Thursday, 03 May 2012 20:29

NAIA West tournament, day 2

Written by Administrator

Results from the second day of the NAIA West tournament at Hilken Community Stadium, Portland, OR, May 3:

College of Idaho 9, Menlo 2: SS Tanner Hodges hit a two-RBI single in the top of the third inning to provide the winning run for the Coyotes. RF Izaac Garsez hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning, and Todd Griffiths went the distance for the Coyotes.

Garsez had his second big game of the tournament: 3-for-4 with two RBI and four runs scored. Hodges went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Griffiths scattered eleven hits and struck out six.

Starter Derek Martinez got the loss for the Oaks. DH Taylor Cohn went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Oaks.

Box score and play-by-play

Concordia-Portland 7, British Columbia 1 (British Columbia eliminated):

The Thunderbirds were held to six hits for the second time in the NAIA West tournament, left twelve runners on base, and the result was the end of their 2012 season.

The Thunderbirds left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning. The Cavaliers opened the scoring with an RBI on a ground out by 1B Sean Myrom in the bottom of the first. CF Blake Carruthers scored the Thunderbirds' only run of the game in the top of the third inning. The Thunderbirds had the bases loaded with one out. Carruthers scored on a ground ball hit by 3B Mike Hole, but he was deprived of a hit by a good play by Cavaliers SS Jordan Keeker, who was able to make a throw to third for the force out.

The Cavaliers answered with the winning run in the bottom of the third, when LF Mike Cero reached on a fielder's choice. Thunderbirds starter Matt Trimble was able to keep the Birds in the game for 5 2/3 innings. With two out and runners at first and third in the bottom of the sixth, and two strikes on 2B Ryan Rodriguez, Trimble threw a good low and inside pitch that Rodriguez hit down the left-field foul line to score the Cavaliers' third run. Trimble was replaced by Nathan Kirby, and the Cavaliers scored four more runs (three of them on a double by RF Sheldon Austria) before the Kirby got the third out of the inning.

Kirby was replaced by Conor Lillis-White, who allowed only one hit over the last two innings. Lillis-White provided a highlight for the Birds; he struck out four batters in the eighth inning. Sebastian Wong made a good catch of a fly ball in right field in the fourth inning, and Carruthers and Wong got outfield assists on an out at second base in the sixth inning.

The Thunderbirds were unable to solve three Cavalier pitchers. Starter Mitch Ludtke went six innings, allowed five hits, struck out six. He was replaced by Shayne Nakata, who pitches at two speeds, slow and slower, and he struck out all three batters he faced. He came out for the eighth inning, but was unable to continue because of a cramp. He was replaced by Eric Weir, who allowed one hit over the final two innings.

Austria was the only player on either team with more than one hit. He finished 2-for-4, with three RBI.

Box score and play-by-play

British Columbia 12, Corban 5 (Corban eliminated): 3B Andrew Firth hit an RBI single for the Thunderbirds in the first inning, and the Thunderbirds got what turned out to be all the runs they needed in the second inning: a two-RBI double by CF Blake Carruthers, a sacrifice fly by LF Nick Senior, and RBI singles by Firth and DH Jerod Bartnik.

The big second inning chased Warrior starter Justin White, and his replacement, Jake Balbas, was able to keep the Thunderbirds off the board for the next four innings. At the same time, Thunderbirds starter Danny Britton-Foster didn't allow a baserunner for the first three innings, and allowed only two hits over the next two innings. He started to fade in the sixth inning, when RBI Colby Sokol hit an RBI single to end the shutout. The Warriors were prevented from doing a lot more damage by two highlight-reel catches by Senior in left field. Both of them were on well-hit balls that were carried to Senior's left by a strong crosswind. Senior made a diving catch of the first one, and the second play was very similar, but without the dive.

The Warriors got back in the game, briefly, with three runs in the top of the seventh inning, at Britton-Foster's expense. Pinch-hitter Jordan Johansen hit a two-RBI double, and SS Marc Gallegos hit an RBI single. The Warriors had runners on first and second with no outs, and trailing by only 6-4, so they tried to bunt the runners to second and third. Britton-Foster made a pretty good defensive play to throw to third for the force out. He then turned the ball over to Connor Smith, who allowed only one hit the rest of the way.

The Birds answered in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single by 3B Mike Hole, a two-RBI single by RF Sebastian Wong, and a three-run home run by Carruthers that the wind carried over the left center field fence.

Carruthers went 2-for-5 with five RBI for the game. Firth and Bartnik were both 3-for-5; Firth had two RBI, and Bartnik had one. Gallegos went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Warriors. Britton-Foster got the win, and White got the loss.

Box score and play-by-play

Official tournament page

Schedule for Friday, May 4: noon: Menlo vs. Concordia-Portland
3 PM: College of Idaho vs. Menlo/Concordia winner

In other NAIA tournament news:

Defending NAIA champion Concordia-Irvine and Azusa Pacific are playing for the Golden State Athletic Conference championship. Azusa Pacific has a loss in the tournament, so they will have to beat Concordia twice.

Embry-Riddle was taken out of The Sun Conference tournament by Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD and Saint Thomas play for the conference championship, but SCAD will have to beat Saint Thomas twice in order for their program to continue beyond Friday.

Asbury and #10 Point Park play for the title in an Unaffiliated Group tournament in Kinston, NC. Point Park needs to beat Asbury twice.

Last modified on Friday, 04 May 2012 02:02


Bob Broughton started going to British Columbia home games in 2001, and was favorably impressed with the caliber of play. This led to annual trips to the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID, a nine-hour drive from Vancouver. He retired in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2012.


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