Schedule for the first two days of the 60th NAIA Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 27-28, Harris Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):
9 AM: #7 seed Sterling (48-14) vs. #10 Point (33-25)
Sterling (Sterling, KS) is making their second appearance at the Baseball National Championship. Their previous appearance was in 2013, and they went 0-2. They won the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
Rankings: #9 in coaches' poll, #21 in ISR. Strength of schedule: #14
Quality wins: 2-1 vs. Missouri Baptist, 5-2 vs. York
Top position players: 1B Andrew Dorado (.417, 15 HR, 53 RBI), 2B Beau Kallas (.415, 18 HR, 66 RBI), RF Kendall Radcliffe (.376, 19 HR, 64 RBI). Radcliffe was tied for seventh in the NAIA in home runs. Kallas was tied for ninth in home runs.
Top pitchers: LHP Kade Wagner (11-2, 1.53 ERA, 79 K), LHP Brad Williams (from Perth, Australia; 10-3, 2.09 ERA, 115 K), RHP Ryan Pope (3-1, 2.14 ERA, 59 K, 15 saves). Wagner has the sixth-lowest ERA in the NAIA.
Coach: Adrian Dinkel, fifth season
Outlook: The Warriors will win a game.
Point (West Point, GA) is making their first appearance at the Baseball National Championship.
Rankings: Unranked in coaches' poll, #33 in ISR. SoS: #11
Quality wins: Faulkner, 4-1 vs. Bryan, South Carolina-Beaufort, 2-1 vs. Campbellsville
Top position players: 3B Omar Smith (.341), C Juan Reyes (from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; .336, 7 HR, 25 RBI), CF Riliani Familia (also from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; .322, 10 HR, 44 RBI)
Top pitchers: RHP Payne Kosobucki (7-1, 2.39 ERA, 70 K), RHP Josh Nestlehutt (8-6, 3.14 ERA, 89 K), RHP Dylan Griffin (9-2, 4.09 ERA, 115 K)
Coach: Jeremy Christian, second season
Outlook: The Skyhawks did well to get this far, but they're in tough here.
#1 Faulkner swept a series at Blue Mountain, 2-0, 8-1, and 10-1. Their record is now 8-2. LHP Thomas Dorminy pitched a one-hitter in the first game, struck out ten.RHP Jeremy Holcombe got the win in the second game, pitched six shutout innings, allowed three hits. RHP Julian Esquibel got the win in the third game. The Eagles visit Thomas Feb. 21-22.
#2 Lewis-Clark State started their season 4-0, sweeping Division II Montana State-Billings, 5-4, 20-6, 9-2, and 4-1. David Murillo, Beau Kerns, Dillon Keene, and Gunnar Swanson got the wins. Swanson went six innings, allowed three hits, struck out seven. LF/DH Kyle Knigge went 8-for-17 with four RBI for the series. The Warriors host Division II Western Oregon Feb. 21-23.
#3 Embry-Riddle swept South Carolina-Beaufort, 5-2, 4-0, and 3-1. RHP Daniel Poncedeleon went the nine-inning distance in the first game, struck out ten. LHP Stetson Nelson pitched all but the last out of a two-hit shutout in the second game, and the Eagles scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the eighth. RHP Corey Tufts and LHP Clayton Wagner combined for a one-hitter in the third game. The Sand Sharks got only nine hits in the series. The Eagles visit Division II Stillman Feb. 22-23.
#4 Missouri Baptist won three games at a tournament at Belhaven. The Spartans defeated Campbellsville 13-3, Saint Francis (IN) 19-3, and Belhaven 5-2. LF Orlando Olivera went 4-for-5 with two RBI against Campbellsville. 2B Jeff Smith went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI against Saint Francis. LHP Dave Mullins got the win against Belhaven; he went seven innings, allowed no earned runs and one hit. The Spartans host Indiana Wesleyan Feb. 21-22.
#1 Faulkner went 2-2 on the weekend, making their record 5-2. They split two games with #4 Missouri Baptist, winning 5-4, and losing 4-3. In the first game, DH Randy Joung, who reached on an error, scored the winning run on a balk by Carl Jameson in the bottom of the sixth of a seven-inning game. Labradford Griffis got a save; he struck out RF Enrique Pagan in the top of the seventh with the tying run at third base. 2B Jeff Smith hit a solo home run in the second inning for the winning run in the second game. Ryan Stapp got the win; he combined with two other pitchers to hold the Eagles to four hits.
The Eagles' other loss was to #15 Lindsey Wilson, 4-1. The Eagles held a 1-0 lead going into the seventh inning, but several errors in the seventh allowed the Blue Raiders to win it. LHP Jason Turner went the seven-inning distance for the Blue Raiders, allowed five hits. Jeremy Holcombe, who allowed only three hits, and struck out seven, got the loss.
The Eagles finished the weekend with a 7-4 win over #10 Cumberland. LHP Thomas Dorminy went the seven-inning distance for the Eagles, allowed two earned runs on four hits, struck out eight. LF Esteban Paula went 2-for-2 with two RBI.
The Eagles visit Blue Mountain Feb. 14-15.
Missouri Baptist is 1-3; they lost 6-5 (12 innings) to Lindsey Wilson, and 5-4 to Cumberland. Derek Shugart hit an RBI triple in the 12th for the win for the Blue Raiders. Sam Ross got the win, pitched five innings in relief. DH Richie Seaton hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to win it for Cumberland. The Bulldogs out-hit the Spartans 11-5, and SS Josciel Veras went 3-for-3 with two RBI for the Bulldogs. The Spartans play Campbellsville Feb. 13, Saint Francis Feb. 14, and Belhaven Feb. 15; all three games are at Belhaven.
The Blue Raiders split a double-header with Auburn-Montgomery the following day, making their record 3-4. They visit Point Feb. 14-15.
The Bulldogs also split a double-header with Auburn-Montgomery, making their record 2-2. They host Union U. (TN) Feb. 11, and Taylor Feb. 14-15. The Warhawks are 5-3, and they visit Brewton-Parker Feb. 14-15.
A four-team tournament at #2 Lewis-Clark State was cancelled by snow. They host Division II Montana State-Billings Feb. 14-16.
RHP Keegan Yuhl, a transfer from Lee, pitched a no-hitter for #9 Concordia-Irvine in a 9-0 non-conference win over Antelope Valley. Yuhl threw 115 pitches, struck out 12, walked three. Story from Concordia-Irvine: Keegan Yuhl Throws First No-Hitter In Concordia History. The story includes three video clips; scroll down to see them. Box score.
The Eagles didn't just get a no-hitter and a three game sweep of Antelope Valley; all three games were shutouts, and the Eagles allowed only four hits for the series.
#12 The Master's won two of three at #22 San Diego Christian in a Golden State Athletic Conference matchup of two teams that were previously undefeated. The scores were 4-2, 8-11, and 3-1. The Mustangs got three runs on the top of the ninth inning to win the first game; 1B Josh Brown hit a two-RBI single to bring in the winning run. Jason Karkenny pitched two perfect innings to get the win in relief. 3B Jeff Lusardi hit a home run, a double, and five RBI for the Hawks in the second game. RHP Tucker Richardson pitched a seven-inning gem for the Mustangs in the third game; three hits, nine strikeouts, one walk. He was one out short of a shutout; Lusardi hit a home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. The Mustangs visit Concordia-Irvine Feb. 7-8. The Hawks host #16 Cal State San Marcos Feb. 8.
The split between The Master's and San Diego Christian enabled Vanguard to take over first place in the GSAC. The Lions swept three games against Arizona Christian, 3-2, 4-2, and 2-1. The Lions were held to three hits by Ismael Castro in the first game, but all three Lions runs were unearned. CF Thomas Mobley hit a two-RBI double in the bottom of the eighth to win the second game. Scott Torrey went the seven-inning distance for the Lions in the third game, didn't allow an earned run, allowed four hits, struck out six. The Lions visit Westmont Feb. 7-8. Live video
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
#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
Cody Faulkner, a sophomore LHP from Irving, TX, pitched the fourth no-hitter in the history of the National Championship tournament, and the first since 1992. He led Northwood (TX) to a 1-0 win in an elimination game over Sterling.
Faulkner threw 94 pitches. He walked two, and they were the only baserunners the Warriors had. One of them was taken out in a double play.
The only run of the game came in the top of the first inning. 3B Logan Brumley hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a walk, and moved to third on a bunt single by SS Elvin Rodriguez. He scored on a sacrifice fly by C Adam Humes.
Warriors ace Steven Cazares went the distance for the Warriors. He threw 131 pitches, and came close to matching Faulker's performance. He allowed six hits, walked two, and struck out six.
Box score and play-by-play
NAIA press release
In other action, York was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to Rogers State. #1 Faulkner won their opening game in another good pitching duel, 2-0 over Missouri Baptist. Johnny Shuttlesworth and Labradford Griffis combined for the shutout. Shuttlesworth got his 15th win of the year, went seven innings, allowed five hits, struck out four. C Zac Colby singled in both runs of the game in the seventh inning.
Lee defeated Lewis-Clark 14-11. Lee 1B Karsten Strieby hit a home run that cleared the center field fence.
Schedule for Monday, May 27 (all times PDT):
9 AM: Rogers State vs. Missouri Baptist (loser out)
noon: Northwood vs. Lewis-Clark State (loser out)
3 PM: The Master's vs. Faulkner
6:30 PM: Embry-Riddle vs. Lee
Schedule for the first two days of the 57th NAIA
Baseball National Championship, Friday-Saturday, May 24-25, Harris
Field, Lewiston, ID (all times PDT):
9 AM: #8 seed Sterling (48-12) vs. #9 Missouri Baptist (35-12)
(Sterling, KS) is making their first appearance at the Baseball
#15 in coaches' poll, #31 in ISR. Strength of schedule: #105
wins: Oklahoma City, Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 1-1 vs.
Top position players: IF Joe Battaglia (.422, 10 HR,
63 RBI), IF Joe Williams (.395), OF Jared Forbush (.391)
pitchers: RHP Steven Cazares (9-1, 0.86 ERA), RHP Daniel
Cloteaux (10-3, 2.81 ERA, 70 K). Cazare's ERA is second-lowest in the
Coach: Adrian Dinkel, second season
Happy to be here.
Baptist (Saint Louis) is making their first appearance at the
Baseball National Championship.
#20 in coaches' poll, #23 in ISR. SoS: #56
2-1 vs. Tennessee Wesleyan, including a 19-inning win in the
final of the Kingsport bracket. 1-1 vs. Cumberland, 1-1 vs. Lindsey
Top position players: IF Patrick Johnson (.387), OF
Ryan Gunhouse (.373, 7 HR, 40 RBI), IF Pier Olivier-Dostaler (.322,
34 RBI), IF Joseph Taylor (.241, 9 HR, 43 RBI). Olivier-Dostaler is
one of six Canadians on the Spartans' roster, and they also have two
Top pitchers: RHP Ethan Gibbons (10-0, 2.09
ERA, 85 K), RHP Julien Soucy (5-2, 1.90 ERA)
Uschold, 14th season
Outlook: The Spartans will go home
with a win.
Seven of the nine
Opening Round brackets were decided today, and two “if necessary”
games will be played on Monday, May 13.
was the first team to qualify
for this year's National Championship tournament. They won the
Oklahoma City bracket by defeating Oklahoma City 1-0
in the final. Steven Cazares pitched a three-hit shutout for the
Warriors. The only run of the game came on an RBI single by C Ian
Josh in the second inning.
Warriors got to the final by defeating Science and Arts of
Oklahoma 8-5, and Jamestown
13-3. DH Andrew Clark hit a
grand slam home run against USAO; Daniel Cloteaux got the win,
despite allowing 13 hits and walking four in six inning of work
The Warriors got six runs in the first inning against Jamestown, led
by a bases-loaded triple by 3B Anthony Feliciano. Feliciano, from
Bayamon, Puerto Rico, had a total of six RBI for the game. The
Warriors used four pitchers, gave up 14 hits (story).
This will be
Sterling's first-ever appearance in the National Championship
tournament. The school is located in Sterling, KS. It has 674
students, and supports 16 varsity sports.
NAIA baseball action during the past week.
#1 Tennessee Wesleyan defeated Georgia Gwinnett 2-1,
and won two of three against Saint Andrew's, 2-0, 6-5, and
2-3. The winning run against Georgia Gwinnett came on an RBI single
by SS Wes Minton in the bottom of the ninth. Corey Rhoney and Noah
Piard combined for the shutout in the first Saint Andrew's game;
Rhoney went eight innings, allowed four hits, struck out seven. In
the second game, the Knights out-hit the Bulldogs 12-7; the Bulldogs
scored all six of their runs in the first inning. CF Travis Burnside
hit a two-RBI single, then scored the winning run on a misplayed
ground ball. In the third game, the defending champions were held to
six hits by Joe McCarty and Evan Tucker. RF Michael Durig batted in
all three of the Knights' runs.
The Bulldogs are now 15-5. They visit Belhaven March 5-6, host
Milligan March 9-10, and host Ohio Christian March 11.
#2 LSU-Shreveport got an easy 15-5 mid-week win over
Division III Louisiana College, but was swept by Texas Wesleyan,
5-1, 12-8, and 6-5. Derek Vaughn got the win for the Rams in the
first game; he went six innings, allowed one run on two hits, struck
out four. Connor Zamora and Nolan Barbee kept the Pilots off the
board the rest of the way, and Zamora struck out three of the six
batters he faced. CF Trevor Moon singled in the winning run (story).
In the second game, the Rams scored ten runs in the second inning,
capped by a three-RBI double by SS David Kiriakos. The Pilots out-hit
the Rams 11-7 in the third game. They got within one run in the top
of the ninth, and had the go-ahead run on first with nobody out.
However, reliever Patrick Stanley got two strikeout and a fly out to
end the game and get a save (story).
Northwood (TX), who has
won seven straight, has the lead in the Red River Athletic
Conference. The Rams are two games back, and the Pilots are three
games back. The Pilots visit LSU-Alexandria March 5, and host
Huston-Tillotson March 8-9. Streaming
Oklahoma City, Lee, South Carolina-Beaufort, and the College of Idaho have qualified for the Baseball National Championship tournament. Results from the fifth day of the NAIA Baseball Opening round:
At Oklahoma City, OK:
Oklahoma City 3, Sterling (KS) 0:
The Stars finished this tournament with a phenomenal three straight shutouts. Sterling had the tying run at the plate with no outs in the top of the ninth, and Patrick Goelz came in, threw nine straight strikes to end it.
The winning run came in the third inning, on an RBI double by 1B Miguel Beltran. Beltran went 3-for-4 for the game. Starter Blake Schwartz got the win, went six innings, allowed five hits, struck out seven.
At Hardeeville, SC:
South Carolina-Beaufort 11, Saint Thomas (FL) 2:
The Sand Sharks scored eight runs in the fourth inning. 1B Brandon Collins went 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, and three RBI.
The Sand Sharks earned this trip to Lewiston in only the fourth year of their program.
At Azusa, CA:
College of Idaho 7, Azusa Pacific 6:
CF Tyler Andazola hit a ground ball in the bottom of the ninth to score SS Tanner Hodges from third base to give the Coyotes their first trip to the National Championship tournament since 2002.
Todd Griffiths, who pitched a complete-game shutout against Menlo on Friday, went 8 1/3 innings in this one, allowed 11 hits. He was relieved by Taylor Nicholson after the Cougars tied it with two runs in the top of the ninth. Nicholson threw eight pitches, got the win.
At Cleveland, TN:
Lee 8, Missouri Baptist 5:
The Flames scored five runs in the top of the third inning to break a 2-2 tie. 1B Roberto Reyes hit a three-RBI double.
This will be the sixth straight trip to Lewiston for the Flames since Mark Brew took over as Head Coach.