Drives: ASC Baseball Weekly Notebook
February 18, 2003
Around the Conference Report . . .
Hot Season Starts: The 2003 American Southwest Conference baseball season begins to pick up steam as the 15 squads step to the plate in earnest over the next 10 days. Two teams -- Louisiana College and Texas Lutheran -- are each out to 5-0 starts and are two of five teams unbeaten at mid-February.
Preseason Publicity-Part I: Three ASC teams nabbed a bit of the national NCAA-III spotlight with votes in preseason national polls. Defending ASC Tournament and NCAA West Regional champion Concordia-Austin is ranked No. 2 by Baseball America and seventh in the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball listing. West Division champion Texas Lutheran debuts in its first NCAA-III season at No. 21 in the coaches poll. East Division champion Mississippi College was among teams receiving votes in the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball poll.
Preseason Publicity-Part II: Concordia-Austin pitcher Scott Berkman was named to the Baseball America NCAA-III preseason All-America team, the only ASC player to earn national recognition. Berkman compiled a 9-2 won-loss record with a 3.98 ERA over 16 appearances to help the Tornados to the conference tournament and NCAA West Regional titles.
Conference Picks: Two defending champions
-- Mississippi College in the East and Concordia-Austin in the West --
have been tabbed as the favorites in the 2003 ASC baseball division
races by conference head coaches, sports information directors and
media. Mississippi College, the defending East Division champion
(29-14, 17-7 ASC), collected 12 first-place votes and 105 points to
outdistance second-place pick UT Dallas who totaled 98 points and four
first-place votes. Concordia-Austin won both the ASC Tournament and
NCAA West Regional titles and advanced to the NCAA-III College World
Series a year ago after finishing second in the West Division (35-13,
20-7 ASC). The Tornados totaled 13 first-place votes and 132 points in
the 2003 preseason poll. Defending West champion Texas Lutheran nabbed
three first-place votes and was picked to finish second (120 pts.).
Numbers and Records: This ASC website is the place to locate statistics, results and updated league standings. The information is updated throughout the week. Also posted to the website is the conference baseball records and annual results.
Line Drives . . .
Austin College (0-7, 0-0 ASC): Junior third baseman Brandon Genzer is off to a solid start with hits in each of the five games he has played in. Genzer carries a .538 batting average (7-for-13) with two home runs and six RBI. . . . David Staton has four extra base hits -- three doubles and a home run -- among his team-leading eight hits. He has driven-in six runs in seven games.
Concordia-Austin (2-3, 0-0 ASC): No. 7-ranked Concordia-Austin returns from a 10-day break to face NCAA-Div. II St. Edward's in a home-away series. The teams are at CUA on Thursday (Feb. 20) and head across town to St. Edward's on Friday (Feb. 21). . . . Scott Berkman is batting .438 over three games. . . . David White has eight RBI in five games while batting .389.
East Texas Baptist (4-0, 0-0 ASC): Both Michael Drennon and Tommy Edwards have scattered six hits to lead the Tigers' offense. Drennon is batting .545 (6-for-11) with three extra base hits and five RBI while Edwards carries a .462 average (6-for-13), three extra base hits and a team-best seven RBI. . . . ETBU players have combined for 13 stolen bases in the first four games. Jeremy Bosco and Casey Parker each have four stolen bases.
Hardin-Simmons (0-2, 0-0 ASC): Left-hander Kyle Tabor held Lubbock Christian to a pair of earned runs over seven innings of work in a 4-2 loss last Saturday (Feb. 15). The sophomore struck out three and gave up no walks. . . . The Cowboys host Austin College on Tuesday (Feb. 18) before heading to Irving and a single game at No. 14 University of Dallas on Saturday (Feb. 22).
Howard Payne (1-0, 0-0 ASC): Catcher Stephen Lynn drove-in four runs on three hits to lead the Jackets to a 7-4 road win at NCAA-Div. II St. Edward's (Feb. 12) in the 2003 opener. Lynn's battery mate, pitcher Patrick Cumbi, earned the win in relief as he struck out three of the eight batters faced.
LeTourneau (5-2, 0-0 ASC): First-year left fielder Josh Swain has come off a medical red-shirt season (2002) playing strong, going 6-for-8 with three doubles and 2 RBI in back-to-back wins over Paul Quinn College (Feb. 11). Swain is batting .478 with eight RBI, including a 4-for-8, six RBI performance over the three-game series vs. No. 14 Dallas (Feb. 7-8). . . . Leading hitter Derek Fitchett has 14 RBI and a .542 batting average.
Louisiana College (5-0, 0-0 ASC): Left fielder Luke Kojis leads the Wildcats with a .583 batting average through the season's first five games. Of his seven hits, four have gone for extra bases. All three of the junior's hits in the February 7 season opening win vs. Southwest Assemblies of God (Feb. 7) went for extra bases -- two doubles and a triple. . . . Louisiana College started the 2003 season 5-0 for the first time in over a decade. . . . The LC pitching staff has limited opponents to a pair of earned runs in 34 innings for a combined 0.53 team ERA.
Mary Hardin-Baylor (3-4, 0-0 ASC): Freshman pitcher Bill Pearce struck out 12 -- the most by a UMHB hurler in the last five years -- and did not allow an earned run in his first collegiate start vs. Whitworth College (Feb. 15), a 10-3 win. . . . The Crusaders went 3-2 at the Arizona Desert Classic last weekend (Feb. 15-16), getting solid pitching performances from Stephen Oliver and Kyle Furrer. Oliver threw a complete game four-hitter against Puget Sound (W, 5-1) with eight strikeouts. Furrer struck out six and allowed four hits in a 2-1 loss to Menlo. . . . Andrew King was 4-for-4 in the win vs. Whitworth, recording a pair of doubles and two stolen bases over the weekend.
McMurry (2-0, 0-0 ASC): The Indians opened last weekend with wins against Lubbock Christian (Feb. 14) and Oklahoma Baptist (Feb. 15). Pitchers Kensey Allen and Josh Lee posted the wins. . . . McMurry ripped seven doubles, a triple and a single in its first two games and is hitting a combined .338. Jason Gotcher (.667), Luke Vaughn (.600) and Seth Ardoin (.444) top the team's batting average list. . . . The Indians host Austin College Tuesday (Feb. 18).
Mississippi College (0-0, 0-0 ASC): Mississippi College had its first season games postponed by rain and will begin the 2003 campaign Tuesday (Feb. 18) at home against Millsaps College. MC is scheduled to host Concordia College (Ala.) in a Saturday doubleheader (Feb. 22).
Ozarks (3-1, 0-0 ASC): Sophomore catcher Clint Phifer picked-up where he was a year ago as he opened the season hitting .571 with a home run, a double and three RBI over last Saturday's doubleheader vs. Mid-America Bible College (Feb. 15). Phifer added a double and three hits to his season stats on Monday (Feb. 17) in the split vs. Crichton College. . . . Freshman second baseman Rusty Farrin smashed a home run in his first collegiate trip to the plate. . . . Nathan Moore (1-0) totals a team-best seven strikeouts over 5.0 innings.
Schreiner (0-5, 0-0 ASC): Leading hitter Ray Amaro blasted a three-run home run in the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader against UT Dallas (Feb. 15), finishing the two-game series batting .500 (2-for-4) with four RBI and two runs. . . . The Mountaineers dropped a 5-2 game to No. 30 Trinity on Monday (Feb. 17). . . . Schreiner is off until next Tuesday's single-game at Southwestern (Feb. 25).
Sul Ross State (2-7, 0-0 ASC): The Lobos beat NCAA Div. II Eastern New Mexico 6-2 on Monday (Feb. 17) to salvage the three-game series vs. Greyhounds. . . . Josh West (.417) and Ryan Lavarell (.400) lead SRSU's offense. Lavarell has collected 10 hits and seven RBI. . . . Sul Ross State looks for its first road win of the season when it plays at Lubbock Christian on Friday and Saturday (Feb. 21-22).
UT Dallas (2-1, 0-0 ASC): Junior Caleb Chandler helped the Comets to a 2-1 season start by hitting .500 (6-for-12) with two home runs, a double and four RBI over the Schreiner doubleheader and Trinity single game. . . . Andy Broughton and Gordon Walters posted UTD's wins in the Feb. 15 Schreiner twinbill. . . . The Comets open their home schedule Tuesday against Southwestern (Feb. 18) then have a 10-day break before the February 28 conference-opener vs. McMurry.
Texas Lutheran (5-0, 0-0 ASC): The No. 21-ranked Bulldogs are off to a 5-0 start with doubleheader sweeps of Huston-Tillotson (Feb. 4, 12) and a single-game win vs. Southwestern (Feb. 15). . . . Third baseman Carlos Buentello started the season red-hot, batting .750 through the first four games with three doubles and four RBI. He drove-in the game-winning runs in the wins over Huston-Tillotson (game two) and Southwestern. . . . TLU has a 0.75 team ERA allowing three earned runs over 36 innings.
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