bravos de León 3, Acereros de Monclova 0

The Bravos de León (31-44) defeated the Acereros (Steelers) de Monclova (47-29) 3-0 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on July 9. On a night designated as "the night of the Samurai" by the Bravos, RHP Yasutomo Kubo and RHP Manny Acosta combined for a one-hit shutout of one of the best teams in the Mexican League.

The Bravos got the only run they needed in the bottom of the first inning, on a home run by LF Cedric Hunter. They added a run in the bottom of the second when 2B Marco Guzman led off with a single, then scored from third base on a ground out by RF Jeremias Pineda. The Acereros got their only hit of the game when 3B Rodolfo Amado led off the top of the third inning with a double. He went to third on a ground ball, but was stranded after a ground out and a strikeout. The Acereros didn't get a runner past second the rest of the game.

The Bravos got an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. The inning started with Acereros starter RHP Francisco Rodriguez being relieved by RHP Jaime Lugo. C Israel Nunez led off with a single. He was bunted to second. The Acereros replaced Lugo with LHP Justin Kelly. He walked the first batter he faced. Nunez went to third on a fly out by by SS Marco Jaime. Hunter then hit a high popup that should have ended the inning, but CF Juan Carlos Perez lost track of it. Nunez was already home when the ball hit the ground.

2019 MLB draft

Players from NAIA schools taken in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft:

Position Player School Round Overall MLB team Story
2B Cam Coursey Georgia Gwinnett 13 392 Diamondbacks story
SS Aaron Shackelford The Master's 14 424 Pirates story
RHP Shaine McNeely Hope International 16 496 Yankees  
LHP Niall Windeler British Columbia 19 569 Twins story
RHP Bryce Milligan Oklahoma City 19 593 Brewers  
RHP Eddie Tavarez Peru State 21 643 Brewers story
RHP Matthew Swain Georgia Gwinnett 23 689 Twins  
RHP Justin Friedman Hope International 26 770 White Sox  
C Anthony Lepre The Master's 28 846 Mariners  
CF Elliott Cary Oklahoma City 29 862 Tigers  
2B Jackie Urbaez Saint Thomas 29 883 Brewers  
RHP Peyton Long Central Methodist 30 913 Brewers story
C Dylan Shockley Rio Grande 34 1,024 Pirates  
LF Willie Carter Webber International 34 1,027 Braves  
LHP Dylan Hoffman Waldorf 39 1,163 Padres  


National Championship preview

Schedule for the first two days of the 63rd NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 24-31, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

8:30 AM: #8 seed Indiana Tech (41-14-1) vs. #9 Bellevue (46-14)

Indiana Tech (Fort Wayne) is making their sixth trip to the Baseball National Championship. The most recent one was in 2003. They are the champions of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. Twitter: @INTechBaseball
Nickname: Warriors
Rankings: #23 in coaches' poll, #7 in ISR. SoS: #20
Quality wins: 2-0 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 2-1 vs. Freed-Hardeman, 2-0 vs. U. of the Cumberlands
Top position players: 1B/C Glen McClain (.435, 17 HR, 54 RBI), 3B Branson Dossen (.370, 5 HR, 49 RBI), 1B/3B Jake Defries (.368, 3 HR, 42 RBI). McClain is tied for 12th in the NAIA in hitting and home runs.
Top Pitchers: RHP Tanner Perkins (5-0, 1.10 ERA), LHP Charles Dunavan (9-1, 2.60 ERA, 93 strikeouts), RHP Seth Sorensen (7-3, 2.24 ERA, 63 strikeouts), LHP Dan Shaw (2-2, 1.79 ERA, 62 strikeouts)
Coach: Kip McWilliams, 12th season
Outlook: The Warriors are happy to be here.

Bellevue (Omaha, NE) is making their 13th trip to the Baseball National Championship. The most recent one was in 2016. They are the champions of the North Star Athletic Association. Twitter: @BUBruinBaseball
Nickname: Bruins
Rankings: #21 in coaches' poll, #20 in ISR. SoS: #77
Quality wins: Saint Thomas, Oklahoma City, LSU-Shreveport
Top position players: SS Kory Longaker (.385, 12 HR, 57 RBI), C Travis Tanaka (.380, 3 HR, 51 RBI), 3B J.T. Patterson (.379, 24 home runs, 87 RBI). Patterson is fourth in the NAIA in home runs, and second in RBI.
Top Pitchers: LHP Jarrett Poh (9-0, 1.55 ERA, 68 strikeouts), RHP Stephen Knapp (10-2, 2.33 ERA, 51 strikeouts), RHP Colton Walker (5-2, 4.13 ERA, 60 strikeouts). Poh has the sixth-lowest ERA in the NAIA.
Coach: Duane Monlux, ninth season
Outlook: The Bruins will win a game.

Bravos de León 7, Saraperos de Saltillo 4

The Bravos de León (13-22) defeated the Saraperos (Serape Makers) de Saltillo (18-17) 7-4 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on May 15. A lot of the Bravos games this season have been more like batting practice, but this was a good ball game.

It didn't start out that way. The Saraperos had a 2-0 lead before Bravos starter RHP Yasutomo Kubo recorded his first out. CF Juan Perez led off with a hit, and the next batter, 2B Manny Rodriguez, hit one over the left field fence. DH Jorge Vasquez followed with another hit, but Kubo got a break when the next batter, RF Rainel Rosario, hit into a well-executed double play. Kubo got out of the inning with his first strikeout of the game.

The Saraperos extended their lead to 3-0 with an RBI single by Vasquez in the third inning. In the top of the fourth, a balk was called on Kubo. He proceeded to hit the next two batters, loading the bases. However, he got out of the inning with another double play.

The Bravos got into the game in the bottom of the fourth. 3B Carlos Rivero started it with a double. He moved to third on a single by LF Felix Pie. Then, something unusual happened. RF Cedric Hunter hit what should have been a routine fly ball to left field, but it landed on the ground a couple of meters from the left fielder, Leandro Castro. Rivero scored, and Pie went all the way to third base. Pie then scored on a single by 2B Brandon Macias. The inning ended with a double play, and the Bravos trailing 3-2.

The Saraperos went three-up, three-down in the top of the fifth, with Kubo recording two strikeouts. The Bravos then took over the game with five runs in the bottom of the fifth. DH Carlos Lopez hit an RBI single. 1B Matt Clark followed with another RBI single, and CF Jeremias Pineda made a great dive at home plate when he scored. The next batter, Rivero, hit a ground ball to third, and the third baseman, Christian Zazueta, stepped on the bag for one out, and threw to first for the double play. However, Clark went to second, and scored on a close play at the plate on a single by Pie. Pie then scored on a triple by Hunter, which ended the night for Saraperos starter RHP Raul Carillo. Hunter scored on a single by Macias, and the inning ended with the Bravos leading 7-3.

Rieleros de Aguascalientes 15, Bravos de León 9

The Rieleros (Railroaders) de Aguascalientes (2-1) defeated the Bravos de León (1-2) 15-9 at Estadio Domingo Santana in León on April 7. After an excellent start by RHP Yasutomo Kubo in the season opener, the Bravos have given up 37 runs in their last two games.

The Bravos led this game 6-4 going into the seventh inning, but the Rieleros put up ten runs in the top of the seventh. The inning started with RHP Normand Mendoza on the mound. He gave up a three-run home run by DH Saul Soto. He was replaced by LHP Marco Ramirez, who walked the only batter he faced. The next pitcher was RHP Tony Amezcua, and he was greeted with a two-run home run by 3B Jose Vargas. Amezcua walked the next two batters, then a run scored on a single by RF Edson Garcia. That chased Amezcua, and he was replaced by RHP Fredy Quintero. Quintero struck out the first batter he faced (he had an ERA of infinity coming into the game), but the next batter, SS Richy Pedroza, hit a two-RBI single. He was followed by 2B Michael Wing, who hit a two-run home run, his second hit of the inning, and second home run of the game. Quintero gave up another home run, by Vargas, in the eighth inning.

Interview with LSU Shreveport Coach Brent Lavallee

Brent Lavallee is in his third season as Head Coach of the LSU Shreveport Pilots. The Pilots won the Red River Athletic Conference regular season championship last season. Lavalee was named RRAC Coach of the Year in 2017.

Bob Broughton, courtesyrunner.com: You played four seasons at LSU Shreveport, and went on to become assistant coach and then head coach there. How did you get from North Delta, British Columbia to Shreveport?

Brent Lavallee, LSU Shreveport: Pretty much, I got lucky. It is not easy for a Canadian to get into a good American college program. A former LSUS player (Aaron McRae) was back in town getting ready to go to Spring training with the Detroit Tigers. He had played his Senior season at LSUS in 2003, leading them to a World Series appearance. He was back home training with our high school team and noticed I had some decent defensive skills and he made a call to the Head Coach at LSUS, Rocke Musgraves. Coach Rocke took his word and spoke with my high school coach, Ari Mellios - who had a reputation of making great catchers, and they gave me a little scholarship money and an opportunity to play as a Freshman, and the rest is history. I owe a lot to my parents, my high school coaches and to Aaron McRae and Coach Rocke Musgraves for giving me that opportunity. There was a lot of hard work on my behalf - I was a hockey player who played baseball in the Summer, but there was a much better chance to get an education playing baseball and I am glad I made that decision.

BB: The Pilots have usually had at least one Canadian on the roster, and this year, you have four of them. What is is about LSUS that attracts them?

BL: I think there are many things that attract Canadian student-athletes to LSUS. We have great weather and terrific facilities, especially compared to most Canadian high school programs. The cost of tuition is very affordable, even with the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar being pretty high. Also, the comfort level of having a Canadian on the coaching staff is a bit of an attraction to the families, just knowing that there is someone who knows what the international students are going through and what to do if something were to go wrong. A lot of it is networking. We don't get the chance to see many of the Canadians that end up here; we go off of recommendations from people and we trust them and hope that they know the talent level that we try to bring in. I find myself sometimes being harder on recruiting Canadians because I don't want to bring a kid 3,000 miles to sit the bench. We want them to be contributors, especially if they are coming from so far and paying that amount of money.

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