Pilots Grab No. 2 Seed in Oklahoma City Regional
May 08, 2009
Shreveport, La. – The LSUS Pilots are headed to Oklahoma City for the NAIA Opening-Round Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the regional, where they will face No. 22 Southern Nazarane on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 P.M.
Oklahoma City University hosts the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening-Round Field 2 Tournament, where five teams will compete for a NAIA World Series berth starting Tuesday at Jim Wade Stadium.
Second-ranked OCU, No. 19 LSUS, No. 22 Southern Nazarene, McKendree (Ill.) and Texas Wesleyan comprise the teams in the double-elimination tournament.
OCU (48-7) will be led by Sooner Athletic Conference player of the year Brent Weaver, a first baseman who has hit .444 with an NAIA-high 35 home runs to go with 86 RBIs. Left-handed pitcher Ashur Tolliver has a 10-1 record with a 2.85 earned run average.
The Stars leads the NAIA in home runs (153), hits (734), runs (629), RBIs (586), batting average (.404) and slugging percentage (.756). OCU has already set the team NAIA single-season homer record, surpassing last year’s team total of 147. The Stars face the McKendree-Texas Wesleyan winner 6 p.m. Tuesday.
LSUS (41-14) has the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year in catcher Andrew Brouillette, who has hit .467 with 20 homers and 98 RBIs, and pitcher Justin Ennis, who has gone 9-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 100 innings pitched. The Pilots, which finished second in the GCAC regular season standings, rank second in the NAIA in runs scored.
Southern Nazarene (37-13) makes its first national-tournament appearance in baseball. First-team all-SAC outfielder Sam Mercado tops Southern Nazarene with a .474 average, 16 homers and 68 RBIs, while first-team all-SAC pick Matt Morgal had a 10-1 record, 4.29 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 84 innings worked.
McKendree (36-19-2) will be led by American Midwest Conference co-pitcher of the year Cale Johnson, who has a 6-3 record, 2.09 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 82 innings. Kory Peppenhorst has hit .389 with 18 homers and 71 RBIs for the American Midwest Conference champion. McKendree takes on Texas Wesleyan at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Texas Wesleyan (39-20) boasts of all-Red River Athletic Conference outfielder Blake Walker, who leads the team with a .365 average, 10 homers and 47 RBIs. Joey Evans has gone 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 80 innings for Texas Wesleyan, which gained an at-large bid into the tournament.
The nine opening-round tournament winners and host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) will make up the field for the NAIA World Series, which will be May 22-29 in Lewiston, Idaho.
NAIA Championship Opening Round
Field 2 Tournament
At Jim Wade Stadium
Game 1: McKendree (Ill.) vs. Texas Wesleyan, 11 a.m.
Game 2: LSU-Shreveport vs. Southern Nazarene, 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Oklahoma City, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11 a.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 2:30 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 6 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 5, 11 a.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 7, 2:30 p.m., championship
Friday, May 15
Game 9: If necessary, noon