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  • NAIA Baseball National Championship preview

    Schedule for the first two days of the 66th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 26-June 2, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

    Friday, 8:35 AM: #10 seed MidAmerica Nazarene (34-26) vs. #7 Taylor (40-15)

    MidAmerica Nazarene (Olathe, KS) is making their second appearance in the Baseball National Championship. They went 0-2 last year. They were runners-up in the Heart of America Conference tournament. Twitter: @mnusports
    Rankings:Unranked in coaches' poll, #67 in Boyd Nation's Iterative Strength Rating (ISR). Strength of Schedule: #65
    Quality wins:3-2 vs. Central Methodist, Morningside, 2-1 vs. LSU-Shreveport
    Top position players: 1B/RHP Noah Castillo (.357, 11 HR, 45 RBI, and 1-6, 7.45 ERA, 26 K on the mound), SS Brycen Sherwood (.304, 10 HR, 37 RBI), IF Javier Melendez (Salinas, Puerto Rico; .350, 8 HR, 47 RBI), OF Sean Maple (.300, 8 HR, 36 RBI), 3B Dionathan Cornet (San Nicolas, Aruba; .282, 9 HR, 43 RBI)
    Top pitchers:RHP Reece Holland (Moose Jaw, SK; 5-0, 3.52 ERA, 25 K), RHP Zach Trevino (9-2, 4.06 ERA, 98 K), LHP Kristian Hurtado (3-1, 3.58 ERA, 30 K), RHP Tyler Frieders (10-5, 4.85 ERA, 96 K)
    Coach:Ryan Thompson, 17th season
    Outlook: The Pioneers have improved their pitching since last year, but it might not be enough to come home with a win.

    Taylor (Upland, IN) is making their second appearance in the Baseball National Championship; the previous one was in 1969. They won the Crossroads League regular season championship. Twitter: @taylorbaseball
    Rankings:#19 in coaches' poll, #27 in ISR. SoS: #64
    Quality wins:Benedictine-Mesa, Kansas Wesleyan, 4-0 vs. Indiana Wesleyan
    Top position players:RHP/OF Kaleb Kolpien (.431, 6 HR, 51 RBI), C Ben Kalbaugh (.346, 7 HR, 46 RBI), 1B Cade Vander Molen (.305, 13 HR, 58 RBI), C/OF T.J. Bass (.281, 18 HR, 56 RBI). Kolpien's average is the 17th highest in the NAIA.
    Top pitchers:RHP Jack Ross (6-0, 2.89 ERA, 51 K, 8 saves), RHP Matt Dutkowski (7-2, 3.35 ERA, 81 K), RHP Alec Holcomb (6-2, 4.64 ERA, 66 K), RHP Dalton Swinehart (4-1, 5.45 ERA, 72 K)
    Coach:Kyle Gould, 19th season
    Outlook:The Trojans should win a game.

  • NAIA Baseball National Championship, third day

    Results of the NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID for May 29.

    Indiana Wesleyan 11, Georgia Gwinnett 10 (Georgia Gwinnett eliminated)

    The Wildcats got ten runs in the first two innings, and they needed every one of them, plus one more that they added in the bottom of the eighth.

    The Wildcats’ barrage was led by three-run home runs by Ty Mathews and Jeff Morton in the second inning. However, the Grizzlies got back into the game with five runs in the top of the fourth, led by a three-run home run by Braxton Meguilar, and a solo home run by Caden Smith. Ajay Szcepkowski added another solo home run in the fifth, and the Wildcats’ lead was cut to 10-6. The Grizzlies made it a one-run game by scoring three runs in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Cohen Wilbanks, an RBI single by Devin Warner, and a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Brody Parkerson. However, in the bottom of the eighth, the Bobcats got what turned out to be a crucial insurance run. The Grizzlies got within one run again with Szcepkowski’s second home run of the game in the top of the ninth, but the game ended with a double play.

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