Drives: ASC Baseball Weekly Notebook
April 21, 2003
Around the Conference Report . . .
Down to the Wire: The American Southwest Conference East and West Division titles and the four conference tournament berths are up for grabs this weekend as the 15 league teams wrap-up league and regular-season schedules.
Defending East Division champ Mississippi College hosts Austin College needing to win two-of-three games to nail-down the top seed in the East and tournament hosting rights. East Texas Baptist will open its series at Louisiana College tied with UT Dallas in second-place and needing a sweep to get past the Comets and into the playoffs.
Texas Lutheran and Concordia-Austin are dueling for the West title and top division seeding. TLU can post its third straight division championship by winning two-of-three against visiting Mary Hardin-Baylor while CUA needs a three-game sweep vs. Hardin-Simmons and UMHB to win two-of-three from Texas Lutheran to take the division title.
ASC Tournament Basics: The 2003 ASC Baseball Championship Tournament will be played May 1-3 (Thurs.-Sat.) at the East Division No. 1 seed. The top two seeded teams in each division advance to the conference playoffs with the tournament winner earning the ASC's automatic bid for the NCAA-III Baseball Championship. Concordia-Austin is defending ASC Tournament champion and used the conference title as a springboard to the NCAA Regional title and a seventh-place finish at the NCAA-III College World Series.
Austin College (1-35, 1-17 ASC): The Kangaroos wrap-up their season with a trip to East Division leading Mississippi College this weekend (Apr. 25-26). . . . Brandon Genzer heads into the final week of play with a team-leading 23 RBI and seven home runs.
Concordia-Austin (28-11, 19-5 ASC): The Tornados captured an ASC Tournament berth after winning two-of-three at Sul Ross State last weekend (Apr. 18-19). . . . Junior pitcher Chema Chavez tallied a win in the 5-0 shutout vs. SRSU in Saturday's opener to improve to 9-1 for the year. Chavez struck-out three and gave up one walk in the three-hitter. . . . Catcher/first baseman Jake Decker batted .500 over the three-game SRSU series. Two of Decker's six hits went for doubles. . . . David White drove-in six runs and scored two against the Lobos. The junior smacked a home run, double and two singles in the series.
East Texas Baptist (26-11, 14-7 ASC): The Tigers remain in contention for an ASC Tournament berth and carry a six-game conference win streak into their weekend series at Louisiana College (Apr. 25-26). . . . Third baseman James Morgan has been thrust into the starting lineup the past two weeks and has taken advantage of the opportunity, hitting .563 last week with a .727 (8-for-11) performance in the LeTourneau series. Morgan drove-in eight runs and scored seven runs against LU. . . . Senior first baseman Nathaniel Jordan is now the Tigers' career walks leader, breaking the mark of 78 set by Ryan Pate (1999-2002). Jordan now ranks in the top two of three ETBU career statistical categories: walks, hits and batting average.
Hardin-Simmons (19-17, 12-12 ASC): The Cowboys recorded their first ASC series sweep of the season with three wins vs. Schreiner last weekend (Apr. 18-19). . . . Left-hander Kyle Tabor threw his fifth complete game of the year posting a 3-2 victory in game one of Saturday's doubleheader vs. the Mountaineers. Tabor struck-out six and gave up a pair of walks over seven innings. . . . John Schlaffer needs five RBI in his final four games to set the HSU season record. He is chasing the record of 53 set by Angel Herrera in 1999. Schlaffer ranks in the top four of 14 Cowboy career categories.
Howard Payne (16-20, 9-12 ASC): Howard Payne looks to halt a six-game conference losing streak when it hosts Sul Ross State to close the season this weekend (Apr. 25-26). . . . HPU upended ABCA/Collegiate Baseball honorable mention University of Dallas 9-7 on Wednesday (Apr. 16) with Jesse Nieto earning the win (2-0). . . . Javier San Miguel tops HPU hitters with a .372 batting average and 46 RBI.
LeTourneau (16-19, 8-13 ASC): Second baseman Josh Ross hit three home runs, a double and drove-in nine runs over the East Texas Baptist series (Apr. 17-18). Ross now owns the school's season home run record (15) and moved within four RBI of tying that season mark. Ross carries an .876 slugging percentage -- another LU record -- into Tuesday's non-conference single vs. Southwest Assemblies (Apr. 22). . . . The Jackets close the season with four home dates, including three conference games against Ozarks this weekend (Apr. 25-26).
Louisiana College (23-11, 12-9 ASC): First baseman David Long was impressive in the Wildcats' three-game sweep of Austin College (Apr. 18-19). Long hit .500 against AC with two hits in each of the games and three extra-base blasts. . . . Nick Pontifex kept his record clean (8-0) with a six-hit, 11-2 win against Austin College in Friday's series opener. Pontifex allowed no walks and one earned run.
Mary Hardin-Baylor (18-17, 12-12 ASC): The Crusaders finish the season traveling to #1 Texas Lutheran for a three-game set Friday and Saturday (Apr. 25-26). . . . Pitcher Stephen Oliver tossed a complete-game four-hitter to lead UMHB to a 5-3 win against McMurry last Thursday (Apr. 17). The senior struck out eight and walked five in a solid performance to raise his record to 4-3. . . . First baseman Caleb Damron batted .500 (5-for-10) vs. McMurry with two of his hits going for extra bases.
McMurry (22-13, 14-10 ASC): The Indians won both ends of Friday's doubleheader against Mary Hardin-Baylor (Apr. 18) to win the West Division series. . . . Sophomore Lewis Mickley singled off the left field wall for the game-winning hit in the 5-4, 10-inning win in game one of the twinbill. . . . Right-hander Andrew Allar took the hill in the seventh inning of the nightcap with no outs and two runners on and proceeded to get three straight outs for his first collegiate save in preserving Greg Erickson's victory. . . . Bramer Owens begins the four-game week with an eight-game hit streak. Owens collected five hits in four games last week (.417) and drove-in six runs.
Mississippi College (23-11, 15-6 ASC): The Choctaws swept UT Dallas on Saturday (Apr. 19) to remain in first-place in the East Division race. MC closes the regular season with four home games, including a conference series vs. Austin College this weekend (Apr. 25-26). . . . Chas Evans has a team-leading 35 RBI and seven home runs.
Ozarks (12-23, 5-16 ASC): The Eagles take to the road for the final week of the season. Included is an ASC series at LeTourneau Friday and Saturday (Apr. 25-26). . . . Catcher Clint Phifer collected a home run and two doubles among his six hits in Friday's non-conference doubleheader win against Central Baptist. Phifer's game-winning RBI in the nightcap broke a 3-3 tie (Apr. 18).
Schreiner (8-27, 4-17 ASC): Kevin Janda maintained his spot atop the Mountaineers' hit chart with 51 hits and a .405 batting average. . . . Schreiner hosts Trinity on Tuesday (Apr. 22) before closing the season with a three-game ASC homestand vs. McMurry (Apr. 25-26).
Sul Ross State (8-28, 6-18 ASC): The Lobos upset Concordia-Austin 6-2 on Friday (Apr. 18) to avoid a series sweep. Victor Lozano went the distance for the win, helping himself with a pair of singles. Left fielder Josh West was 3-for-4 with a triple vs. CUA. . . . Ryan Lavarall and Kevin Heady are each batting .306. Lavarall has a team-high 30 RBI and 12 doubles. . . . SRSU is at Howard Payne to finish the season (Apr. 25-26).
UT Dallas (24-13, 16-8 ASC): The Comets went 1-2 against Mississippi College last weekend to finish their ASC schedule. UTD now awaits the outcome of two conference series -- Austin College at MC and East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College -- to see if they earn a spot in the ASC Tournament. . . . Caleb Chandler ranks second among conference hitters with a .460 batting average while teammate David Widaski's 47 RBI are the fifth highest total in the league.
Texas Lutheran (33-4, 18-3 ASC): The Bulldogs play this weekend for ASC Tournament seeding and the West title, going against Mary Hardin-Baylor Friday and Saturday (Apr. 25-26). TLU will compete in its first conference postseason tournament since becoming full NCAA Division III members in August 2002. . . . First baseman John Krog tied the TLU season doubles record with 20. It is the second-most in the ASC this year. . . . Shortstop Nathan Kimball hit .462 against Howard Payne last weekend, driving-in six runs and scoring another six runs. . . . First-year outfielder Casey Rehfeld homered against HPU to total four home runs in just 27 at-bats, an average one home run every 6.8 at-bats.
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.
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