Saturday, 28 May 2011 01:56

National Championship recap for May 27

Results from the first day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship, in Lewiston, ID:

Concordia-Irvine 7, Faulkner 2
LSU-Shreveport 5, Lee 4
Lubbock Christian 7, Oklahoma Baptist 2
Lewis-Clark State 5, Tennessee Wesleyan 4

Concordia-Irvine 7, Faulkner 2

Faulkner started their ace, R.L. Eisenbach, and Concordia was able to score four runs on five hits on him in only three-plus innings. Eisenbach was chased by a two-RBI double by 2B Robbie Knowles. The first of the two RBI held up as the winning run; Concordia starter Dean Persinger held Faulkner to two runs on four hits over the first six innings, and reliever Josh White held Faulkner scoreless the rest of the way.

Knowles got a sacrifice fly late in the game, and finished 1-3 with three RBI. LF Kyle Konicek went 2-4 with a double and two RBI.

Box score and play-by-play
Story from NAIA site

Saturday, 21 May 2011 00:09

National Championship preview

Schedule for the first day of the 55th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday, May 27, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

8:30 AM: #8 seed Faulkner (48-13) vs. #9 Concordia-Irvine (38-18)

Faulkner (Montgomery, AL) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship.
Nickname: Eagles
Rankings: #12 in coaches' poll, #7 in ISR. Strength of schedule: #29
Significant wins: 2-2 vs. Brewton-Parker, 1-1 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 2-1 vs. Union C. (KY)
Top position players: LHP/OF Tucker Willard (.391), IF Daniel Cayton (.371), IF Michael Clayton (.355, 15 HR, 69 RBI)
Top pitchers: LHP R.L. Eisenbach (14-1, 1.36 ERA, 112 K), RHP Jacob Simmons (10-3, 3.70 ERA), RHP Colby Broussard (4-0, 4.29 ERA, 8 saves). Eisenbach leads the NAIA in wins. He made two starts for Lubbock Christian in the 2009 BNC. One of them was a complete-game 2-1 loss to Point Loma Nazarene, one of the best games played in Lewiston in recent years. He allowed five hits, struck out eight. (Click here and scroll down for story.)
Coach: Patrick McCarthy, second season
Outlook: Faulkner will probably go 1-2.

Concordia-Irvine (Irvine, CA) is making their second trip to Lewiston; the first one was in 2006. They won the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament, and come into this tournament with an eight-game winning streak.
Nickname: Eagles
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #12 in ISR. SoS: #1
Significant wins: 2-0 vs. British Columbia, 2-4 vs. Cal Baptist, 3-2 vs. Fresno Pacific, Cal Poly Pomona
Top position players: 1B Bryan Nicholson (.423, 9 HR, 61 RBI), OF Kyle Konicek (.380)
Top pitchers: RHP Blake Harrison (7-1, 2.67 ERA, 60 K), RHP Dean Persinger (6-4, 3.82 ERA, 56 K), RHP Brent Clapper (8-4, 4.20 ERA, 61 K), RHP Ryan Day (1-1, 4.00 ERA, 7 saves)
Coach: Mike Grahovac, third season
Outlook: Concordia had a strong finish in a tough conference, and won the Opening Round bracket with the strongest field. They can finish in the top four. The first game will be tough if Faulkner starts Eisenbach.

Monday, 16 May 2011 16:38

Opening Round Recap for May 16

#4 Oklahoma Baptist won the Joliet bracket, defeating #13 Biola 13-1 after a 44-hour rain delay. Bison starter Chad Hardison was able to pick up where he left off on Saturday, allowed six hits in six innings total. The Bison got all the runs they needed before the rain delay; LF Michael Sliger scored when 3B Alan Trayler was hit by a pitch, and 1B Bam Davis scored during a double play. DH Daniel Baptista went 3-4 with an RBI. Story from Oklahoma Baptist site

This will be the first trip to the Baseball National Championship for the Bison since 1996.

#12 Faulkner defeated #8 Union C. (KY) 4-2 in the “if necessary” game to decide the Kingsport bracket. R.L. Eisenbach got his second win of the tournament, allowed four hits in 6 1/3 innings, threw 100 pitches on two days rest. Union starter Brandon Hedrick went 6 2/3 innings, allowed only one earned run on three hits, struck out 11, threw 140 pitches. However, he walked seven batters and hit one more. The winning run for the Eagles came on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning by DH Tim Barranza with the bases loaded; an additional run came in on a throwing error. Story from Faulker site

Eisenbach leads the NAIA with 14 wins, and has an ERA of 1.27. This is Faulkner's first trip to the Baseball National Championship, but it will be the second trip for Eisenbach; he pitched for Lubbock Christian in 2009.

 

Sunday, 15 May 2011 20:08

Opening Round Recap for May 15

During the first two seasons of the current “direct qualification” arrangement, no unranked teams made it through to the Baseball National Championship in Lewiston. The lowest ranked team to get to Lewiston was Tennessee Wesleyan, ranked #24 at the end of the 2010 season.

This season turned out differently. Concordia-Irvine (ISR #14) and Tennessee Wesleyan (ISR #28) will be in the Baseball National Championship field.

Concordia-Irvine won the Riverside bracket, defeating #3 Cal Baptist 4-2 in the final. DH Bryan Nicholson hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to win it for the Eagles. Brent Clapper, who allowed six hits in 7 1/3 innings, got the win.

The was the Eagles' eighth straight win, and their 20th win in their past 22 games.

Tennessee Wesleyan won the Paducah bracket, defeating #5 Cumberland 9-2 in the “if necessary” game. DH David Bergin hit two home runs and had six RBI for Wesleyan in the all-Bulldogs matchup. Josh McDaniel, pitching for Wesleyan on short rest, went six innings, allowed no earned runs on two hits. Corey Collins went the rest of the way, held Cumberland scoreless; both of Cumberland's runs came in the first inning.

Cumberland defeated Wesleyan 19-10 earlier the same day. LF Jesse Bowman went 4-5 with six RBI for Cumberland; Bergin hit two home runs for Wesleyan in this game, too, and he now has 23 on the season.

Wesleyan defeated Cumberland 5-3 earlier in the tournament, and the starters were Bergin and Aaron Wilkerson. Neither got a decision, but Bergin got the best of the matchup, went 6 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on six hits, struck out seven. Wilkerson, making the last appearance of his career, went three innings, allowed three runs on eight hits. His numbers for 2011 are 12-0, 1.49 ERA, and 90 strikeouts. He had 26 straight wins in his two seasons at Cumberland. He got the only at-bat of his career in a 14-7 win over William Jewell in this tournament; he came in as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, and reached on a fielder's choice.

The locations and seeding for the NAIA National Championship Opening Round tournament, May 12-16 at nine locations:

Location and Seedings

Coaches'
Poll

ISR

How Qualified

Daytona Beach Bracket

No. 1 Embry-Riddle (FL)

1

2

CC

Hosted by Embry-Riddle - Daytona Beach, FL Tournament site

No. 2 Brewton-Parker (GA)

15

10

AL

No. 3 Campbellsville (KY)

 

34

CC

No. 4 William Carey (MS)

 

52

CR

No. 5 Edward Waters (FL)

 

90

CC

Oklahoma City Bracket

No. 1 Oklahoma City

2

2

AL

Hosted by Oklahoma City - Oklahoma City, OK Tournament site

No. 2 Fresno Pacific (CA)

18

11

AL

No. 3 Belhaven (MS)

20

21

CC

No. 4 Texas-Brownsville

 

46

CR

No. 5 Doane (NE)

 

82

CC

Riverside Bracket

No. 1 California Baptist

3

4

CC

Hosted by California Baptist - Riverside, CA Tournament site

No. 2 British Columbia

17

5

CC

No. 3 Concordia-Irvine (CA)

 

14

CC

No. 4 California State-San Marcos

 

25

CC

No. 5 St. Thomas (FL)

 

53

CR

Joliet Bracket

No. 1 Oklahoma Baptist

4

9

CR

Hosted by Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and St. Francis (Ill.) - Joliet, Ill. Tournament site

No. 2 Biola (CA)

13

8

AL

No. 3 St. Francis (IL)

 

60

CC

No. 4 Robert Morris (IL)

 

83

CC

No. 5 Jamestown (ND)

 

31

CC

Paducah Bracket

No. 1 Cumberland (TN)

5

6

AL

Hosted by Paducah CVB/Brooks Stadium - Paducah, KY Tournament site

No. 2 Southern Polytechnic (GA)

19

26

AL

No. 3 Tennessee Wesleyan

 

28

CC

No. 4 Bellevue (NE)

 

67

CC

No. 5 William Jewell (MO)

 

75

CC

Montgomery Bracket

No. 1 LSU-Shreveport (LA)

6

13

CC

Hosted by Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) - Montgomery, Ala. Tournament site

No. 2 Auburn-Montgomery (AL)

10

16

AL

No. 3 Union U. (TN)

22

23

CC

No. 4 William Woods (MO)

 

35

CC

No. 5 Huntington (IN)

 

129

CC

Cleveland Bracket

No. 1 Lee (TN)

7

15

AL

Hosted by Lee (Tenn.) - Cleveland, Tenn.

No. 2 Missouri Baptist

14

18

AL

No. 3 Culver-Stockton (MO)

25

44

CC

No. 4 Indiana Tech

 

39

CC

No. 5 Shawnee State (OH)

 

51

CC

Kingsport Bracket

No. 1 Union C. (KY)

8

17

AL

Hosted by Kingsport CVB and Appalachian Athletic Conference - Kingsport, TN Tournament site

No. 2 Faulkner (AL)

12

12

AL

No. 3 IU Southeast

 

45

CC

No. 4 Iowa Wesleyan

 

33

CC

No. 5 Mount Vernon Nazarene (OH)

 

32

CC

Lubbock Bracket

No. 1 Lubbock Christian (TX)

9

7

AL

Hosted by Lubbock Christian - Lubbock, TX Tournament site

No. 2 Rogers State (OK)

15

22

CC

No. 3 Northwood (TX)

21

24

AL

No. 4 Kansas Wesleyan

 

73

CC

No. 5 Hastings (NE)

 

121

CC



First place votes: Embry-Riddle 20, Oklahoma City 1, Lewis-Clark State 1; Lewis-Clark State was #11 in the coaches' poll, #1 in the ISR

How qualified: CC = conference champion, CR = conference runner-up, AL = at large

Left out: College of Idaho (ISR #19), Trevecca Nazarene (ISR #20), Point Park (coaches' #23), York (coaches' #24)

Saturday, 07 May 2011 19:33

Conference tournament roundup for May 7

Union U. (TN) won the TranSouth Conference tournament, defeating Bethel (TN) 11-2 in the final. DH Bryan Hill  went 4-5, and CF Brett Pawlen went 3-4 with three RBI. Derek Roof went the distance for the Bulldogs, scattered nine hits.

Union defeated Martin Methodist 12-7 to get to the final.  Story from Union  U. site.

#19 Rogers State won their first-ever Sooner Athletic Conference tournament, defeating #5 Oklahoma Baptist 12-7 in the final. DH Cody Campbell went 3-5 with a double and a two-run home run. The home run provided the winning run for the Hillcats. Eric Faust got the win. Story from Rogers State site.

#20 British Columbia won their third straight NAIA West title, defeating College of Idaho 13-8 in the "if necessary" game. LF Andrew Madsen batted in three runs. He hit two doubles in four at-bats, and got a huge assist, throwing out a baserunner at the plate. Shawn Hetherington got the win in relief. He came on in the sixth inning, went 2 2/3 innings, allowed no runs on two hits. Story from British Columbia site

 

#1 Embry-Riddle won their third straight The Sun Conference tournament, defeating Saint Thomas 10-2. The Eagles got all the runs they needed in the third inning. SS Jordan Romero scored on a throwing error, 3B Steve Sabins hit an RBI double, and 1B Ben Kline hit a single to score Sabins. Daniel Eaton got the win, went eight innings, scattered nine hits. Kline was 10-19 for the tournament, with two home runs and ten RBI.

Concordia-Irvine (ISR #24) won their first-ever Golden State Athletic Conference title, defeating Biola 14-4. Concordia out-hit Biola by only 13-11, but Concordia got it started with four runs in the second inning; a two-RBI by 2B Robbie Knowles, a sacrifice fly by SS Edgar Guillen, and an RBI single by CF Matt Ivanoff. They got the winning run an inning later, when courtesy runner Sean Costella scored when 3B Danny Casey was hit by a pitch. Costella scored two more runs in the game, including a acrobatic move to avoid a tag coming home on a double by DH Bryan Nicholson. Story (with video) from Concordia-Irvine site.

Thursday, 05 May 2011 13:36

Conference tournament roundup for May 5

Results from the TranSouth Conference tournament in Jackson, TN:

#4 Cumberland defeated Freed-Hardeman 9-3, eliminating Freed-Hardeman. Aaron Wilkerson got his 12th win of the season, went six innings, allowed three runs on seven hits, struck out seven, threw 114 pitches. Daniel Kern got a save; he retired all nine batters he faced, struck out two. SS Tommy Winegardner hit a three-run home run.

Union U. (TN) defeated Bethel (TN) 10-5.

Martin Methodist defeated #22 Trevecca Nazarene 4-3, in ten innings. CF Tony Allen singled in the winning run; he went 3-4 for the game. Both starters went the distance; Travis Garcia got the win, allowed five hits, struck out ten, threw 134 pitches. P.J. Francescon got the loss, allowed eight hits, struck out 14, threw 140 pitches.

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 15:08

Conference tournament roundup for May 4

#21 Belhaven won the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament, defeating William Carey in the final 16-5. The Blazers put it away with ten runs in the third inning, led by a grand slam home run by C Ryan Saunders; all of the runs were scored with two out.

Belhaven, Lee, and Auburn-Montgomery will be in the Opening Round tournament. Faulkner, Southern Polytechnic, and Brewton-Parker will have to wait until the final coaches' poll next week.

Results from the TranSouth Conference tournament in Jackson, TN:

#4 Cumberland was upset by Bethel (TN) (ISR #59) 9-7 in the first round. The Bulldogs led 5-2 after five innings, but the Wildcats scored four runs in the sixth inning on no hits, three bases on balls, and three errors. The winning run came in the seventh inning on a two-RBI double by LF Jay Lowery.

#22 Trevecca Nazarene defeated Freed-Hardeman 4-1. The winning run came on a sacrifice fly by DH Jordan Foreman.

Martin Methodist defeated Union U. (TN) (ISR #23) 2-1. Martin Methodist starter Jerry McMurtry went eight innings, allowed one run on five hits, struck out ten, threw 128 pitches. Jeremey Stack went the distance for Union U.; he allowed two runs on seven hits, struck out seven, threw 126 pitches. The winning run came on a wild pitch by Stack.

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 19:01

Top 25 and recap for May 3

The NAIA Coaches' Top 25 for May 3, with Boyd Nation's ISR rankings. Recap below the fold:

RANK

LAST
WEEK

ISR

SCHOOL

2011
RECORD

TOTAL
POINTS

1

1

2

Embry-Riddle (FL)

43-9

586

2

2

1

Oklahoma City

41-9

572

3

3

5

California Baptist

41-12

552

4

5

3

Cumberland (TN)

42-12

539

5

7

8

Oklahoma Baptist

39-11

506

6

4

11

Lee (TN)

44-12

489

7

8

13

Union C. (KY)

42-9

464

8

9

10

LSU-Shreveport (LA)

40-13

461

9

10

6

Lubbock Christian (TX)

41-11

433

10

6

12

Auburn-Montgomery (AL)

40-17

431

11

13

9

Faulkner (AL)

45-11

378

12

14

4

Lewis-Clark State (ID)

34-13

376

13

12

16

Biola (CA)

33-18

373

14

11

17

Missouri Baptist

36-10

359

15

15

14

Fresno Pacific (CA)

30-17

314

16

16

7

Brewton-Parker (GA)

33-15

310

17

17

18

Northwood (TX)

36-15

265

18

19

21

Southern Polytechnic (GA)

40-14

258

19

18

22

Rogers State (OK)

42-12

238

20

20

19

British Columbia

27-14

215

21

22

20

Belhaven (MS)

41-15

209

22

24

15

Trevecca Nazarene (TN)

34-20

164

23

25

49

Point Park (PA)

36-11

130

24

23

40

Culver-Stockton (MO)

36-14

119

25

RV

60

Madonna (MI)

30-12

102

 

 

23

Union U. (TN)

34-14

 

 

 

24

Concordia-Irvine (CA)

31-18

 

 

 

25

Tennessee Wesleyan

33-18

 

First place votes: Embry-Riddle 15, Oklahoma City 4, Cal Baptist 1, Cumberland 1

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