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Recap for March 14

Cal Baptist (ISR #1) split four games with Azusa Pacific (#16), winning 2-1, losing 5-1, winning 10-3, and losing 7-3. Taylor Siemens went the distance in the first game, scattering eight hits and striking out 11, and not walking a batter. The Lancers' runs came from solo home runs by SS Brian Sharp and 1B Josh Manzano. Morgan Wynne got the win for the Cougars in the second game. Erik Wallace got the win for the Lancers in the third game, went eight innings, allowed four hits. In the fourth game, 1B Johnathan Erb went 2-3 and batted in three runs for the Cougars; Nolan Rudman got a win in his first start of the season; he allowed four hits over six innings, struck out seven.

The Lancers are now 23-4, and they remain at the top of the Golden State Athletic Conference standing with a 10-2 record. Next up is Fresno Pacific (#3), at home on Wednesday, and away on March 19. The Sunbirds are 13-8, and swept four games against The Master's last week.

Oklahoma City (#2) has won 19 straight. They started the week with a 6-5 win over Iowa Wesleyan. Courtesy runner Brian Fisher scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch. Steve Styck, who pitched the final inning, got his second win of the season. The Stars then swept three games from Northwestern Oklahoma State, 17-7, 2-1, and 4-1 (eight innings). Allen Townsend got the 2-1 win, struck out eight, didn't allow an earned run. Matt Presley batted in the winning run in the third game. Rich Hawkins went the eight-inning distance for the Stars. Hawkins is 3-2, 2.05 ERA.

The 19-2 Stars visit Division II Southwestern Oklahoma State on Tuesday, U. Of Science and Arts of Oklahoma on Thursday, and host USAO on March 19.

Embry-Riddle (#4) started the week with a 10-2 win over Jamestown; SS Ben Kline went 3-4 with two doubles. Brandon Creath went seven innings, allowed two hits, struck out eight. The Eagles then won two games against Tennessee Wesleyan, 8-2 and 8-5. Ryan Vigue and Robbie Ratliff got the wins. Next, their 13-game winning streak was broken by South Carolina-Beaufort, 7-6 in 11 innings. The Eagles led 5-0 at one point, but needed a sacrifice fly by CF Aaron Glaum in the top of the ninth to send it into extra innings. The Sand Sharks loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the 11th, and Larry Perry hit a single with two out to win it. Andrew Barrineau, who pitched the last three innings for the Sand Sharks, got the win.

The Eagles swept a double-header against the Sand Sharks the next day, 2-0 and 10-7 (11 innings). This was described in Embry-Riddle's press release as “one of the most intense doubleheaders in recent history.” Ryan Vigue got his second win of the week in the complete-game shutout. He allowed only four hits, and struck out 11. The Eagles got the winning run in the first inning on an RBI single by 3B Steve Sabins. The only other run of the game came on an RBI single by C Adam Cellini in the seventh inning. The Sand Sharks had the tying run at first in the bottom of the eighth, but Vigue got LF/RF Ty Main to ground out to end the only scoring threat of the game by the Sand Sharks.

Recap for March 6

Oklahoma City got a 17-6 mid-week win against Briar Cliff, then swept a three-game series against Lubbock Christian, 1-0, 5-3, and 7-4, giving the Chaparrals their first losses of the season. Corey Theriot pitched a complet-game shutout in the first game, allowed four hits, struck out five. 2B/3B Dearth Parker hit an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to score the only run of the game. Paul Gonzalez, who pitched a complete game for the Chaparrals, got the loss. In the second game, the Stars lit up Chaparral starter Lucas Whitmore for five runs in the first two innings, and the Chaparrals left the bases loaded three times. Allen Townsend got the win. Story from Oklahoma City site: Stars finish off Lubbock Christian 1-0, 5-3. The Stars trailed the third game most of the way, but scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth, led by a two-RBI triple by CF Ruben Sosa. The Stars were also helped by two Chaparral errors in the inning. Rich Hawkins got the win in relief; he went five innings, allowed two runs on three hits. Story from Oklahoma City site: Stars sweep Lubbock Christian with 7-4 win.

The Stars and Chaparrals will not meet again until the Sooner Conference tournament. The three losses dropped the Chaparrals to 14-3. The Chaparrals visit Kansas Wesleyan on Tuesday, host York (8-6) on Wednesday, and host Rogers State (17-1) March 11-12.

The Stars finished the week with a 22-8 win over Iowa Wesleyan, to run their record to 15-2. SS Kirk Walker, 1B Austin Messerli, and CF Terrance Jackson hit home runs. The Stars play one more game against Iowa Wesleyan on Tuesday, host Northwestern Oklahoma State on Thursday, and visit Northwestern Oklahoma State on March 12.

Recap for February 28

Cumberland won two of three against Brewton-Parker and split a double-header with Indiana Tech. The wins over Brewton-Parker were 2-0 and 7-6. Aaron Wilkerson got his 16th straight win in the shutout, allowing one hit in seven innings of work. Keith Kirby pitched the final two innings, and LF Richie Seaton singled in both runs. C David Fanshawe went 3-4 in the second win, and batted in the winning run. In the third game, however, the Bulldogs were mercy-ruled by the Barons, 13-0 after five innings. Daniel Miller held the Bulldogs to one hit.

The Bulldogs won the first game against Indiana Tech 6-3; Matt Vance got the win, and 3B Tommy Crews batted in the winning run. The score of the second game was 5-3; LF Gary King batted in the winning run, 1B Riley Muhlenkamp hit a home run, and Brandon Alger got the win.

The Bulldogs are now 9-3. They travel to Freed-Hardeman March 4-5, and Texas Wesleyan March 7.

Lee defeated Rio Grande 4-1; Curtis Camilli allowed three hits over seven innings, and Roberto Reyes hit a three-run home run. The Flames then won three of four against Iowa Wesleyan. Shay Crawford pitched a seven-inning one hitter in the first game, a 7-0 win for the Flames. Iowa Wesleyan won the second game 2-1; both of the Tigers' runs were unearned. Jorge Martinez went the seven-inning distance for the Tigers, allowed five hits. The Flames won the remaining two games 2-1 and 17-2; Jay Bolen and Joe Fabre combined to hold the Tigers to four hits in the 2-1 win.

Recap for February 20

Cumberland got their first loss of the season against McKendree, 2-1. The Bearcats scored both of their runs in the bottom of the seventh of a seven-inning game. Will Locante of the Bulldogs went the distance, allowed only three hits, but two of those hits, and the only walk issued by Locante, came in the seventh inning. C Kyle Moll hit an RBI single to tie it. Moll then scored the winning run on a squeeze bunt.

The Bulldogs rebounded with a 12-3 win over McKendree, then defeated Belhaven 4-2. Aaron Wilkerson got the win over Belhaven, went seven innings, allowed four hits, struck out seven. The Bulldogs out-hit the Blazers by only 7-6, but two of the Bulldogs' hits were home runs by RF Cory Farris; he batted in all four runs. Farris hit another home run earlier in the day against McKendree.

The Bulldogs host Brewton-Parker Feb. 25-26, and Indiana Tech Feb. 27. Brewton-Parker is 10-1 (see below). The Blazers, who are 7-2, host Bethel (TN) Tuesday and Wednesday, and LSU-Alexandria Feb. 25-26.

Recap for February 13

Cal Baptist swept three close games from a Cal State San Marcos team that was 6-1 going into the series. The Lancers won the first game 2-0 with a pinch-hit single by Josh Manzano. Drew Madrigal and Erik Wallace scattered four hits for the shutout; the Cougars outhit the Lancers 4-3. The second game was 4-3; the Lancers scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and the winning run came in on a double by RF Zach Esquerra. Patrick Smith got the win in relief. The Lancers trailed 7-0 after 1 1/2 innings in the third game, but Travis Barnes was able to hold the Cougars to two runs on four hits the rest of the way. The Lancers took a 9-7 lead in the fifth inning on a two-run home run by LF Jake Johnson, and the Cougars tied it 8-8 in the eighth when Smith walked in two runs. However, the Lancers loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and the winning run came in when C Sharif Othman was hit by a pitch by  Johnny Omahen.

The Lancers are now 10-1. They host La Sierra on Tuesday, and host British Columbia Feb. 18-19. The Cougars visit Point Loma Nazarene on Tuesday, and play Azusa Pacific home-and-away Feb. 18-19.

Cumberland opened their season with a pair of wins over Missouri Baptist, 3-2 and 7-1. The first game was scheduled for seven innings, but it took a home run by Cory Farris in the eighth inning to decide it. Keith Kirby got the win in relief. In the second game, Mike Mandarino allowed two hits over six innings, and Christian Jennings finished with a perfect seventh inning. Farris went 2-3 with an RBI double.

Recap for February 6

Cal Baptist won two of three against Division II Cal State-San Bernardino. The Lancers won the first game 3-2. Taylor Siemens got the win, holding CSUSB to three hits over six innings, striking out five. SS Brian Sharp singled in the winning run in the sixth inning. Story from Cal Baptist site: Coyotes Executed. CSUSB won the second game 8-3; the game was tied 3-3 going into the eighth inning, but the Coyotes pulled away with a two-RBI single by RF David Silvas. 2B Cole Bullard and Sharp each had two hits for the Lancers, and Travis Barnes got the loss. The Lancers won the rubber game 8-5, and RF Matt Marnati went 3-4 and batted in three runs. Devyn Rivera got the win; he and reliever Erik Wallace combined to hold the Coyotes to seven hits. Marnati is batting .522, Wallace is 1-0, 1.64 ERA with two saves. Coming up for the Lancers: at Cal State-LA on Tuesday, at Redlands on Wednesday, and away-and-home against  Cal State San Marcos, a team that is now 6-1, Feb 11-12.

The Red River-Sooner Conference challenge that was scheduled at Northwood (TX) was cancelled due to weather, depriving Lubbock Christian and Oklahoma City of their season openers. The Chaparrals are now scheduled to host Bellevue Feb. 11-12; the Stars will host Sterling Feb. 11-12. However, LSU-Shreveport managed  to schedule a triple-header against Lindenwood, and the result was three losses, 9-8, 7-4, and 7-6. CF Mario Parra had five hits in nine at-bats for the day for the Lions. The Pilots host Southern Arkansas on Tuesday, and Belhaven Feb. 11-12.

Recap for January 31

Cal State-San Marcos initiated their on-campus ballpark with an 8-7 win over Vanguard on Friday. The Cougars and Lions split a double-header at Vanguard on Saturday; the Lions won the first game 2-1, and the Cougars won the nightcap 7-2.

Friday's game drew a crowd of 787. They saw the Cougars trailing 7-4 going into the bottom of the ninth. They got a run on a passed ball, followed by a two-RBI single by LF Anthony Renteria to tie it. Courtesy runner Cory McCloskey scored the winning run on a single by SS Johnny Omahen. Mitch Ferguson, who pitched two perfect innings for the Cougars, got the win in relief; Mike Leal got the loss. Omahen hit a home run earlier in the game. Story from CSUSM site: Omahen, Holtman, Cougar Fans All Heroes in Thrilling Debut Win at CSUSM Baseball Field

In Saturday's first game, Lions starter Antonio Peraza went 7 2/3 innings, struck out ten, allowed one run. Cougars starter Matt Kretchmer went 7 1/3 innings, allowed only one hit, and the only run scored on him was unearned. The Lions won it in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by 1B Kyle Hardman. Robert Purpura, who retired all four batters he faced, got the win; Kyle Smart got the loss.

In the second game, the Cougars got a complete seven-inning game from Brett Miller, who allowed one earned run on six hits. The winning run came on the fourth inning on a two-RBI double by DH Mike Mecucci. The Lions left the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. Starter Gabriel Garcia got the loss. Story from CSUSM site: Kretchmer, Miller Both Outstanding in Road Split with Vanguard

2011 Season Preview

The 55th NAIA baseball season started yesterday, with Wayland Baptist splitting a double-header at Arizona Christian. On Tuesday, Simpson visits Azusa Pacific and La Sierra is at Vanguard. On Wednesday, Webber International is at Warner. On Thursday, Simpson visits Cal Baptist. On Friday, it's Vanguard at Cal State San Marcos, Northwood (TX) at Houston-Victoria, Patten at The Master's, Brewton-Parker at Edward Waters, and U. of Science and Arts of Oklahoma at Texas College. On Saturday, Brescia visits Loyola-New Orleans. On Saturday and Sunday, Auburn-Montgomery hosts a six-team event; LSU-Shreveport plays Savannah College of Art and Design and Faulkner, and Auburn-Montgomery plays Milligan and Lindenwood on Saturday. On Sunday, Auburn-Montgomery plays LSU-Shreveport and SCAD, LSU-Shreveport plays Milligan, and SCAD plays Lindenwood.

Here is an evaluation of the top 10 teams according to the pre-season coaches' poll:

#1 – Cumberland: The defending champions had major graduation losses. However, RHP Aaron Wilkerson, who got 14 wins for the Bulldogs last year, is returning, as well as two key position players, 1B Greg Appleton (.361, 17 home runs) and C David Fanshawe (.342). The Bulldogs have added an impressive group of Division I transfers: LHP Will Locante (Tennessee), IF Tommy Winegardner (Coastal Carolina), and OF Cory Farris (Kentucky). They have a fighting chance at repeating as national champions. Games to watch: at Belhaven Feb. 19, at LSU-Shreveport March 9, Embry-Riddle March 21-22, Union U. (TN) April 1-2, at Lee April 19

Interview with Cumberland Coach Woody Hunt

Woody Hunt is getting ready for is 30th season as Head Coach of the NAIA Defending Champion Cumberland Bulldogs.

Bob Broughton, courtesyrunner.com: First, congratulations on being named NAIA Coach of the Year. The Bulldogs were also named Amateur Team of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Is Cumberland starting to get a higher profile in Middle Tennessee?

Woody Hunt: Well, this year has done a lot for that. We’ve been successful in the past, but this year has really been over the top. We’ve had a lot of publicity and a lot of awards and this year has really given us more of a profile in the Middle Tennessee area, which is difficult with two professional sports teams as well as all of the colleges and universities in the area.

BB: Most of the people who will read this have never been to Lebanon. What do you tell potential recruits about Lebanon and the Cumberland campus? And about Cumberland's academic offerings?

WH: I tell prospective student-athletes that we are a Liberal Arts university and you have some choices with regards to your major. We sell the Nashville area as much as we do Lebanon because we are so close. Nashville is a great city and Middle Tennessee is a great area. You get the laid-back atmosphere of a small town with Lebanon but also the big city with Nashville. With regards to our campus, it’s a small college campus with a lot of attention. I tell them that it’s not for everybody. If you like a small university with personal attention and a good baseball program, then this is the place for you.

I also sell our facilities, which are very good. That goes a long way in our recruiting process. The internet has done a lot for that because prospective student-athletes can go online and look at the pictures of our facilities – the field and grandstand and press box as well as the locker room and indoor hitting facility that we have. That’s been a huge asset for us in recruiting.

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