Game accounts (150)
Oklahoma City (8-3) defeated Southern Nazarene 8-4 in mid-week. The Stars scored six runs in the first inning, and Blake Schwartz recorded seven strikeouts in six innings of work. The Stars then dropped two games to MidAmerica Nazarene, 8-4 and 4-2. In the first game, RF Josh Greer hit two home runs for the Pioneers, batted in five of their eight runs. In the second game, Pioneer starter Tino Luna recorded ten strikeouts in six innings, held the Stars to five hits. The Stars rebounded with two wins over Bellevue, 7-2 and 5-1. Rich Hawkins pitched a complete game in the first one, SS Chris Muñoz went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the second one. The Stars host Northwood (TX) Feb. 21, U. of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Feb. 23, then visit USAO Feb. 25.
Concordia-Irvine (6-4) swept three games against Patten, 9-1, 12-0, and 11-7. The first game was closer than the score indicates; see campus visit. Jake Hovis went the distance in the shutout, struck out ten. RF Ty Holm went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI in the third game. The Eagles begin their defense of their Golden State Athletic Conference championship at home against San Diego Christian Feb. 23, then visit San Diego Christian Feb. 25.
Lee (11-2) lost two midweek games, 9-3 to Union C. (KY) and 8-7 to Tennessee Wesleyan. The Flames led Tennessee Wesleyan 7-6 going into the ninth inning. They had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the ninth, and couldn't get an insurance run. Tennessee Wesleyan got two cheap runs in the bottom of the ninth to win it. The Flames swept Emmanuel over the weekend, 12-1, 2-1, and 8-5. Kris Hall struck out eleven in the mercy-rule shortened first game. The winning run in the second game came on a solo home run by 1B Roberto Reyes. The Flames trailed the third game 5-2 at one point, got a good five-inning relief effort from James Rechenbach. The Flames host Rio Grande Feb. 20 and Lindsey Wilson Feb.22, and visit U. of Mobile Feb. 24-25.
Cal State-San Marcos and Azusa Pacific split a Cougars vs. Cougars matchup at APU's Cougar Baseball Field.
First game: CSUSM started with five runs in the top of the first inning, on an RBI single by 3B Austin Coleman, a two-RBI double by 2B Michael Meccuci, and a two-RBI single by 1B Kenny Belzer.
APU starter Ben Ruder was replaced by Zachary Hedges in the second inning. He was greeted with an RBI single by LF Anthony Renteria, son of Rick Renteria, who played 184 games with the Pirates, Mariners, and Marlins, and is currently the bench coach for the Padres. Hedges ended up going 6 2/3 innings, and didn't allow another earned run the rest of the way. This made an impressive comeback by APU possible. CF Matt Kimmel got it started. He drew a leadoff walk, stole second and third, and scored on a single by SS Anthony Rodriguez. The second run of the inning was scored by 3B Brendan Casey on a wild pitch; Casey originally got on base with a walk. APU officially got back in the game with two runs in the fourth on an RBI ground out by C Matt Page and an RBI single by 2B Sammy Soyring. This made the score 6-4.
Patten RHP Issac Duran was able to keep the Lions in this one for 6 2/3 innings. However, CF Steven McMichael reached on an error, and the unearned run scored by 3B Ryan DiMascio became the winning run. The Eagles got another run in the seventh on an RBI single by LF Kyle Konicek. The two relievers who replaced Duran in the eighth were ineffective, turning a pretty good ball game into a rout.
The defending champions got a complete game from RHP Brent Clapper, who held the Lions to five hits, struck out 11, and didn't walk a batter.
The Eagles got on the board in the third inning with a leadoff triple by SS Matt Palmer. Palmer scored on a sacrifice fly by the next batter, 2B Daniel Shine. The Eagles left the bases loaded in the fourth; Duran got two key strikeouts, then fielded a ground ball and threw it home for the force out to end the inning.
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.