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Monday, 23 May 2016 13:21

National Championship preview

Written by Administrator

Schedule for the first two days of the 60th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 27-28, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

9 AM: #7 seed Sterling (48-14) vs. #10 Point (33-25)

Sterling (Sterling, KS) is making their second appearance at the Baseball National Championship. Their previous appearance was in 2013, and they went 0-2. They won the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
Nickname: Warriors
Rankings: #9 in coaches' poll, #21 in ISR. Strength of schedule: #14
Quality wins: 2-1 vs. Missouri Baptist, 5-2 vs. York
Top position players: 1B Andrew Dorado (.417, 15 HR, 53 RBI), 2B Beau Kallas (.415, 18 HR, 66 RBI), RF Kendall Radcliffe (.376, 19 HR, 64 RBI). Radcliffe was tied for seventh in the NAIA in home runs. Kallas was tied for ninth in home runs.
Top pitchers: LHP Kade Wagner (11-2, 1.53 ERA, 79 K), LHP Brad Williams (from Perth, Australia; 10-3, 2.09 ERA, 115 K), RHP Ryan Pope (3-1, 2.14 ERA, 59 K, 15 saves). Wagner has the sixth-lowest ERA in the NAIA.
Coach: Adrian Dinkel, fifth season
Outlook: The Warriors will win a game.

Point (West Point, GA) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship.
Nickname: Skyhawks
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #33 in ISR. SoS: #11
Quality wins: Faulkner, 4-1 vs. Bryan, South Carolina-Beaufort, 2-1 vs. Campbellsville
Top position players: 3B Omar Smith (.341), C Juan Reyes (from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; .336, 7 HR, 25 RBI), CF Riliani Familia (also from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; .322, 10 HR, 44 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Payne Kosobucki (7-1, 2.39 ERA, 70 K), RHP Josh Nestlehutt (8-6, 3.14 ERA, 89 K), RHP Dylan Griffin (9-2, 4.09 ERA, 115 K)
Coach: Jeremy Christian, second season
Outlook: The Skyhawks did well to get this far, but they're in tough here.

 Noon: #8 Lindsey Wilson (41-23) vs. #9 The Master's (41-17)

Lindsey Wilson (Columbia, KY) is making their second appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They went 0-2 last year. They tied with Campbellsville for the Mid-South Conference pennant.
Nickname: Blue Raiders
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #14 in ISR. SoS: #23
Quality wins: 2-2 vs. Saint Thomas, 2-0 vs. Faulkner, Bryan, Middle Georgia State, 1-1 vs. Indiana-Southeast, British Columbia, 2-0 vs. Georgia Gwinnett
Top position players: DH Austin Atwell (.346, 10 HR, 44 RBI), 1B Aaron Ashton (.329, 7 HR, 60 RBI)
Top pitchers: LHP Scott Sebald (10-3, 2.88 ERA, 119 K), RHP Aaron Doughty (8-6, 3.94 ERA, 61 K). Sebald is seventh in the NAIA in strikeouts.
Coach: Jonathan Burton, 5th season
Outlook: Not in contention for the championship.

The Master's (Santa Clarita, CA) is making their third appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They went 1-2 in 2013. They won the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament.
Nickname: Mustangs
Rankings: #24 in coaches' poll, #8 in ISR. SoS: #41
Quality wins: 2-2 vs. Menlo, 2-2 vs. Westmont, William Carey, 5-2 vs. Vanguard
Top position players: 1B Collin Nyenhuis (.344, 15 HR, 56 RBI), 3B Nick Covello (.328, 17 HR, 50 RBI), 2B Michael Sexton (.322, 16 HR, 48 RBI)
Top pitchers: LHP Conner Menez (11-2, 2.34 ERA, 97 K), RHP Brad Lohse (9-3, 2.78 ERA, 70 K), RHP Jason Karkenny (11-5, 3.39 ERA, 97 K)
Coach: Monte Brooks, 19th season
Outlook: The Mustangs got three complete games from their starters during the Opening Round tournament. With their long-ball hitting, they should do some damage in this tournament.

3 PM: #3 Bellevue (51-10) vs. #6 Auburn-Montgomery (44-15)

Bellevue (Bellevue, NE) is making their 13th appearance at the Baseball National Championship, but the first one since 2008 (they went 1-2 that year). They won the championship in 1995. They are the champions of the North Star Athletic Association.
Nickname: Bruins
Rankings: #2 in coaches' poll, #9 in ISR. SoS: #72
Quality wins: 3-0 vs. Tabor, 3-1 vs. York, 3-0 vs. Clarke, 2-1 vs. Davenport
Top position players: LF Joe Moran (.478), Derik Bontempo (.413, 11 HR, 75 RBI), Joe Mancuso (.393, 8 HR, 32 RBI). Bontempo is seventh in the NAIA in RBI.
Top pitchers: Todd Nicks (11-1, 2.20 RBI, 91 K). Ben McKendall (11-2, 1.80 ERA, 113 K), Braulio Torres-Perez (10-1, 2.88 ERA, 92 K), Leland Tilley (9-1, 1.77 ERA, 39 K, 8 saves)
Coach: Duane Monlux, 6th season
Outlook: Goood hitting and pitching, but suspect schedule.

Auburn-Montgomery (Montgomery, AL) is making their fourth appearance at the Baseball National Championship. The last appearance was in 2006, and they went 2-2.
Nickname: Warhawks
Rankings: #6 in coaches' poll, #5 in ISR. SoS: #5
Quality wins: 2-1 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 2-1 vs. Keiser, 1-1 vs. Saint Thomas, Lindsey Wilson, 4-0 vs. Point, Georgia Gwinnett, 2-2 vs. Faulkner
Top position players: CF Dalton Kelley (.368, 3 HR, 50 RBI), 1B Mac Seibert (.344, 7 HR, 36 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Jed Carter (2-0, 1.76 ERA, 47 K, 16 saves), RHP Raymond Moody (9-1, 3.41 ERA, 62 K), RHP Cole Goodwin (7-3, 3.89 ERA, 61 K). Carter leads the NAIA in saves.
Coach: Marty Lovrich, second season
Outlook: Not in contention for the championship.

7 PM: #4 Lewis-Clark State (48-7) vs. #5 Science and Arts of Oklahoma (47-11)

Lewis-Clark State (Lewiston, ID) is the host team and defending champion. They have won 17 national championships. They are the champions of NAIA West.
Nickname: Warriors
Rankings: #4 in coaches' poll, #1 in ISR. SoS: #8
Quality wins: Northwest Nazarine, 6-3 vs. British Columbia, 8-1 vs. College of Idaho
Top position players: LF Jacob Zanon (.395, 12 HR, 49 RBI), DH J.J. Robinson (.360, 14 HR, 78 RBI), RF Micah Brown (.339, 5 HR, 33 RBI), 3B Robert Smith (.296, 5 HR, 53 RBI). Robinson was fifth in the NAIA in RBI.
Top Pitchers: RHP Quin Grogan (4-1, 1.69 ERA, 65 K), RHP Kevin Hamann (8-1, 2.04 ERA, 66 K), RHP Connor Brogdon (6-0, 2.81 ERA, 48 K)
Coach: Jeremiah Robbins, fourth season
Outlook: Since the start of the Opening Round qualification format in 2009, only one team, Cumberland, has won the championship more than once. The Warriors, along with Tennessee Wesleyan and Faulkner, have a good chance to join this club.

Science and Arts of Oklahoma (Chikasha, OK) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They are the champions of the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Drovers win this year's United Nations award; they have an Australian, five Puerto Ricans, and two Dominican Republicans.
Nickname: Drovers
Rankings: #11 in coaches' poll, #10 in ISR. SoS: #85
Quality wins: Oklahoma Baptist, Tabor
Top position players: 3B Yariel Gonzalez (from San Sebastian, Puerto Rico; .465, 16 HR, 72 RBI), 2B Cesar Figuereo (from Azul, Dominican Republic; .411, 12 HR, 65 RBI), C Dillon White (.405, 14 HR, 71 RBI). Gonzalez was third in the NAIA in batting, and eighth in RBI.
Top pitchers: LHP Jordan Watson (10-2, 1.40 ERA, 161 K), LHP Alsis Herrera (from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; 11-3, 2.39 ERA, 139 K), RHP Allan Sanchez (from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico; 13-1, 3.17 ERA, 101 K). Watson leads the NAIA in strikeouts, and has the fourth-lowest ERA. Sanchez is tied for third in most wins.
Coach: Mike Ross, 12th season
Outlook: This tournament will be a learning experience for the Drovers. If they choose to start Watson for the Friday night game against Lewis-Clark State, Harris Field will be rocking.

3 PM Saturday: #2 Tennessee Wesleyan (49-12) vs. Sterling-Point winner

Tennessee Wesleyan (Athens, TN) is making their fourth appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They won the championship in 2012, their most recent appearance. They are the champions of the Appalachian Athletic Conference.
Nickname: Bulldogs
Rankings: #5 in coaches' poll, #4 in ISR. SoS: #3
Quality wins: Madonna, 2-0 vs. Lindsey Wilson, 2-1 vs. Bryan, 1-1 vs. Georgia Gwinnett, 3-1 vs. Point, 2-1 vs. Saint Thomas
Top position players: C Paolo Montezuma (from Venezuela; .408, 8 HR, 46 RBI), 2B Pedro Barrios (from Venezuela; .389, 3 HR, 36 RBI), SS Wardy Polanco (.350, 16 HR, 45 RBI, 32 stolen bases)
Top pitchers: LHP Ryan Hartman (9-0, 0.60 ERA, 120 K), RHP Diego Ibarra (10-2, 2.09 ERA, 87 K). Hartman has the lowest ERA in the NAIA, and is fifth in strikeouts.
Coach: Travis Wilson, first season
Outlook: The Bulldogs should be a contender.

6:30 PM Saturday: #1 Faulkner (47-12) vs. Lindsey Wilson-The Master's winner

Faulkner (Montgomery, AL) is making their fifth trip to Lewiston; they won the championship in 2013. Last year, they went 3-2. They are the champions of the Southern States Athletic Conference.
Nickname: Eagles
Rankings: #3 in coaches' poll, #3 in ISR. SoS: #1
Quality wins: 1-1 vs. Missouri Baptist, 2-0 vs. Keiser, 2-0 vs. Davenport, 3-0 vs. Campbellsville, 3-0 vs. Middle Georgia State, 2-1 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 1-1 vs. Georgia Gwinnett, 2-2 vs. Auburn-Montgomery, 2-1 vs. Vanguard
Top position players: DH T.J. Condon (.397, 8 HR, 46 RBI), 1B David Palenzuela (.360, 8 HR, 43 RBI), C Mario Amaral (.347, 13 HR, 67 RBI), 3B Dennis Morton (.344, 15 HR, 58 RBI), RF Nick Cain (.335, 17 HR, 67 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Mark Vasquez (11-0, 1.72 ERA, 118 K), RHP Phillip Anderson (6-3, 2.60 ERA, 51 K), LHP Christian Torres (of Canovanas, Puerto Rico; 10-2, 4.03 ERA, 63 K)
Coach: Patrick McCarthy, seventh season
Outlook: The Eagles' have been solid against the strongest schedule in the NAIA, and are the favorite to win the championship.

Predicted order of finish

Tennessee Wesleyan
Lewis-Clark State
The Master's
Bellevue
Auburn-Montgomery
Sterling
Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Lindsey Wilson
Point

If the top four seeds all win their first games, Monday's matchups will be Tennessee Wesleyan vs. Bellevue and Faulkner vs. Lewis-Clark State. Tournament bracket Tournament stats

In a long-standing Lewiston tradition, all games are audio webcast by KOZE Radio, free of charge. Video webcasts for the first 15 games of the tournament are by Stretch Internet. It's $9.95 per day, or $29.95 for all 15 games. Live stats are available for all games by clicking here. The games on or after June 1 will be streamed live by ESPN 3.

Last modified on Monday, 23 May 2016 22:08
Administrator

Administrator

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.

Website: broughton.ca/

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