Advances to Baseball College World Series
May 20, 2002
The baseball team at Concordia University at Austin has made the most of its first season as a full NCAA member, winning its first ASC Tournament and NCAA Regional titles and earning a place in the May 24-27 NCAA Division III College World Series in Appleton, Wis. It is the first time a team from the American Southwest Conference has advanced to the NCAA finals.
The Tornados (35-11) began their postseason run - a record of 6-0 and counting - by capturing the American Southwest Conference Tournament title, winning the double-elimination event in three games, including a 6-4 win over Howard Payne University in the championship. The ASC Tournament win gave Concordia-Austin an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship field, and its first regional tournament appearance since playing in the 1993 NAIA Regional.
Seeded fourth in the four-team NCAA West Regional at Georgetown, Texas, Concordia-Austin took the opposition as it came. The Tornados opened with a 6-5 victory vs. top-seeded Pomona-Pitzer (May 16), then downed No. 2 seed Trinity University 5-2 (May 17) to advance undefeated to the championship game.
CUA broke Sunday's (May 18) title game open early, scoring twice in the second and five times in the third en route to a 14-5 victory. Scott Gordon posted the win (9-3) going 5-1/3 innings allowing three runs on eight hits. Scott Berkman came on in relief in the sixth and collected his first save of the year. The Tornados' offense took advantage of the12 hits and 11 walks issued by Trinity pitchers, producing a collective 10 RBI, including a 3-for-5, four-RBI day by junior right fielder Eric Moon.
With the completion of two regionals delayed until Monday (May 20) by weather, announcement of Concordia-Austin's opening-round opponent will be made Tuesday (May 21). CUA, Marietta (Ohio), Carthage (Ill.), College of New Jersey, Christopher Newport and Lakeland College (Wis.) all captured Regional titles on Saturday or Sunday (May 18-19). Both Concordai-Austin (No. 4) and College of New Jersey (No. 6) were the lowest seeded teams in their respective regionals, while Marietta, Carthage and Christopher Newport were No. 2 seeds and Lakeland a No. 3 seed.
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