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Line Drives -- ASC's Weekly Baseball Notebook
April 21, 2004

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

2004 ASC Baseball Championships

It’s crunch time in the American Southwest Conference division races. Two conference weekends remain in the regular season with championship and conference tournament berths hotly contested in both the ASC West Division. . . . The top two teams in the ASC East—UT Dallas and #13 Mississippi College—clinched tournament berths last weekend and play for seeding in the final weekend. . . . ASC West leader Concordia-Austin is at second-place Hardin-Simmons looking to wrap-up a division title and tournament host duties. McMurry and Texas Lutheran also remain in the hunt with CUA and HSU for postseason play.

The 2004 ASC Baseball Championship Tournament is scheduled April 29-May 1 on the campus of the No. 1-seeded ASC West team. The top two seeded teams in each division advance to the conference playoffs with the tournament winner earning the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship.

Concordia-Austin senior C Tim Gardner saw his hot-hitting streak continue as he blasted Sul Ross State pitching for six hits in 10 at-bats in the Tornados’ three-game sweep of the Lobos last weekend (Apr. 16-17). Gardner had two doubles, two home runs, drove in six runs and scored four as the Tornados moved into sole possession of first place in the ASC West. . . . Freshman LF Ryan Pounds went 2-4 on Friday against Sul Ross, with each hit a home run. Pounds scored three runs and drove in six. . . . . David White hit a two-run game-winning homer in the final game of the series to seal the sweep over SRSU.

East Texas Baptist freshman RHP Kolt Daniel struck out a career-high 11 batters in Friday’s 5-2 loss to LeTourneau (Apr. 16). Daniel has struck out 25 in his last three starts, covering 24.2 innings of work. . . . Junior OF Trey Luster is hitting .576 (19-for-33) with seven home runs, nine RBIs and 18 runs scored in his last nine conference games. For the season against the ASC, Luster is hitting .500 (31-for-62) with nine homers, 26 RBIs, 29 runs scored and seven stolen bases. . . . Junior RHP Brandon Bass has not allowed a run in his last eight innings, a span of seven appearances since allowing three earned runs on Feb. 28 against Mary Hardin-Baylor. In that same span, Bass has allowed only four hits. Bass sat out last season while recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor discovered just prior to the 2003 season.

With all of the excitement of the season in the ASC West, the postseason opportunity for Hardin-Simmons has come down to the final weekend and the HSU home series vs. division leader Concordia-Austin (Apr. 23-24). The Cowboys are 6-0 at home in ASC West play and compiled a 7-5 on the conference road. HSU has not been to the ASC Baseball Championship Tournament since 2001, when it lost to McMurry in the finals. . . . LF Brady Coke has hit .408 since stepping into the lineup 10 games ago at McMurry. He has also made key plays with his big arm as he has hosed three runners from the outfield in that time. . . . Freshman RHP Brian Arnold got his second start of the year and made it a memorable one as he limited the hard-hitting Southwestern Pirates to five hits over eight innings and earned the win on April 14. Three days later, Arnold came on in the eighth inning and induced a double play and shut down Schreiner over 1.2 innings to earn the win out of the bullpen in extra innings on Saturday (Apr. 17).

Luke Kojis set the table for the Louisiana College offense in its ASC East sweep of Austin College this past weekend (Apr. 16-17). The senior center fielder reached base in seven of 11 plate appearances, and scored four runs over the series. Kojis put down two sacrifice bunts at crucial times for LC. His stolen base in game two of the set gave Kojis the Louisiana College career stolen bases record. . . . James Halle threw his sixth complete game in 10 starts in a win against Austin College on Saturday. He allowed five hits and a run in earning his fourth win of the season. . . . P Scott Sumner has pitched well of late, striking out 33 hitters in his last 26 innings. . . . C Chris Bertrand has come alive offensively, hitting .454 with five RBIs in his last four games. . . . With the sweep last weekend, LC is assured of its first-ever consecutive 20-win season (27 in 2003 and 21 in 2004). . . . SS Ross Doughty continues to pile on the RBIs as he had five against Austin College. Doughty carries a two-season career 1.04 RBI-per-game average.

Mary Hardin-Baylor infielder Heath Haverland batted .444 (4-for-9) in three starts last week. He had his first multiple-homer game with a two-homer, four-RBI performance against Texas Wesleyan (Apr. 14), finishing the non-conference doubleheader 4-for-5 with seven RBIs, five runs scored, two home runs and a triple. . . . Billy Moore pushed his season stolen base total to 21 and tied Henrry Martinez for second place on the UMHB season steals list. He trails only Mike Lindsey, who stole 35 in 1979. Moore’s steals total is the highest by a Crusader since UMHB made the move to Division III. The Crusaders have stolen 72 bases as a team this season and need just five more to tie the team season record of 77 set in 1979. . . . UMHB hit six home runs in its game one victory over Texas Wesleyan (Apr. 14). . . . The Crusaders will play their final games at the old Red Murff Field on Friday and Saturday (Apr. 23-24) when Texas Lutheran comes to town. UMHB will be moving to a brand new field next season.

McMurry has won four consecutive games and is 13-3 in its last 16 starts. The Indians have not committed an error in eight of the last 10 games. . . Josh Lee leads McMurry in home runs (15), RBIs (47), total bases (94), slugging pct. (.847), walks (30), on-base pct. (.524) and fielding pct. for infielders (.996), and is hitting .396. The April 13 NCAA III statistics show Lee leading the nation in homers and was among the top sluggers and home run-average. . . . Sophomore RF/P Greg Erickson leads the team with three multi-home run games and now has 12 on the year after blasting two during the Mary Hardin-Baylor series last weekend (Apr. 16-17); he also has a team-leading 22 extra-base hits and is hitting .393. Erickson is also nationally ranked in home runs per game and slugging percentage. . . . Scott Meurer won his third consecutive decision as an emergency starter, throwing a complete-game victory in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at UMHB. He gave up six hits, five of them for singles, allowed only three base runners to second base, and started a double-play in the seventh inning to end the game.

Mississippi College used a five-run eighth inning to blow open a close game vs. Millsaps for an 11-5 non-conference win on Monday (Apr. 19). The victory gives the Choctaws the Cowboy Maloney Championship in the annual baseball series vs. MC, Millsaps and Belhaven. . . . MC is on the road at Austin College to finish the regular-season schedule, needing a sweep vs. the 'Roos and three UT Dallas losses to win the ASC East title. The Choctaws have already claimed a berth in the conference championship tournament. . . . Closer Derek Tillman recorded his ninth save of the year vs. Millsaps and maintain his NCAA Division III-leading save total.

3B Anthony Brandon recorded two hits in each game of the UT Tyler series last weekend to break the Ozarks' single-season hit record. Brandon’s hit total is now 51, breaking the previous record set by Shawn Adams in 2000. The sophomore also extended his hitting streak to a school-record 21 games and tied the school record for season RBIs at 32. Brandon has 15 multiple-hit games this season. . . . The Eagles out hit UT Tyler 32-27 during their three-game series (Apr. 16-17). Among the hits were five home runs, with two by Justin Brown and one each by Caleb Hilton, Rusty Farrin and Clint Phifer. . . . Two of Brown’s four hits during the series were home runs and pushed his team-leading total to five. . . . Hilton had four RBIs and four hits vs. the Patriots.

Schreiner provided a bump in the ASC West race, upending then division co-leader Hardin-Simmons 9-3 in game one of the weekend series (Apr. 16-17). Jeremiah Kester scored the go-ahead run in the third inning on a single by Joe Mann, and in the following inning drew an RBI walk and touched all the bases to give SU a 6-1 lead. . . . In the final home performance of his career, RHP Geoff Greene shut down the high-octane HSU offense, recording three Ks in the first four batters then allowing only three runners past second base to win the 9-3 decision pitching 8.0 innings in the series opener. . . . In the 9-3 win, Schreiner had four players with multiple hits and three with multiple RBIs. . . . Tommy Cable’s seven game ASC hitting streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. . . . SU will close out its season this weekend, as they travel to Abilene to face McMurry

UT Dallas took command of the ASC East race and clinched a playoff spot with its sweep of Mississippi College--the Comets’ fourth straight sweep of an ASC East opponent. UTD can claim the division crown with just one win in its final three at UT Tyler (Apr. 23-24). . . . The Choctaw pitching staff kept the UTD hitters at bay, allowing just 12 hits in the three-game series, but UTD used pitching and defense to pick up the sweep. . . . Tony Adler gave up just his third earned run of the season in a 3-1 win, but Kevin McKnight and Gordon Walters both threw complete game shutouts. McKnight has given up just one earned run in his last three outings, and Walters has given up just one in his last four.

1B/DH Mario Gallizzi led UT Tyler in its 4-0 week which included the team's 20th win in the first season of intercollegiate baseball. Gallizzi smacked three home runs among his five hits, two which came in the ASC East series opener vs. Ozarks (Apr. 16). . . . Justin Ard leads UT Tyler with a .403 batting average and R. Smith carries a 4.59 ERA and a 5-2 record.

Texas Lutheran swept an ASC West series from Howard Payne for the fourth consecutive season (Apr. 16-17) , moving to 12-0 against the Yellow Jackets all-time in conference divisional play. The sweep helped TLU remain in the hunt for a conference championship tournament spot. . . . Freshman LHP Kyle Newman tossed a complete-game three-hitter in the Bulldogs’ 2-0 win over HPU in the series finale. Newman won his team-high sixth game (6-0) and struck out four and walked two in the victory. . . . Senior 3B Carlos Buentello homered in his final home game as a Bulldog. Buentello hit a solo shot in the bottom of the first inning in game three of the series. . . . Starting P Adam Enloe tossed a complete-game one-hitter in the 5-0 win over HPU on Saturday. Enloe took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before allowing a leadoff single in the sixth. Enloe (4-2) struck out eight and walked three.


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