Game accounts (150)
The North won the sixth annual Sun Conference All-Star Game 14-10. The offensive standouts for the south were 3B Eric Santamaria of Saint Thomas and C Carlos Contreras of Northwood (FL). Both went 3-for-3; Santamaria had three RBI, and Contreras had two. For the North, Dylan Heiring of Warner and RHP Sean Stanislawski of Webber International both struck out all three batters they faced. (All of the pitchers in the game pitched one inning.) Story
Conference play has already started in the Golden State Athletic Conference, with all eight teams in action. And, the two teams predicted to be the best in the conference, Concordia-Irvine and The Master's, played each other, at Irvine. Concordia won the first two games, 7-5 and 10-0, and The Master's won the third, 4-2. 1B Daniel Shine singled in the winning run in the first game. He also stole a base, and scored two runs. Story He went 2-4 with four RBI in the second game. Colin Orellana and Garrett Kraemer combined for the shutout; Kraemer allowed only two hits over the last four innings. In the third game, CF-RHP Steve Karkenny picked up from where he left off last year. He drew a walk and scored the winning run (on a double by 1B Collin Nyenhuis) in the top of the sixth, then moved to the mound in the bottom of the sixth, retired all five batters he faced, and got a save. Nyenhuis went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, and two RBI. Story
Concordia hosts Arizona Christian Jan. 30-31 (video) and The Master's hosts Biola Jan. 30-31 (video). #5 Faulkner opens their season hosting LSU-Alexandria Jan. 30-31, and Northwood (FL) Jan. 31-Feb. 1. #6 Georgia Gwinnett host Blue Mountain Jan. 31-Feb. 1 (video). #9 Missouri Baptist visits William Carey Jan. 30; the Spartans were ranked #1 by Perfect Game (click here for their rankings).
Industriales built up a 5-0 lead over the first five innings, let it get away in the top of the sixth, then put it away with a big bottom of the seventh, in a game characterized by sloppy pitching.
Industriales open the scoring with a double by RF Dairon Blanco and an RBI single by CF Carlos Alberto before the first out was recorded in the bottom of the first. Alberto moved from first to third on a passed ball that C Franklin Aballe had trouble finding, then scored on a sacrifice fly by SS Lourdes Gourriel. They added a home run by 1B Alexander Malleta in the third. In the bottom of the fifth, Industriales benefited from two walks with two out by Holguin starter LHP Lander Moreira. Moreira was replaced by Maikel Sainz, who proceed to hit the first batter he faced, loading the bases. The next batter, DH Lisban Correa, hit a two-RBI single, and Industriales led 5-0. Sainz was replaced by Carlos A. Leon after facing only two batters.
A near-capacity crowd at Estadio Màrtires de Barbados in Bayamo got to see an excellent ball game.
Pinar del Rio was in control of this game for the first eight innings. They got two runs in the top of the first on an RBI double by DH Donal Duarte, and an RBI single by 1B Ramon Lunar. They added a run in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly by 3B Osniel Madera.
It looked for a long time like these three runs would be enough. Pinar del Rio got an excellent start from Erlis Casanova, who held Granma scoreless for five innings. Both he and reliever Livan Moinelo got some key strikeouts, and were also helped by double plays in the bottom of the first and fifth innings, a strikeout followed by a throw-out at second to end the second inning, and a good play by SS Yanciel Ajete to end the fourth inning with two runners left on base. Granma started the sixth inning with a base hit by SS Adrian Moreno, and Casanova turned the ball over to Moinelo. A long at-bat by LF Guillermo Jose Aviles resulted in a ground ball and Moreno out at second.
My first visit to a baseball game in Cuba was stopped by the mercy rule (“regla chili” in Spanish) after 6 1/2 innings.
Granma loaded the bases in each of the first three innings. In the first inning, they got a run on an RBI double by 1B Guillermo Jose, a two-RBI double by RF Urmani Guerra, and another RBI double by 3B Lazaro Alfredo. They left the bases loaded in the second inning, but in the third inning, they loaded the bases on singles by Guerrai and C Yulexis La Rosa, and an intentional walk, then SS Adrian Moreno hit a grand slam. It was 8-0 after three innings. Granma made it 12-0 in the fifth, with a sacrifice fly by Jose, a two-RBI single by 1B Yordanis Samon, and an RBI single by Guerra.
Granma starter Lazaro Blanco had a shutout with two out in the bottom of the sixth. He should have gotten out of the inning with a double play, but a suspect call at first kept the inning going. On the next play, the shortstop lost the handle on a routine ground ball. DH Alberto Toledo ended the shutout with an RBI single, and RF Lazaro D. Perez hit a shallow single that scored another run. Blanco left the game after that with six hits (three of them in the sixth inning, and two more by CF Robersis Ramos), zero earned runs, and 3 strikeouts.
The Diablos Rojos (Red Devils) of Mexico City and the Rieleros (Railroaders) of Aguascalientes split a double header (two seven-inning games) before a good crowd in Aguascalientes.
First game: This was a good one. The Diablos led the game until the bottom of the seventh. RF Doug Clark got the Diablos on the board with a two-run home run in top of the first inning. They added two more runs in the second inning. LF Ivan Terrazas hit a single, and C Gabriel Gutierrez hit a double. Terrazas scored when SS Juan Carlos Gamboa reached on a fielder's choice.
CF Rubén Rivera made a good catch in center field on a ball hit by 1B Japhet Amador in the top of the third inning. The Rieleros got two runs in the bottom of the third. RF Carlos Peñuelas hit a leadoff single, and scored on a double by LF Oscar Lemus. 2B Ivan Bellazetin hit a bunt single, moving Lemus to third. Lemus scored on a single by 3B Jesse Castillo. The Rieleros added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Peñuelas hit a slash bunt to score Rivera, who had reached on a single. So, the Diablos led 4-3 after four innings.
The Diablos Rojos (Red Devils) of Mexico City lead the North Division of the Mexican League by nine games, with a 62-35 record going into this game. The Rieleros (Railroaders) of Aguascalientes are in seventh place in the North Division, with a 44-52 record, and they will miss the playoffs. Tonight, however, belonged to the Rieleros.
The Diablos took the early lead in the top of the second, with a solo home run by 3B Emmanuel Ávila, and an RBI single by CF Carlos Figueroa. Figueroa bounced a line drive off Rieleros starter RHP Oswaldo Pacheco. (Pacheco got in the way of another line drive in the sixth inning, but was able to recover, pick up the ball, and get the out at first.)
The Rieleros answered with a solo home run by CF Rubén Rivera in the bottom of the second. It was his 20th HR of the season. C Oscar Lemus hit a ground rule double with two out, but a strikeout by Diablos starter LHP Marion Arias ended the inning.
Rivera made a good play in center field in the top of the third, taking away a home run from 1B Japhet Amador. The Rieleros tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by SS Carlos Orrantia. Orrantia went to third on a wild pitch, then scored to put the Rieleros ahead for good on a fielder's choice by 3B Jesse Castillo.
The Cumberland Bulldogs won their third national championship by defeating Lewis-Clark State 3-0. Anthony Gomez pitched his second complete game of the tournament, allowed six hits, threw 138 pitches. It was his second win of the tournament over the Warriors. The only run he allowed in the previous game was unearned.
RF Richie Seaton hit a two-RBI double in the second inning for the winning run. Attendance: 5,010
2B Sam Lind was the tournament MVP. Jeff Butler of Oklahoma Wesleyan won the Charles Berry Hustle Award.
Story from NAIA: Cumberland (Tenn.) Wins Third All-Time World Series
Story from Cumberland site: Bulldogs claim third national title with 3-0 victory
Results from the third day of the Opening Round tournament in Santa Clarita, CA:
The Thunderbirds trailed 3-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. SS Tyson Popoff led off with a single. CF Bryan followed with a double. The Panthers brought in Ryan Butzer to replace reliever Jonanthan Cheshire, and RF Jerod Bartnik was intentionally walked. With the tying run on third and nobody out, the Panthers had the infield at double-play depth. LF Tyler Enns hit a single to score Popoff and tie the game. With the bases still loaded, 3B Kevin Biro was hit by a pitch, scoring Arthur to end the game.
The Panthers led the game most of the way. They got on the board first when DH E.J. Grochowalski came home on a double play in the fourth inning. They took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning on an RBI double by SS Derek Dennis and a sacrifice fly by Grochowalski.
Results from the second day of the Opening Round tournament in Santa Clarita, CA:
Vanguard 2, The Master's 0 (The Master's eliminated)
San Diego Christian 2, Davenport 1
British Columbia 10, Vanguard 4 (Vanguard eliminated)
RHP Eddie Rivera pitched the third shutout of the tournament in four games, and the host team went two-and-out without scoring a run. Rivera held the Mustangs to one hit, struck out three, walked two, threw 106 pitches.
The winning run came in the second inning, on a classic example of small ball. CF Thomas Mobley led off with a double, was bunted to third base by RF John Schwer, then scored on a sacrifice fly by 2B Taylor McKnight. The insurance run came in the eighth inning, when SS Nick Rodda scored on a single by LF Brandon Sandoval. Rodda reached on a fielder's choice, then went to third on a bad pickoff attempt.
RF Jerod Bartnik led off the eighth inning with a home run off RHP Clayton Voechting for the only run of the game. Voechting had struck out the side in the previous inning, and the home run was only the second hit he had allowed.
LHP Conor Lillis-White, LHP Sean Callegari, and RHP Matt Thornton combined for the shutout, and allowed a total of six hits; Callegari got the win. However, much of the credit should go to the Thunderbirds' defense, which has traditionally been among the best in the NAIA. The Thunderbirds and second in the NAIA with a fielding percentage of .975. (The Master's is first, at .978.)
The Thunderbirds had a double play in the first inning. 2B Matt Spillman made a good defensive play to prevent a run from scoring in the third inning. CF Bryan Arthur robbed 1B Ian Sakry of a hit in the fifth inning. In the bottom of the seventh, a bunt attempt with runners at first and second with nobody out resulted in a force out at third. C Brody Hawkins caught courtesy runner Justin Davis attempting to steal third for the second out of the inning, then threw out Sakry attempting to steal second to end the inning. Callegari picked off a baserunner at first in the eighth inning.