Monday, 20 May 2019 06:38

National Championship preview

Written by Administrator

Schedule for the first two days of the 63rd NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 24-31, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

8:30 AM: #8 seed Indiana Tech (41-14-1) vs. #9 Bellevue (46-14)

Indiana Tech (Fort Wayne) is making their sixth trip to the Baseball National Championship. The most recent one was in 2003. They are the champions of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. Twitter: @INTechBaseball
Nickname: Warriors
Rankings: #23 in coaches' poll, #7 in ISR. SoS: #20
Quality wins: 2-0 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, 2-1 vs. Freed-Hardeman, 2-0 vs. U. of the Cumberlands
Top position players: 1B/C Glen McClain (.435, 17 HR, 54 RBI), 3B Branson Dossen (.370, 5 HR, 49 RBI), 1B/3B Jake Defries (.368, 3 HR, 42 RBI). McClain is tied for 12th in the NAIA in hitting and home runs.
Top Pitchers: RHP Tanner Perkins (5-0, 1.10 ERA), LHP Charles Dunavan (9-1, 2.60 ERA, 93 strikeouts), RHP Seth Sorensen (7-3, 2.24 ERA, 63 strikeouts), LHP Dan Shaw (2-2, 1.79 ERA, 62 strikeouts)
Coach: Kip McWilliams, 12th season
Outlook: The Warriors are happy to be here.

Bellevue (Omaha, NE) is making their 13th trip to the Baseball National Championship. The most recent one was in 2016. They are the champions of the North Star Athletic Association. Twitter: @BUBruinBaseball
Nickname: Bruins
Rankings: #21 in coaches' poll, #20 in ISR. SoS: #77
Quality wins: Saint Thomas, Oklahoma City, LSU-Shreveport
Top position players: SS Kory Longaker (.385, 12 HR, 57 RBI), C Travis Tanaka (.380, 3 HR, 51 RBI), 3B J.T. Patterson (.379, 24 home runs, 87 RBI). Patterson is fourth in the NAIA in home runs, and second in RBI.
Top Pitchers: LHP Jarrett Poh (9-0, 1.55 ERA, 68 strikeouts), RHP Stephen Knapp (10-2, 2.33 ERA, 51 strikeouts), RHP Colton Walker (5-2, 4.13 ERA, 60 strikeouts). Poh has the sixth-lowest ERA in the NAIA.
Coach: Duane Monlux, ninth season
Outlook: The Bruins will win a game.

11:30 AM: #4 Faulkner (49-10) vs. #5 Georgia Gwinnett (46-11)

Faulkner (Montgomery, AL) is making their eighth trip to Lewiston; they won the championship in 2013. They were the runners-up in 2016 and 2017. Last year, they won one of three games. They are the champions of the Southern States Athletic Conference. Twitter: @FaulknerEagles
Nickname: Eagles
Rankings: #3 in coaches' poll, #4 in ISR. SoS: #15
Quality wins: 2-2 vs. Freed-Hardeman, 3-0 vs. Georgetown C., 2-1 vs. Indiana Tech, 3-0 vs. Middle Georgia State
Top position players: OF Marcus Ragan (.363, 39 RBI), C Max Guzman (.362, 15 HR, 78 RBI), 3B/OF Jacob Freeland (.339, 9 HR, 61 RBI). Guzman is tied for eighth in the NAIA in RBI.
Top pitchers: LHP Evan Gillespie (11-0, 1.35 ERA, 84 strikeouts), LHP Antonio Frias (Panama City, Panama; 9-1, 2.34 ERA, 109 strikeouts), RHP Brandon Suttles (5-0, 4.40 ERA, 33 strikeouts), RHP Alex Carrillo (3-2, 4.98 ERA, 44 strikeouts). Gillespie has the fourth-lowest ERA in the NAIA. Frias is tied for tenth in strikeouts.
Coach: Patrick McCarthy, tenth season
Outlook: The Eagles have been here regularly. They have an outside shot at the championship.

Georgia Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, GA) is making their third trip to Lewiston. They went 2-2 at last year's tournament, tied for fourth place. They defeated Faulkner, lost to Freed-Hardeman twice. They won the Association of Independent Institutions tournament. Twitter: @GGC_Baseball
Nickname: Grizzlies
Rankings: #4 in coaches' poll, #3 in ISR. SoS: #10
Quality wins: 3-0 vs. Webber International, Bryan, 2-1 vs. Indiana Tech, 2-0 vs. Georgetown C.
Top position players: IF Cam Coursey (.462, 5 HR, 61 RBI), OF C.J. Ballard (.367, 27 RBI), OF Cord Johnson (.360, 28 RBI), C Gabe Austin (.360, 29 RBI), OF Brody Wofford (.348, 10 HR, 56 RBI). Coursey is second in the NAIA in hitting.
Top pitchers: RHP Hunter Caudelle (6-0, 2.15 ERA, 45 strikeouts), RHP Jonathan McKinney (8-2, 2.99 ERA, 73 strikeouts), RHP Hunter Dollander (5-0, 3.57 ERA, 42 strikeouts), LHP Gregory Loukinen (9-3, 3.35 ERA, 96 strikeouts). RHP Pedro Garcia (Maracaibo, Venezuela; 6-1, 3.05 ERA, 78 strikeouts)
Coach: Brad Stromdahl, seventh season
Outlook: The Grizzlies have an outside shot at the championship.

3 PM: #3 Southeastern (51-10) vs. #6 Saint Thomas (45-13)

Southeastern (Lakeland, FL) are the defending champions. They are making their second appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They won the regular season championship of The Sun Conference. Twitter: @SEUFireBaseball
Nickname: Fire
Rankings: #1 in coaches' poll, #2 in ISR. SoS: #7
Quality wins: 4-1 vs. Webber International, 2-1 vs. Georgia Gwinnett, Middle Georgia State.
Top position players: OF Manuel Mesa (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; .412, 12 HR, 50 RBI), IF Ivan Nunez (.392, 15 HR, 73 RBI), IF Dominic Anagnos (.386, 3 HR, 36 RBI), UTL Dan Valerio (.352, 10 HR, 37 RBI). Nunez is tied (with Josh Sears of Freed-Hardeman) for tenth in the NAIA in RBI.
Top pitchers: LHP Felix Dieguez (7-1, 2.18 ERA, 88 strikeouts), RHP Keven Long (9-1, 2.44 ERA, 79 strikeouts), RHP Jayden Hartle (7-2, 3.54 ERA, 72 strikeouts)
Coach: Adrian Dinkel, third season
Outlook: This is a tough first round matchup. Both teams have been good all year.

Saint Thomas (Miami Gardens, FL) is making their seventh appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They finished 0-2 last year. They were runners-up in 2015. They finished second in The Sun Conference regular season, one game behind Southeastern. Twitter: @STU_Baseball
Nickname: Bobcats
Rankings: #6 in coaches' poll, #5 in ISR. SoS: #5
Quality wins: 3-1 vs. Southeastern, 3-2 vs. Webber International, 2-0 vs. William Jessup
Top position players: IF Chris Garabedian (.357, 5 HR, 55 RBI), SS Erick Delgado (.367, 2 HR, 38 RBI), SS Alejandro Rivero (.317, 14 HR, 62 RBI), 2B Jackie Urbaez (.273, 7 HR, 41 RBI), OF Sergio Lopez (.325, 16 HR, 72 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Joel Rivero (4-0, 1.82 ERA, 20 strikeouts), RHP Orlando Rodriguez (Havana, Cuba; 9-2, 2.79 ERA, 92 strikeouts), LHP Ian Exposito (11-2, 2.88 ERA, 116 strikeouts). Exposito is sixth in the NAIA in strikeouts.
Coach: Jorge Perez, 11th season
Outlook: The Bobcats can be contenders, but must win this game and and the Monday night game to stay in contention.

7 PM: #7 Freed-Hardeman (47-15) vs. #10 Lewis-Clark State (34-13-1)

Freed-Hardeman (Henderson, TN) is making their second appearance at the Baseball National Championship. They were the runners-up last year, with a 4-2 record. They won the American Midwest Conference championship. Twitter: @gofhulions
Nickname: Lions
Rankings: #9 in coaches' poll, #12 in ISR. SoS: #38
Quality wins: 2-0 vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan, 2-0 vs. Texas Wesleyan
Top position players: IF Zach Sanders (.373, 29 RBI), IF Josh Sears (.370, 21 HR, 73 RBI), IF Collin McPherson (.330, 8 HR, 47 RBI), IF Bryce Lester (.307, 34 RBI). Sears is seventh in the NAIA in home runs, and tied (with Ivan Nunez of Southeastern) for tenth in RBI.
Top pitchers: RHP Landon Sewell (5-1, 1.77 ERA, 39 strikeouts, 10 saves), LHP Alex Huey (12-1, 2.34 ERA, 94 strikeouts), RHP Tyson Campbell (7-1, 3.30 ERA, 75 strikeouts), RHP Jacob Sawyers (10-3, 3.35 ERA, 97 K), RHP Austin Steel (10-3, 3.56 ERA, 79 strikeouts). Huey is tied (with Jean Muntaner of USAO) for third in the NAIA in wins.
Coach: Jonathan Estes, tenth season
Outlook: The Lions will win a game.

Lewis-Clark State (Lewiston, ID) is the host team. They have won 19 national championships; the last one was in 2017. They won the regular season championship of NAIA West. Twitter: @LCWarriors
Nickname: Warriors
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #43 in ISR. SoS: #136
Quality wins: Seattle U., 2-1-1 vs. Antelope Valley
Top position players: C Darren Trainor (.356, 7 HR, 51 RBI), OF Thomas Lampkin Jr. (.321, 5 HR, 24 RBI), IF Kyle Callahan (.272, 12 HR, 38 RBI)
Top Pitchers: LHP Gerald Hein (4-1, 2.42 ERA, 61 strikeouts), RHP Tyler Burch (5-2, 2.93 ERA, 58 strikeouts), RHP Lalo Porras (1-2, 4.63 ERA, 60 strikeouts)
Coach: Jake Taylor, first season
Outlook: The Warriors have a fighting chance against Freed-Hardeman. If they don't win that one, they will go two-and-out.

3 PM Saturday: #1 Tennessee Wesleyan (52-9) vs. Indiana Tech or Bellevue

Tennessee Wesleyan (Athens) is making their fifth trip to the Baseball National Championship. The last one was in 2016. They won the championship in 2012. They went 2-2 in 2016, tied for fourth place. They are the champions of the Appalachian Athletic Conference. Twitter: @TwuBaseball
Nickname: Bulldogs
Rankings: #2 in coaches' poll, #1 in ISR. SoS: #1
Quality wins: 3-0 vs. Rio Grande, 2-0 vs. Georgia Gwinnett, 2-0 vs. Campbellsville, Southeastern, 2-1 vs. Truett-McConnell, 2-1 vs. Webber International
Top position players: OF Braden Mosley (.401, 16 HR, 58 RBI), IF Max Draijer (.400, 8 HR, 37 RBI), IF Bryce Giles (.378, 8 HR, 27 RBI), OF Dan Fry (.365, 8 HR, 43 RBI), OF Tyler Reichenborn (.359, 14 HR, 49 RBI)
Top Pitchers: RHP Cole Bellair (11-2, 1.61 ERA, 84 strikeouts), RHP Jack Granath (8-2, 3.16 ERA, 57 strikeouts), RHP Manny Perez (9-0, 3.16 ERA, 50 strikeouts), RHP Irving Martin (10-2, 3.89 ERA, 88 strikeouts)
Coach: Billy Berry, 12th season
Outlook: The Bulldogs won the championship of the NAIA's strongest conference. They are a favorite to win this championship.

7 PM Saturday: #2 Science and Arts of Oklahoma (46-10) vs. Freed-Hardeman or Lewis-Clark State

Science and Arts of Oklahoma (Chickasha) is making their third trip to the Baseball National Championship; the last one was in 2017, and they went 1-2. They are the champions of the Sooner Athletic Conference.
The Drovers win the United Nations Award for the third time. Their full roster includes five players from Puerto Rico, one from Mexico, and one from Aruba.
USAO's softball team are the defending NAIA champions. They went 50-0 during the regular season this year, and are in the NAIA Softball National Championship tournament. Twitter: @USAOlive
Nickname: Drovers
Rankings: #7 in coaches' poll, #14 in ISR. SoS: #85
Quality wins: 3-0 vs. Bellevue, 3-0 vs. Texas Wesleyan, Antelope Valley, Westmont
Top position players: OF Luis Pelayo (Santa Cruz, Aruba; .406, 7 HR, 60 RBI), SS P.J. Garcia (.392, 6 HR, 46 RBI), C/IF Miguel Lorenzo (.379, 9 HR, 50 RBI), C Alex Sanchez (.376, 14 HR, 56 RBI)
Top Pitchers: RHP Rudy Gonzalez (5-2, 1.12 ERA, 55 strikeouts, 4 saves), LHP Colton Williams (15-0, 1.15 ERA, 121 strikeouts), RHP Matt Merrill (11-1, 1.76 ERA, 124 strikeouts), LHP Jean Muntaner (Carolina, Puerto Rico; 12-1, 2.85 ERA, 93 strikeouts). Gonzalez has the lowest ERA in the NAIA, and Williams is second. Williams leads the NAIA in wins, and Muntaner is tied (with Alex Huey of Freed-Hardeman) for third in wins. Merrill is third in the NAIA in strikeouts, and Williams is fourth.
Coach: Mike Ross, 11th season
Outlook: The Drovers are on a 25-game winning streak. They have a good chance to win this, especially if their pitching holds up.

Predicted order of finish:

Tennessee Wesleyan
Southeastern
USAO
Faulkner
Saint Thomas
Georgia Gwinnett
Freed-Hardeman
Bellevue
Indiana Tech
Lewis-Clark State

If the top four seeds all win their first games, Monday's matchups will be Tennesse Wesleyan vs. Faulkner and USAO vs. Southeastern. Tournament bracket Tournament stats Schedule and Results (includes links to press releases)

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 NAIANetwork.com. It's $14.95 per day, or $34.95 for all 19 games. Live stats are available for all games by clicking here. The games on or after May 29 will also be streamed live by ESPN 3.

Last modified on Monday, 20 May 2019 22:15
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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