National Championship preview

Written by Administrator - Sunday, 20 May 2018

Schedule for the first two days of the 62nd NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 25-June 1, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):

8:30 AM: #8 seed Antelope Valley (44-12-1) vs. #9 Reinhardt (41-18)

Antelope Valley (Lancaster, CA) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship, in only the third season of their program. They won both the regular season and tournament championships of the California Pacific Conference.
Nickname: Pioneers
Rankings: #17 in coaches' poll, #29 in ISR. Strength of Schedule: #93
Quality wins: 2-2 vs. Lewis-Clark State, Middle Georgia State, 2-1 vs. William Jessup
Top position players: IF Michael Pereznegron (.398), IF Tyler Pittmon (.376, 9 HR, 64 RBI), OF Adam Maciel (.410, 57 RBI), C/1B Nathaniel Broaddus (.318, 8 HR, 42 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Clayton Rabiej (11-0, 3.28 ERA, 93 K), RHP Jacob Castillo (11-0, 4.75 ERA), RHP Jesse Garcia (7-4, 5.30 ERA, 77 K), LHP Chris Gutierrez (3-0, 2.61 ERA)
Coach: Jacob Garsez, third season
Outlook: The Pioneers should win this one, but if they do, Saturday night's game against Faulkner will be a challenge.

Reinhardt (Waleska, GA) is one of five teams making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship. The Eagles and Freed-Hardeman are tied for fourth in the NAIA in team fielding, with a .971 average.
Nickname: Eagles
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #14 in ISR. Strength of Schedule: #24
Quality wins: 1-1 vs. Middle Georgia State, 2-1 vs. Campbellsville
Top position players: OF Kaleb Swayze (.356, 10 HR, 45 RBI), 1B Sherman Graves (.316, 10 HR, 55 RBI), IF Jacob Cagle (.256, 12 HR, 49 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Heriberto Casasola (Panama City, Panama; 6-2, 2.25 ERA, 48 K), RHP Dylan Powers (11-3, 2.62 ERA), 80 K), RHP Jason Gifford (9-3, 3.32 ERA, 85 K)
Coach: John Harris, first season
Outlook: The Eagles are happy to be here.

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