Eight of the
NAIA's top ten teams have started their seasons.
#9 Faulkner, a team with
heavy graduation losses, started their season with a double-header
sweep of defending champion and #1 Tennessee Wesleyan,
5-4 and 12-0. The next day, the Eagles split a double-header with #12
winning 5-2, and losing 10-7 (ten innings, scheduled for seven). SS
Dauris Holguin singled in the winning run in the first game against
Tennessee Wesleyan. Johnny Shuttlesworth and Dustin Spruiell combined
for the shutout in the second game, held the Bulldogs to three hits.
Julian Esquibel got the win in the first game against Lindsey Wilson.
They nearly made it four straight; Lindsey Wilson got an unearned run
in the seventh inning to send it into extra innings, then got three
runs in the tenth to win it.
The Bulldogs got another loss
against #18 Auburn-Montgomery,
5-4, before getting their first win of the season against the
Warhawks 12-3. 3B Jake Stone hit a double and a home run in the win.
The Bulldogs open their home schedule
against West Virginia Tech February 9-10. The Eagles host Talladega
February 5, Shawnee State February 9, and U. of the Cumberlands
#2 LSU-Shreveport lost
two of three at William Carey,
losing 10-3 and 9-8, and salvaging a 12-1 win. Cullen Babin got the
win in the first game, went seven innings, scattered three hits,
allowed only one earned run, and struck out six. 3B Mitch Bohon did
the damage for the Crusaders in the second game; 3-for-4 with two
doubles and two RBI. C Reed Lavalee went 3-for-5 with a double in the
The Pilots host Houston-Victoria
#3 Lee opened
their season with a three-game sweep of Northwestern Ohio,
12-1, 11-1, and 7-3. Danny Canela, a transfer from North
Carolina State, went 6-for-12 with six RBI for the series. Myles
Smith, Clint Terry, and Jose Samayoa got the wins.
The Flames host Tennessee Temple February 6, and the Tennessee
Valley Invitational February 8-9. The field for the tounament is
Bluefield, #20 Georgetown C., #24 Madonna, and Rio Grande.
#4 Oklahoma City started their
season with four wins, 8-0 and 5-0 against Culver-Stockton,
and 17-6 and 9-4 against #23 Doane. Cody Crabaugh and Ricky
Spain combined for a five-hit shutout in the first game. Derek Howell
pitched a complete seven-inning game shutout in the second game,
allowed three hits. 1B Forrest Smith (transfer from Taft College)
went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI in the third game, and he
was 2-for-4 with three RBI in the fourth game.
The Stars visit Texas Wesleyan
February 5, and host Northwood (TX) and Benedictine (KS) February
#5 Rogers State also
started the season 4-0. The Hillcats defeated Southwest
Assemblies of God 15-8 and 9-2,
and Arlington Baptist 12-1 and 17-7. Colton Campbell was 9-for-15
with eight RBI for the four games, and Cody Campbell went 7-for-12
with three doubles, a triple, and eight RBI.
The Hillcats will play in a
tournament hosted by Dallas Christian February 8-9; they will play
Tabor (twice), Texas-Tyler, and Dallas Christian.
#6 Point Park starts
their season February 22.
#7 Embry-Riddle won two of
three against #20 Georgetown C. (KY), 5-4, 2-1, and 6-7. The
Eagles also got a 5-4 win against Webber International. Kevin
Maloney ran his career record to 20-0 in the first game, pitched 5
2/3 innings, struck out six. Chad Modomo went the seven-inning
distance in the second game, allowed three hits, struck out seven. RF
Kevin Lindheim scored the winning run on an error in the sixth
inning. In the loss to Georgetown, the Tigers tied it in the top of
the seventh on an RBI double by RF David Higuera, then got the
winning run when CF Justin Moore scored on a wild pitch. Chad Richie
got the win in relief for the Tigers; he pitched the last 2 2/3
innings, allowed one hit, struck out four. 3B Jordan Johnson hit an
RBI single with two out in the bottom of the ninth for the win
against Webber International.
The Eagles start Sun Conference play
by hosting Southeastern February 8-9.
#8 Lewis-Clark State
starts their season by hosting
a tournament including British Columbia and Concordia-Portland
#10 Oklahoma Baptist
lost their opener to Division II Southwestern Oklahoma 7-2. Both
teams had four hits, but the Bison were done in by four runs in the
first inning; one on an error, one walked in, and a two-RBI single by
3B Kevin Cantrell.
has the early lead in the Golden State Athletic Conference, 8-2
overall, 4-2 conference. However, the team to beat in Southern
California might be Cal State San Marcos,
who started their season by sweeping a three-game series against #11
4-1, 4-3, and 5-4. James Dykstra got the win in the first game,
allowed four hits in seven innings. The Cougars won the second and
third games with walk-off RBI singles; 1B Brandon Bentson in the
second game, and RF Marcus Meraz in the third. Mike Scarambella
(three innings pitched, no runs on one hit) and Frank Charlton (one
inning pitched, no hits, 1 K) got the wins. Cougars Head Coach Dennis Pugh
described the sweep as “probably the biggest day in our
baseball program's history.”
The Cougars host Division III power
Chapman February 8, and visit San Diego Christian February 9.
More teams with good starts: Emmanuel
and U. of Science and Arts of Oklahoma are 6-1.
And, a piece of NCAA news: Division
III CalTech, under new Head Coach Matthew Mark, defeated Pacifica
9-7, and this win ended a 228-game losing streak for the Beavers.
Their last win was in 2003. The Beavers have only 13 players on their
roster, including eight pitchers. They host Oregon Tech February 8.