Game accounts (147)
Oklahoma City (5-1) split a double-header with Missouri Baptist. The Spartans won their season opener 2-1; Bunk Coronado, a transfer from LSU-Shreveport, and Aaron Matula combined to hold the Stars to three hits, and Coronado recorded nine strikeouts. LF Joe Riley doubled in the winning run. The Stars won the nightcap 9-1; Blake Schwartz and Patrick Goelz combined to hold the Spartans to one hit, and Schwartz struck out ten of the 17 batters he faced. RF Chad Carman batted in three of the Stars' runs. A mid-week game at Central Oklahoma was canceled, and a pair of weekend games against Ottawa were also canceled. The Stars have a busy week ahead. They host Southern Nazarene Feb. 16, MidAmerica Nazarene Feb. 17-18, and Bellevue Feb. 18-19.
Concordia-Irvine (3-4) lost four games on the week to Division II teams; 11-1 to Cal State-Los Angeles, and 7-6 (11 innings), 14-8, and 6-4 to Cal Poly Pomona. The Eagles missed two chances to win the extra-innings game. They outhit Cal Poly Pomona in the second game, but Eagle pitched walked ten batters, and hit three more. The Eagles host Patten Feb. 17-18.
Lee (8-0) defeated Tennessee Temple 15-0, and recorded three shutouts against Shawnee State, 5-0, 2-0, and 4-0. Kris Hall and Joe Fabre combined for a two-hit shutout in the first Shawnee State game (Hall struck out twelve), Patrick Merkling pitched five hitless innings in the second game, and Jose Samayoa allowed one hit in the first five innings of the third game. 1B Roberto Reyes hit a three-run home run in the third game. The Flames host Union C. (KY) Feb. 13, visit Tennessee Wesleyan Feb. 15, and visit Emmanuel Feb. 17-18.
The NAIA's top 11 teams, and 12 of the top 13 teams, have started their seasons.
Oklahoma City started their season with four wins, two against Hastings, and two against Grand View. The Stars trailed the first game 1-0 going into the sixth inning of a seven-inning game. P Rich Hawkins tied it with a home run in the sixth, and SS Chris Munoz batted in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Hawkins went the distance, scattered six hits, struck out seven. Kirby Wells and and Addison Ives combined to hold the Stars to only three hits. The Stars visit Division II Central Oklahoma on Feb. 7, and host Missouri Baptist and Ottawa Feb. 10-12.
Concordia-Irvine (3-0) visits Division II Cal State-Los Angeles Feb. 8 and Division II Cal Poly Pomona Feb. 10. They host a double-header against Cal Poly Pomona, who are 4-0, in Feb. 11.
Lee swept three games against Talladega, 14-2, 4-1, and 2-1, and defeated Hiwassee (NCCAA) 11-0. Kris Hall, Patrick Merkling, Andy Hillis, and Mike Fasolo got the wins, and Fasolo combined with James Rechenbach and Kyle Briner for a one-hitter against Hiwassee. Blake Barber is batting .538 for the Flames. They host Tennessee Temple Feb. 7 and Shawnee State Feb. 10-11.
Lubbock Christian lost two of three to Northwood (TX) and lost to Texas Wesleyan. All four games were close. Kyle Forsyth was credited with the 10-8 win over Northwood; the Chaparrals scored seven runs in the eighth inning, led by a bases-loaded double by RF Benny Woodard. In the first loss to the Knights, Clayton Woodruff, Nick Harrison, and Colton Reavis combined to hold the Chaparrals to four hits. The next game went into extra innings, and the Knights won it on an RBI single by 1B Adam Humes. In the 3-2 loss to Texas Wesleyan, C Alex Padilla bunted with the bases loaded to bring in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Oklahoma transfer Nolan Barbee got the win for the Rams, but starter Derek Vaughn put in a strong performance; six innings, four hits, seven strikeouts. The Chaparrals host York Feb. 10-11. The Rams have started the season 4-0, and they visit Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor Feb. 7, host Tabor Feb. 9, and U. of the Southwest Feb. 10-11.
Embry-Riddle swept three games from Florida Memorial, 6-5 (11 innings), 12-0 (mercy rule) and 10-4. 1B Chris Page went 3-for-6 in the first game, hit a single off the wall in the bottom of the 11th to bat in the winning run. Chad Modomo pitched a four-hit shutout in the second game. CF Frankie Arias went 4-for-4 in the third game, and Kevin Maloney got the win. The Eagles visit Warner Feb. 10-11.
Concordia-Irvine has started the season 3-0, with an easy win over Simpson, and a double-header sweep of Arizona Christian, 6-3 and 10-7. C/DH Chris Kuber is batting .600 for the Eagles, Blake Harrison, Brent Clapper, and Thomas Hoenshell got the wins. The defending champions don't play again until Feb. 8, at Division II Cal State-Los Angeles.
Auburn-Montgomery hosted a round-robin event with four ranked teams, and the result was a draw. The Warhawks (they are no longer the Senators), Embry-Riddle, and Tennessee Wesleyan went 2-2, and Southern Polytechnic went 1-1. The best game of the event was probably the first one, a 2-1 win for the Warhawks over Embry-Riddle. Story at Auburn-Montgomery site: Dugan's Walk-Off Gives Warhawks Split with No. 5 Embry-Riddle. Enbry-Riddle got a complete seven-inning game from Chad Modomo in a 5-2 win over Tennessee Wesleyan; it was Modomo's first start for the Eagles. The Warhawks host Webber International Feb. 3, and Southeaster Feb. 4. The Eagles host Florida Memorial Feb. 3-4.
Belhaven swept three games against Blue Mountain, 4-0, 6-3, and 15-4. Geoffrey Thomas, Matthew Shaw, and Robert Marzoni combined for a four-hit shutout in the first game. Thomas, a transfer from Southern Mississippi, pitched six shutout innings, allowed one hit, struck out five. The Blazers host Tougaloo Jan. 31, and visit LSU-Alexandria Feb. 3-4.
Wayland Baptist swept four games against U. Of the Southwest, 6-2, 5-4, 3-1, and 6-3. The Pioneers score three runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the second game; freshman LF Colton Palmer hit a two-RBI single, and freshman SS Bernie Rosario hit a walk-off RBI double. The Pioneers will be playing at the Arizona Desert Classic in Anthem, AZ Feb. 2-4, with College of Idaho, Fresno Pacific, Lewis-Clark State, and Point Loma Nazarene.
More teams with good starts: Loyola-New Orleans is 4-0, Emmanuel is 3-0.
The Concordia-Irvine Eagles won their first-ever national championship. Results from the sixth and final day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship, in Lewiston, ID:
Concordia-Irvine 9, Lubbock Christian 3
The Eagles opened the scoring in the top of the third inning with an RBI single by 3B Danny Casey. The Chaparrals took a brief 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third when SS Ryan Burnaman reached on a single, and scored on an error. Courtesy runner Brett Morte scored the second run on a ground out. The Eagles took the lead for good in the fourth, when 2B Robbie Knowles hit a bases loaded triple.
The Chaps got one back in the bottom of the fourth on a home run by RF Austin Stewart. After that, the score stayed 4-3 until the ninth inning. The Eagles got five insurance runs in the top of the ninth. The first key play was a triple by CF Matt Ivanoff with one out. The Chaps brought the infield and outfield in close for the next batter, LF Kyle Konicek. The Chaps also sent in Tyler Curtis, who got the win in the first game of the day, to pitch. Konicek proceeded to hit what would normally have been a sacrifice fly, but it went over the head of the right fielder for another triple. The Eagles eventually sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, and the Chaps used four pitchers. The game ended on a double play.
Blake Harrison went the distance for the Eagles, threw 111 pitches. He allowed two earned runs on six hits, didn't walk a batter, struck out three. Casey and RF Ryan Sheeks stole bases. Shane Ingram got the loss for the Chaps. Attendance: 3,075
Ivanoff was voted Most Valuable Player, and received the Charles Berry Hustle Award. Click here for the all-tournament team. The was the first-ever championship for a team from the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Eagles were unranked in the NAIA coaches' poll, but were #14 in the ISR, and #1 in strength of schedule, going into the Opening Round.
A one-hitter for Lee's Shay Crawford. Results from the fifth day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship, in Lewiston, ID:
The Eagles scored six runs in the first two innings.
The Eagles got a strong performance by starter Dean Persinger, who went 7 2/3 innings, threw 130 pitches, allowed only two runs on four hits until the eighth inning. In the eighth, he gave up a solo home run by 1B Kevin Smith. He recorded a strikeout, and gave up a single to 2B Michael Diffie. He then walked two batters, and turned the ball over to Jacob McBride with two out and the bases loaded. McBride gave up an RBI single by LF Curtis Beaudoin, but got the batter to fly out, ending the inning with the bases loaded. McBride finished the game with a three-up, three-down ninth.
The early offensive onslaught started with a two-RBI single by C John Hill and an RBI double by 1B Tyler Derby in the first inning. In the second inning, CF Matt Ivanoff hit an RBI single, chasing Pilot starter Jared Mata. LF Kyle Konicek hit an RBI double, and DH Bryan Nicholson hit an RBI single.
Ivanoff made a big defensive play in the third inning, catching a ball off the center field fence hit by SS Manny Estrada with a runner on base. Ivanoff and Konicek both finished the game 3-4 with an RBI.
Persinger's final numbers were four runs on seven hits, ten strikeouts, and three walks. McBride got a save, and Mata got the loss.
Results from the fourth day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship, in Lewiston, ID:
Lee 7, Embry-Riddle 4 (Embry-Riddle eliminated)
Concordia-Irvine 7, Oklahoma City 4 (Oklahoma City eliminated)
Lubbock Christian 3, LSU-Shreveport 0
The Flames took the early lead, chasing Eagles starter Kevin Maloney after he recorded only two outs. The Eagles tied it 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh on reliever Matt Passauer, with an RBI single by 3B Steve Sabins, and an RBI double by 1B Chris Page. Passauer was replaced by Curtis Camilli, who held the Eagles to one hit the rest of the way.
The winning run for the Flames came on a solo home run by 1B Roberto Reyes in the eighth inning. They added two insurance runs in the ninth with RBI singles by DH Chris Grayson and Reyes.
Camilli got the win. Starter Jay Bolen went six innings for the Flames, allowed two runs on five hits, struck out five. Brandon Creath took over from Maloney for the Eagles, went six innings, allowed two runs on three hits.
This will be the fourth straight year that the Flames have finished in the final four. They took the Eagles out of this tournament in the semifinal last year.
Results from the third day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship, in Lewiston, ID:
Concordia-Irvine 7, Oklahoma Baptist 5 (Oklahoma Baptist eliminated)
Lee 7, Lewis-Clark State 3 (Lewis-Clark State eliminated)
LSU-Shreveport 3, Embry-Riddle 2 (10 innings)
Lubbock Christian 8, Oklahoma City 1
The Bison led 5-3 after four innings, on a grand slam home run by 3B Alan Trayler. The Eagles closed to 5-4 with a sacrifice fly by DH Bryan Nicholson in the fifth, then completed the scoring with three runs in the sixth; CF Matt Ivanoff hit a two-RBI triple, then scored on a throwing error.
The Bison didn't go out without a fight, however. They opened the bottom of the ninth with singles by C Mitchell Prophet and SS Jonathan Gelpi. 2B Terrence Buchanan bunted, moving courtesy runner Chris Lemus to third, and Gelpi to second. The Eagles replaced starter Brent Clapper with Ryan Day, with one out and the tying run on second. Gelpi was replaced with a pinch-runner, Jorden Newton. The next batter, CF Reece Alnas, hit a line drive that was caught by RF Ryan Sheeks. Newton, who didn't think the ball would be caught, was caught off second base, ending the game.
Ivanoff had a big day; 4-4 with a double, an triple, four RBI, and three runs scored. Clapper scattered 11 hits, struck out five. Starter Ryan Plum got the loss for the Bison.
Results from the second day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship, in Lewiston, ID:
Lee 7, Faulkner 3 (Faulkner eliminated)
Oklahoma Baptist 8, Tennessee Wesleyan 6 (Tennessee Wesleyan eliminated)
Embry-Riddle 9, Concordia-Irvine 3
Oklahoma City 2, Lewis-Clark State 1
Curtis Camilli and Matt Passauer combined to hold the Eagles to five hits. 1B Roberto Reyes went 4-4 with three double and a home run.
Results from the first day of the NAIA Baseball National Championship, in Lewiston, ID:
Concordia-Irvine 7, Faulkner 2
LSU-Shreveport 5, Lee 4
Lubbock Christian 7, Oklahoma Baptist 2
Lewis-Clark State 5, Tennessee Wesleyan 4
Faulkner started their ace, R.L. Eisenbach, and Concordia was able to score four runs on five hits on him in only three-plus innings. Eisenbach was chased by a two-RBI double by 2B Robbie Knowles. The first of the two RBI held up as the winning run; Concordia starter Dean Persinger held Faulkner to two runs on four hits over the first six innings, and reliever Josh White held Faulkner scoreless the rest of the way.
Knowles got a sacrifice fly late in the game, and finished 1-3 with three RBI. LF Kyle Konicek went 2-4 with a double and two RBI.
#4 Oklahoma Baptist won the Joliet bracket, defeating #13 Biola 13-1 after a 44-hour rain delay. Bison starter Chad Hardison was able to pick up where he left off on Saturday, allowed six hits in six innings total. The Bison got all the runs they needed before the rain delay; LF Michael Sliger scored when 3B Alan Trayler was hit by a pitch, and 1B Bam Davis scored during a double play. DH Daniel Baptista went 3-4 with an RBI. Story from Oklahoma Baptist site
This will be the first trip to the Baseball National Championship for the Bison since 1996.
#12 Faulkner defeated #8 Union C. (KY) 4-2 in the “if necessary” game to decide the Kingsport bracket. R.L. Eisenbach got his second win of the tournament, allowed four hits in 6 1/3 innings, threw 100 pitches on two days rest. Union starter Brandon Hedrick went 6 2/3 innings, allowed only one earned run on three hits, struck out 11, threw 140 pitches. However, he walked seven batters and hit one more. The winning run for the Eagles came on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning by DH Tim Barranza with the bases loaded; an additional run came in on a throwing error. Story from Faulker site
Eisenbach leads the NAIA with 14 wins, and has an ERA of 1.27. This is Faulkner's first trip to the Baseball National Championship, but it will be the second trip for Eisenbach; he pitched for Lubbock Christian in 2009.