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Line Drives -- ASC's Weekly Baseball Notebook
April 5, 2004

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AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Compiled from information submitted by ASC sports information directors.

American Southwest Conference baseball moves into its final three weeks with both division races hotly contested. The ASC West features a new leader for the third time in as many weeks. Concordia-Austin and McMurry, both winners via three-game conference sweeps over the weekend, moved from a third-place tie into a first-place tie. The top two spots in the ASC East remain the same after the first weekend in April. Leader and #9-ranked Mississippi College, the only team undefeated in division play (12-0), is at home against Louisiana College while runner-up UT Dallas hosts Ozarks.

Several ASC series are on a Thursday-Friday cycle this week due to Easter weekend. Fans should check the websites of host teams for game dates and start times. . . . The 2004 ASC Baseball Championship Tournament is scheduled April 29-May 1 on the campus of the No. 1-seeded ASC West team.

P Scott Gordon tossed a four-hit shutout to lead Concordia-Austin to a 5-0 win in the final game of last weekend’s three-game sweep of Texas Lutheran (Apr. 4). Gordon struck out four and walked one. . . . The Tornados moved from third-place into a tie with McMurry atop the ASC West standings with the three wins vs. TLU.

East Texas Baptist junior RHP Brandon Bass recorded two saves last week--one in a 12-9 win over Ouachita Baptist on Tuesday (Mar. 30) and another in the series against Ozarks. . . . Senior C Tommy Edwards had three doubles last week, pushing his season total to 12. Edwards set an ETBU single season record for doubles last season with 22. . . . Led by Trey Luster’s 21 steals, ETBU is 52-of-61 in the stolen base department as a team this season. The team record is 92, set in 1985. . . . RHP Kolt Daniel allowed two earned runs on nine hits in Friday’s complete-game win over Ozarks (Apr. 2). The freshman also recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Howard Payne won two of three at Schreiner last weekend (Apr. 2-3), and takes that momentum into a Thursday-Friday home series vs. ASC West co-leader Concordia-Austin (Apr. 8-9). . . . SS Coby Richards helped HPU win game one against Schreiner with two home runs and a sacrifice fly for six RBIs. Richards batted .417 against the Mountaineers (5-for-12) totaling eight RBIs. . . . P Patrick Cumbie won his second consecutive complete game with a 15-3 win over Schreiner on Friday. Cumbie struck out three and walked one in the nine-inning outing.

LeTourneau hosted the #9-ranked Mississippi College last weekend with the two games on Saturday (Apr. 3) turning into pitcher’s duels. In the opener, Demetri White allowed just two runs in 6.0 innings while striking out eight batters. David Kennedy followed that performance by pitching seven shutout innings and allowing only four hits in game two. Unfortunately, the ‘Jackets were unable to score for Kennedy and he gave up three runs in the eighth inning, only one of which was earned.

Freshman P Robby Woodall stuck out all five hitters he faced in relief during game two of Louisiana College’s weekend ASC East series vs. UT Dallas (Apr. 2-3). . . . LC has struggled lately, losing its last four games. The Wildcats get a chance to halt the streak on Tuesday (Apr. 6) in a single home game vs. LSU-Shreveport. . . . CF Luke Kojis is two steals away from tying the school career record for career steals. Kojis has 38 steals and is bearing down on the record (40) held by Craig Roberson and current LC assistant coach Alex Goodling.

Billy Moore batted .400 last week (6-for-15) and had two multiple-hit games. He drove in three runs and scored six more and also stole five bases to total 18 steals for the season. Moore has already tied the third-best single-season steals mark in Mary Hardin-Baylor history and is just 17 away from Mike Lindsey’s school record of 35. . . . Dean Shirley was 5-for-9 (.555) last week and had a three-hit game in the opening game of the Sul Ross series. Shirley also scored five runs and drove in two. . . . P Ryan Gotcher threw a complete-game, six-hitter against SRSU in an 11-2 win. He did not allow an earned run and struck out four while not walking a batter. . . . Chase Beyrand hit the first home run of his collegiate career in the 15-13 victory over Southwestern (Apr. 1). . . . INF Heath Haverland batted .571 (8-for-14) in the four games last week, ripping three doubles, driving in four runs and scoring five more. The senior had two multiple-hit games, including the first four-hit game of his career against Southwestern (Apr. 1). . . . P Kyle Furrer threw a complete-game two-hit shutout in the Crusaders’ 5-0 win over Sul Ross State (Apr. 3) to open the weekend’s ASC West series. Both of those Lobos hits were infield hits and he struck out seven batters in a dominating performance.

With the three-game ASC West series sweep of Hardin-Simmons (Apr. 3-4), McMurry has won 11 of its last 13 meetings to improve to 21-10 all-time vs. the Cowboys. . . . Albert Carrizales leads the team with 38 hits and is batting .409. . . . 1B/P Josh Lee put together a .556 batting average (5-for-9) in the four games last week, including a .667 (4-for-6) in the Hardin-Simmons series.

No. 9-ranked Mississippi College dropped one game this week against #27 Millsaps, but swept LeTourneau to stay 12-0 and in first place in the ASC East. MC has won 16 of its last 18 games and is hitting .338 as a team over the streak. . . . P Jonathan Beacom picked up his seventh win and is 7-0 this year. . . . Also during the winning streak, closer Derek Tillman has allowed just one unearned run in 13.1 innings. He has struck out 23 batters and allowed just six hits, holding opposing hitters to a .128 batting average. . . . OF Johnny Bernhard batted .357 (5-for-14) over the four-game week, including a solid .455 with two doubles, a triple and a home run vs. LeTourneau. In the middle game, Bernhard’s triple in the top of the seventh inning sent home the winning run and he later scored the final run in the 4-2 win. . . . RHP Sam Graham kept the Chocs in game two vs. LeTourneau, shutting out the YellowJackets for six innings. Graham allowed one hit and only two base runners while striking out four batters.

Ozarks 3B Anthony Brandon hit .533 (8-for-15) over the week while collecting five RBIs and smacking one home run. Brandon is riding a 13-game hitting streak as he goes into the Central Baptist College contest on Tuesday (Apr. 6). The sophomore has had 12 multiple hit games this season and has had seven games with multiple RBIs. He leads the Eagles in numerous offensive categories. . . . Sophomore OF Justin Brown hit .411 over the week and smashed his second home run of the season against ETBU (Apr. 3). Brown went 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs in the contest, and upped his multiple hit games to 10. . . . The Eagles had leads in both Saturday losses to ETBU while matching the Tigers with a combined 22 hits in the games.

Adam Smith leads the Schreiner offense with a .407 batting average, tied for sixth-best in the ASC. Five of Smith’s 33 hits have gone for extra bases.

UT Dallas swept its second straight ASC East series, taking three from Louisiana College over the weekend (Apr. 2-3). In the three-game set, UTD pitchers gave up just 15 hits in 23 innings, as well as just three earned runs (only two from the starters). . . . RHP Tony Adler (5-0) worked six innings without giving up an earned run. It marked the fifth time in six starts that Adler has not allowed an earned run, lowering his conference-best ERA to 0.49. . . . RHP Gordon Walters has put two strong performances back-to-back, giving up just seven hits and a single earned run in his last two starts. . . . 1B Lawrence Valbuena, in spite of an off week, still has a team-best .496 on-base average among the starters. . . . Rob Spencer returned to the starting lineup as DH and kept his spot by pounding out eight hits, including a double and two home runs, in a five-game week. The junior drove-in six runs, including three in the Ozarks series.

UT Tyler OF Phil Gaw smacked two home runs in a 4-for-5 plate showing to lead the Patriots in a 17-5 win over Austin College in Saturday’s series-closer (Apr. 3). Gaw completed the ASC East set vs. AC batting .600 (6-for-10) with six runs scored and five RBIs. . . . LHP Rushing Smith struck out 10 and allowed five hits in the 8-5 win in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader (Apr. 2) vs. Austin College. Smith (4-1) helped to halt UT Tyler’s five-game slide. . . . 3B Tyler Terry belted a home run in each game of the three-game AC series. . . . DH Jonathan Anderson capped the UT Tyler 8-5 comeback win with a walk-off grand slam. . . . Justin Ard enters the week leading the ASC in batting average, carrying a .432 average through 26 games. Ard totals 41 hits, including 10 home runs, and a league-best 81 total bases.

Texas Lutheran has dropped five straight games since winning the opening game of the Hardin-Simmons series (Mar. 26). . . . .Concordia's sweep of the Bulldogs last weekend (Apr. 3-4) marked the first time TLU had been swept in an ASC three-game series. . . . Tim Beecham hit his sixth home run of the season during game two of the CUA series. Beecham, a senior, leads the Bulldogs with six home runs. . . . Aaron Crais homered and tripled in the 8-7 game two loss. Crais leads the team in triples and in RBIs (28).


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