Baseball Championship Tournament: McMurry Trips UT-Dallas for Title
May 2, 2004
Courtesy McMurry Sports Information Office
ABILENE, Texas (May 2) Host McMurry jumped to a 5-0 lead and never looked back en route to a 6-2 victory Sunday afternoon over 11th-ranked Texas-Dallas in the American Southwest Conference championship game, clinching the Indians' third conference tournament title in six years.
UT-Dallas, which is ranked T-11th in the latest American Baseball Coaches Association/ Collegiate Newspaper Top 30 poll for Division III schools, fell to 33-8 after winning the ASC East Division. The Comets will await word from the NCAA Selection Committee to learn if they garnered one of the few at-large bids and join ASC foe McMurry in the national tournament. UTD's national ranking is the first in the program's 3-year history.
McMurry took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a RBI double by Jason Gotcher and RBI groundout by Chris Manley.
Josh Lee made it 3-0 in the next frame with his 17th home run over the right-field wall, breaking the ASC single-season mark of 16 held by LeTourneau's Josh Ross in 2003 and Sul Ross State's Mario Porras in 1998.
Then in the fifth, the Indians upped their advantage to 5-0 after Seth Ardoin hit a sacrifice fly to center and Lewis Mickley had a RBI single to left-center. Mickley had two hits.
But the Comets, who rallied from two 5-run deficits to defeat Concordia-Austin in Game 1, wouldn't quit. Mark Cardoza and Justin Price had sacrifice flies in back-to-back innings to cut McMurry's lead to 5-2 in the seventh.
Despite Chris Manley's solo blast that put McMurry up 6-2 in the eighth, UTD threatened again in the ninth. Caleb Chandler led off with a double to right and, two batters later, Johnny Espree singled through the left side to put runners on the corners with one out. But the next batter hit into a game-ending double-play.
McMurry sophomore RHP Nick Schafer upped his record to 6-2 after throwing a complete-game victory, allowing two unearned runs and seven hits, walking three, striking out seven.
A season-high 775 fans at Walt Driggers Field saw the Indians win their sixth straight ASC tournament game dating back to 2001.
ASC Baseball All-Tournament Team:
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