Game accounts (145)
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.
During the first two seasons of the current “direct qualification” arrangement, no unranked teams made it through to the Baseball National Championship in Lewiston. The lowest ranked team to get to Lewiston was Tennessee Wesleyan, ranked #24 at the end of the 2010 season.
This season turned out differently. Concordia-Irvine (ISR #14) and Tennessee Wesleyan (ISR #28) will be in the Baseball National Championship field.
Concordia-Irvine won the Riverside bracket, defeating #3 Cal Baptist 4-2 in the final. DH Bryan Nicholson hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to win it for the Eagles. Brent Clapper, who allowed six hits in 7 1/3 innings, got the win.
The was the Eagles' eighth straight win, and their 20th win in their past 22 games.
Tennessee Wesleyan won the Paducah bracket, defeating #5 Cumberland 9-2 in the “if necessary” game. DH David Bergin hit two home runs and had six RBI for Wesleyan in the all-Bulldogs matchup. Josh McDaniel, pitching for Wesleyan on short rest, went six innings, allowed no earned runs on two hits. Corey Collins went the rest of the way, held Cumberland scoreless; both of Cumberland's runs came in the first inning.
Cumberland defeated Wesleyan 19-10 earlier the same day. LF Jesse Bowman went 4-5 with six RBI for Cumberland; Bergin hit two home runs for Wesleyan in this game, too, and he now has 23 on the season.
Wesleyan defeated Cumberland 5-3 earlier in the tournament, and the starters were Bergin and Aaron Wilkerson. Neither got a decision, but Bergin got the best of the matchup, went 6 1/3 innings, allowed three runs on six hits, struck out seven. Wilkerson, making the last appearance of his career, went three innings, allowed three runs on eight hits. His numbers for 2011 are 12-0, 1.49 ERA, and 90 strikeouts. He had 26 straight wins in his two seasons at Cumberland. He got the only at-bat of his career in a 14-7 win over William Jewell in this tournament; he came in as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, and reached on a fielder's choice.
Union U. (TN) won the TranSouth Conference tournament, defeating Bethel (TN) 11-2 in the final. DH Bryan Hill went 4-5, and CF Brett Pawlen went 3-4 with three RBI. Derek Roof went the distance for the Bulldogs, scattered nine hits.
Union defeated Martin Methodist 12-7 to get to the final. Story from Union U. site.
#19 Rogers State won their first-ever Sooner Athletic Conference tournament, defeating #5 Oklahoma Baptist 12-7 in the final. DH Cody Campbell went 3-5 with a double and a two-run home run. The home run provided the winning run for the Hillcats. Eric Faust got the win. Story from Rogers State site.
#20 British Columbia won their third straight NAIA West title, defeating College of Idaho 13-8 in the "if necessary" game. LF Andrew Madsen batted in three runs. He hit two doubles in four at-bats, and got a huge assist, throwing out a baserunner at the plate. Shawn Hetherington got the win in relief. He came on in the sixth inning, went 2 2/3 innings, allowed no runs on two hits. Story from British Columbia site