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2014 Season Preview

Written by Administrator - Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The 58th NAIA baseball season is already under way, and six games were played in California last weekend. The Golden State Athletic Conference is already playing conference matchups, with #9 Concordia-Irvine at Arizona Christian, Biola at The Master's, and San Diego Christian at Westmont. Ave Maria and Southeastern play Edward Waters and Calumet College of Saint Joseph in Lakeland, FL, Bryan hosts Lindenwood, Cal State San Marcos visits Vanguard, Doane visits Houston-Victoria, and Warner visits Webber International.

Here is an evaluation of the top 10 teams according to the pre-season coaches' poll:

#1 – Faulkner: The defending champions will have returning position players OF Michael Cruz (.355, 13 HR, 68 RBI; he led the Eagles in all three categories, and is a Pre-season All-American), C/IF Sergio Sanchez (.363, 65 RBI), IF Luis Sanchez (.344) and IF Dauris Holguin (.291). Their returning pitchers are RHP Julian Esquibel (11-2, 2.71 ERA), LHP Labradford Griffis (5-0, 2.11 ERA), and RHP Jeremy Holcombe (4-0, 3.19 ERA). They will have three key transfers; OF Willie Allen (Western Oklahoma State), C T.C. Mark (Arizona), RHP Kurt Lipscomb (Jacksonville State), and OF Omar Gomez (New Mexico Junior College). Games to watch: Missouri Baptist Feb. 7-8, Lindsey Wilson Feb. 7, Cumberland Feb. 8, at Tennessee Wesleyan March 5 Live Video

#2 – Lewis-Clark State: The Warriors have Cody Lavalli (.373, 10 HR), who was drafted in 37th round by the Rangers, and is a Pre-season All-American. Other returnees are OF/C Jake Shirley (.340), RHP Michael Noteware (missed most of 2013 with a medical redshirt), RHP Steve Thompson (5-5, 2.49 ERA), and RHP Dave Murillo (5-0, 3.02 ERA, 38 K). Their most impressive recruit is IF Michael Sexton, a freshman drafted in the 38th round by the Mariners. They also have RHP Gunnar Swanson (transfer from Everett CC; he was 9-2, 1.63 ERA with 8 complete games and 88 K there) and OF Raymond Pedrina. Games to watch: British Columbia Feb. 7, Concordia-Portland Feb. 8 and April 4-6, Western Oregon Feb. 21-23, at British Columbia March 7-9, at Western Oregon May 2, 4, at Linfield (Division III champion) May 3 Live Audio


2014 Preseason Top 25

Written by Administrator - Thursday, 14 November 2013

The 2013-14 NAIA Coaches' Preseason poll, released November 12:

RANK LAST TIME SCHOOL 2013 RECORD TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Faulkner (Ala.) 56-11 529
2 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 45-15 507
3 4 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 50-15 498
4 5 Missouri Baptist 37-14 473
5 10 Oklahoma City 49-13 461
6 8 York (Neb.) 44-12 421
7 9 Sterling (Kan.) 48-14 405
8 12 Tennessee Wesleyan 45-18 403
9 19 Concordia (Calif.) 35-21 390
10 14 Cumberland (Tenn.) 49-19-1 371
11 17 Oklahoma Baptist 44-19 369
12 6 The Master’s (Calif.) 44-17 345
13 7 Northwood (Texas) 43-11 338
14 15 Bellevue (Neb.) 45-10-1 337
15 20 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) 45-20 274
16 18 Cal State San Marcos 35-12 256
17 RV Southern Poly (Ga.) 39-18 225
18 22 Judson (Ill.) 46-17 216
19 23 Point Park (Pa.) 39-16 209
20 16 Texas Wesleyan 42-17 200
21 RV LSU Shreveport (La.) 40-18 188
22 RV San Diego Christian (Calif.) 39-20 133
23 25 Georgetown (Ky.) 36-19 120
24 RV William Carey (Miss.) 36-23 117
T25 RV Ave Maria (Fla.) 38-21 116
T25 NR Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 38-13 116

First-place votes: Faulkner 18, Lewis-Clark State 1

NAIA press release


1B Matt Page of Oklahoma Baptist leads the team. Two players from Northwood (TX) and DH Michael Cruz from defending champion Faulkner.

Name Institution Pos. Class Hometown
Tyler Latham Bryan C Sr. Spring City, TN
Blake Marchant Grand View C Jr. Indianola, IA
Matt Page Oklahoma Baptist 1B Sr. Redwood City, CA
Isaac Maturino Northwood (TX) 2B Sr. Grand Prairie, TX
Nate Mullins Bellevue 3B Sr. Snohomish, WA
Randy Santiesteban Peru State SS Jr. Hialeah, FL
Jordan Crowell Point Park UT Jr. Milford, OH
Seth Neely Arizona Christian OF Sr. Phoenix, AZ
Cody Lavalli Lewis-Clark State OF Sr. Apple Valley, CA
David Kuhne St. Francis (IL) OF Sr. Metamora, IL
Steven Karkenny The Master’s OF Jr. Chatsworth, CA
Michael Cruz Faulkner DH Sr. Dominican Republic
Chris Good Belhaven SP Jr. Forney, TX
Anthony Gomez Cumberland SP Sr. Norwalk, CA
Jarrod Jameson Tennessee Wesleyan SP Sr. Oklahoma City, OK
Stetson Nelson Embry-Riddle SP Jr. Leesburg, FL
Cody Gray Northwood (TX) RP Sr. Glendale, AZ

NAIA press release


Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, has applied for membership in the Division II Sunshine State Conference.

The Eagles have made 12 trips to the National Championship tournament, ten of them in the last 11 seasons, under coaches Greg Guilliams and Randy Stegall. Their best finish was in 2005, when they were runners-up to Oklahoma City.

Joining the Sunshine State Conference would put the Eagles in the same conference with former NAIA opponents Barry and Rollins. The Eagles have been playing non-conference games against Tampa, the defending national Division II champions. The Eagles lost to them 2-1 (ten innings) this season.

Story by Brent Woronoff in the Daytona Beach News-Journal: ERAU makes case to NCAA conference

Concordia-Irvine won the National Championship in 2011. They would be joining former GSAC members Cal Baptist, Point Loma Nazarene, Azusa Pacific, and Fresno Pacific in the PacWest Conference.

Concordia-Portland is the defending champion of NAIA West. The Cavaliers went to the National Championship tournament in 2004. Rob Vance has been their Head Coach for 15 seasons. They have a new, good quality ballpark. They would, if accepted, compete in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). Whether they can break Western Oregon's long streak of conference championships remains to be seen.

These three schools would continue to complete in the NAIA through the 2015 season.

Georgetown College (KY) has applied for membership in the Division II Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC). A previous application by Georgetown C. was turned down.


The Melville Millionaires won their first-ever Western Major Baseball League championship, defeating the Medicine Hat Mavericks three games to two in the final.

Both teams were loaded with NAIA players. The Millionaires' roster included six players from British Columbia (see picture): Alex Webb, Cam Firth, Tyler Enns, Kevin Biro, Jeremy Newton, and Nathan Kirby. Also Jaime Paxton (Northwood (TX)), Allen Rimer (Bacone), and Chase Medler (Lyon). The Mavericks' roster included four players from Tabor: Alex Mann, Jacob Webb, Grant Silva, and C.J. DeDeaux. The also had Alex Bos (Concordia-Portland), Alex Graham (British Columbia), Kyle McKay (Saint Francis (IN)), Ched Gaskin (Purdue North Central), and Bryan Arthur (British Columbia).

Biro led the Millionaires in hitting during the regular season with a .366 average, and, for the Sabermetricians, 29.668 runs created. Bos led the WMBL with an 8-0 won-lost record. Webb had three starts and three wins during the playoffs, did not allow an earned run in 17 2/3 innings pitched. Silva batted .337 for the Mavericks.

Anthony Armanino of Lewis-Clark State, playing for the Swift Current Indians, had an astonishing 24 strikeouts during three playoff games (19 innings pitched). He had a regular season record of 4-0, 2.25 ERA, 60 strikeouts.


Cumberland U. going to Division II

Written by Administrator - Thursday, 08 August 2013

Cumberland, a long-term baseball power in the NAIA, announced on August 7 that they have been granted provisional membership in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC), and will be applying for NCAA Division II membership. Here is Cumberland's press release: CU admitted to G-MAC, will apply to NCAA D-II.

This is a major loss for NAIA baseball. The Bulldogs have made 11 appearances at the Baseball National Championship, and they won it in 2004 and 2011. Woody Hunt has been the Head Coach for 32 years, and has a record of 1403-584-4.

Joining the G-MAC reconnects the Bulldogs with two traditional opponents, Trevecca Nazarene and Georgetown College (KY). Trevecca Nazarene is the current conference champion.

The other significant departure announcement this year is Auburn-Montgomery. They have applied to the Peach Belt Conference and Division II. The Warhawks were 32-24-1 last season.

Update on October 4: Auburn-Montgomery's application to the NCAA was turned down, because of a recruiting violation. They will have to re-apply later.


The 2013 MLB draft

Written by Administrator - Saturday, 08 June 2013

Players for NAIA schools taken in the 2013 MLB draft:

RHP Myles Smith, Lee, Red Sox, 4th round story

RHP James Dykstra, Cal State San Marcos, White Sox, 6th story

RHP Calvin Drummond, Arizona Christian, Tigers, 6th story

RHP Nick Blount, Southern Polytechnic, White Sox, 9th story

LF Henry Yates, Texas Wesleyan, Dodgers, 9th story

RHP Jose Samayoa, Lee, Rangers, 9th story

RHP Andy Hillis, Lee, Brewers, 11th story

CF Jimmy Bosco, Menlo, Cardinals, 13th story

RHP Fabian Roman, Lubbock Christian, Reds, 16th story

LHP Clint Terry, Lee, Brewers, 18th story

CF Michael Carballo, Tennessee Wesleyan, White Sox, 18th

LHP Cory Bafidis, Texas Wesleyan, Nationals, 18th story

SS Christian Vasquez, Lubbock Christian, Blue Jays, 19th story

LHP Cole Swanson, Concordia-Irvine, Angels, 19th

LF Jon Kemmer, Brewton-Parker, Astros, 21st

RHP Ben Heller, Olivet Nazarene, Cubs, 22nd

SS Chase Jensen, Oklahoma City, Padres, 22nd story

LHP Christopher O'Hare, Fisher, Pirates, 22nd

RHP Cody Harris, The Master's, Marlins, 24th story

C Orrin Sears, Arizona Christian, Braves, 24th story

RHP Johnnie Kirkland, Southeastern, Tigers, 25th

C Kyle Wheeler, Belhaven, A's, 26th

RHP Ricky Claudio, St. Thomas (FL), Mariners, 27th

1B Jake Stone, Tennessee Wesleyan, Cardinals, 27th

RHP Jace Chancellor, Lubbock Christian, Padres, 28th (red-shirted this season, made seven appearances for Wayland Baptist in 2012, never played for the Chaparrals) story

RHP Johnny Shuttlesworth, Faulkner, Diamondbacks, 28th

RHP Alex Moore, Lee, Brewers, 28th

LHP Derek Loera, Lubbock Christian, Rays, 28th story

LHP Joey Webb, Menlo, Nationals, 28th story

RHP Justin Sprenger, Tennessee Wesleyan, Rangers, 29th

RHP Blake McMullen, Science and Arts of Oklahoma, A's, 29th

RHP Colton Reavis, Northwood (TX), Rays, 30th

C Joel Thys, Arizona Christian, Diamondbacks, 31st story

RHP Cody Crabaugh, Oklahoma City, Marlins, 32nd story

LHP Eric Greene, Embry-Riddle, Orioles, 36th

OF Cody Lavalli, Lewis-Clark State, Rangers, 37th

RHP Blake McKnight, Evangel, Cardinals, 38th

A huge day for Lee, with five players drafted, three by the Brewers. Also a good day for Lubbock Christian, Arizona Christian and Texas Wesleyan.


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