Drives: ASC Baseball Weekly Notebook
April 30, 2003
Around the Conference Report . . .
Conference Baseball Tourney Field Set: Four teams square-off for the 2003 American Southwest Conference Baseball Championship in Clinton, Miss., this weekend with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship. Scheduled Thursday through Saturday (May 1-3), the ASC Baseball Tournament will be played at Mississippi Colleges Frierson Field. Two first-time ASC Tournament teams -- three-time West Division champion and No. 1-ranked Texas Lutheran (36-4) and East Division runner-up UT Dallas (24-15) meet in game one on Thursday (2 p.m.). Two-time East Division champ Mississippi College (26-12) goes against defending tournament champion and West runner-up #26 Concordia-Austin (30-12) in Thursdays second game (6 p.m.). . . . Friday elimination games are scheduled at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The championship game is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday. . . . The winner of the ASC Tournament earns the conferences automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.
ASC Ticket Info: Tickets for the May 1-3 tournament will be available at Frierson Field each day. A tournament pass is available for $12 with session tickets set at $5 for adults and $2 for students.
Thursday-Saturday, May 1-3
ASC Tournament Basics: The ASC Baseball Championship Tournament is hosted this season by the East Division's No. 1 seeded team, Mississippi College. The top two seeded teams in each division advanced 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.
ASC Baseball Championship Tournament Winners
Tournament Teams . . .
Concordia-Austin (30-12, 21-6 ASC): The No. 2 seed and runnerup in the West Division, the Tornados are defending ASC Tournament champions. CUA upended Howard Payne 6-4 in last season's title game, then went on to win the NCAA-III West Region championship and advance to the NCAA-III College World Series where they finished seventh. . . . CUA has a trio of .400-plus hitters -- Jake Decker (.429), Scott Bunting (.416) and Scott Berkman (.411) -- leading an offense that is hitting a collective .340 and has outscored its season opponents, 313-163. . . . Tim Gardner has a team-high 53 RBI with 27 extra-base hits, including 14 home runs. . . . Gordon (6-2, 3.47 ERA) and Berkman (7-4, 3.53 ERA) also excel on the mound, leading a staff that carries a 4.12 ERA. . . . Chema Chavez has 10 wins in 11 decisions. . . . Concordia-Austin is ranked No. 26 in the latest ABCA/Collegiate Baseball coaches poll.
Mississippi College (28-12, 17-7 ASC): The Choctaws are the East Division champions and the No. 1 seed from the division for a second straight year. . . . Mississippi College carries the second-lowest team ERA in the ASC (3.33) with Bo Edmiston (5-3, 2.43 ERA) and Jonathan Beacom (6-3, 2.72) leading the staff. . . . Sam Graham has seven wins in eight decisions (3.31 ERA). . . . Turk Stovall leads the MC offense, hitting .373 with 18 extra-base hits and 25 RBI. Chas Evans has a team-high 39 RBI while batting .367. . . . MC is hitting a collective .320 while holding season opponents to a .237 batting average.
UT Dallas (24-15, 16-8 ASC): UT Dallas makes its first appearance in the ASC Baseball Tournament, eligible for the first time as a full NCAA-III member. . . . UTD won the tie-breaker over East Texas Baptist to earn the East No. 2 seed in the tournament. . . . Caleb Chandler (.445) and David Widaski (.438) rank third and fourth, respectively, among conference hitters and are the top two batters coming into the tournament. Widaski has a team-high 47 RBI and 21 extra-base hits while Chandler is at 46 RBI and 20 extra-base hits. . . . Josh Rohmer (.458) and Jake Carter (.438) complete the Comets' .400-plus hitters. . . . Kevin McKnight lists fifth among league pitchers with a 2.81 ERA (7-2) while starter Jared Franke is 6-2 with a team-high 51 strikeouts.
Texas Lutheran (36-4, 21-3 ASC): Three-time West Division champion Texas Lutheran makes its first appearance in the ASC Baseball Tournament, eligible for the first time as a full NCAA-III member. . . . TLU is ranked No. 1 for a third week in the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Coaches Poll. . . . TLU hurler Brent Roberts lists second in the ASC with a 2.30 ERA and 9-1 record. Roberts has 67 strikeouts over 64.1 innings. . . . Bulldog pitchers Russ Krenek (7-0, 4.50 ERA), Jeff Paras (5-0, 2.45 ERA) and Brian Wallace (4-0, 3.44 ERA) each carry unblemished records and are part of the ASC's top pitching staff (3.18 ERA, 261 strikeouts). . . . TLU has four regulars hitting better than .350 including leaders Brice Gilmore (.373, 38 RBI) and Scott Barnard (.361, 40 RBI). . . . John Krog is second in the ASC with 21 doubles and leads the Bulldogs with 45 RBI and eight home runs.
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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