Houston Baptist, Northern Colorado, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley Pick Up Wins in GWC Openers
April 8, 2011
The race for the 2011 GWC baseball championship began on Friday with Houston Baptist, Northern Colorado, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley starting in the win column.
Houston Baptist 8, North Dakota 7
HOUSTON, Texas -- After being held hitless for the first four innings, Houston Baptist scored a pair of runs in each of its final four at-bats to clip North Dakota, 8-7, in the Great West Conference opener Friday afternoon at Husky Field.
Junior rightfielder Kolby Arnst went 2-for-4 with a triple, an inside-the-park home run, two RBI and two runs scored, while junior second baseman David Pfuntner went 2-for-4 with an RBI for HBU (3-22, 1-0 GWC). Sophomore centerfielder Jake Gonzalez and senior first baseman Chase Hernandez each scored two runs, while junior catcher Asai Adame drove in a pair of runs.
Senior centerfielder Andy Sadler went 3-for-3, scored two runs and drove in a run for North Dakota (1-15, 0-1 GWC), while freshman catcher Zack Trygstad went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, an RBI and a run. Senior rightfielder Craig Dolmage went 2-for-4 with two RBI, freshman shortstop Ryan Gerber went 2-for-4, senior designated hitter Jake Magner drove in a pair and senior leftfielder Josh Ray scored a pair of runs.
Junior righthander Dalton Schafer (1-7) earned the win for the Huskies, allowing six runs, five earned, on nine hits and striking out four in eight innings, while senior Stephen Nikonchik notched his first save of the season. Junior righthander Cory Baker (0-2) was the tough-luck loser after logging a season-high seven innings. He allowed eight hits and five earned runs, while fanning seven. He held the Huskies hitless through the first four innings, retiring 10 straight at one point.
Schafer pitched out of trouble in the first as he gave up a leadoff single to Sadler and misplayed a bunt attempt that put runners on second and third with no outs. He then got a popup to second, a strikeout and a groundout without any damage being done.
North Dakota, however, struck first in the top of the third as sophomore third baseman Daniel Worb was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and was sacrificed over to second. Gerber's single put runners on the corners, and Magner's sacrifice fly to center put the Fighting Sioux ahead, 1-0.
The Fighting Sioux added another run in the top of the fifth as Trygstad led off with a double, Worb sacrificed him to third and Sadler's line drive off Schafer's glove allowed Trygstad to come home.
Arnst recorded the Huskies' first hit of the game with a triple to deep centerfield, and Hernandez followed with an RBI single. Freshman third baseman Tanner Kalina singled to left and junior leftfielder Luke Clements bunted to put the runners in scoring position. Pfunter singled to left to tie the game, 2-2.
North Dakota went back up in the sixth as Ray led off with a bunt single, Dolmage singled to left and took second on the play at third. Kwak grounded to shortstop, but the throw to the plate came late as the Fighting Sioux retook the lead. Trygstad's sacrifice fly to left gave North Dakota a 4-2 lead.
HBU answered back in the sixth when Gonzalez reached on an error and stole second. Hernandez walked and Clements drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Adame walked to plate a run and Hernandez scored on a wild pitch to once again tie the game, 4-4. The Huskies could have had a huge inning, but Pfunter's chopper down the third baseline hit Clements in fair territory to end the threat.
Sadler walked to lead off the seventh for North Dakota and Magner was hit by a pitch with one out. Ray grounded into a fielder's choice, stole second, and Dolmage followed with a two-run single to right.
The Huskies rallied once again in the seventh as Gonzalez smacked a two-out single to left. Arnst followed with a sinking line drive to center that skipped past a diving Sadler all the way to the wall. Dolmage's throw to the plate was off-line as Arnst came all the way around with the tying run.
Kalina singled to lead off the bottom of the eighth and chase Baker from the game. Senior righthander Derek Biermaier came in and misplayed a sacrifice bunt by Clements and the Huskies had runners in scoring position with no outs. Adame smashed a single to left to give HBU its first lead of the game, and Pfunter's sacrifice bunt moved Adame up to second. Junior designated hitter Robbie Buller hit a chopper deep in the hole at short to drive in another run and put the Huskies up, 8-6.
Nikonchik came in to finish off the game in the ninth, but gave up a leadoff single to Sadler, followed by a single by Gerber to put runners on the corners with no outs. Magner flied out to right to bring home a run and cut the lead to one. After Ray struck out for the second out, Nikonchik threw a pitch in the dirt that skipped a few feet away from Adame, Gerber took off for second, but the catcher threw a strike and Nailed the runner at second to end the game.
The series continues with a doubleheader at noon Saturday, followed by the finale Sunday at 2 p.m.
Texas-Pan American 14, Chicago State 4
EDINBURG, Texas -- Texas Pan American defeated Chicago State 14-4 in seven innings while pounding out 13 hits Friday night at Edinburg Baseball Stadium.
The Cougars (4-18, 0-1 GWC) got on the scoreboard in the top of the third. William Hill led off the inning with a single then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Albert Carpen. Michael Carpen followed with a single to left that scored Hill from second. Jonathan Carpen then hit an RBI single to left center allowing Michael Carpen to score making 2-0 Cougars.
The Broncs (10-10, 1-0 GWC) responded in the bottom of the third against Steven O'Hair (0-5). After a walk to Brandon Roush, Adrian De La Rosa hit a single to right field moving Roush to third base. With two outs and the bases loaded, Angel Ibanez delivered a two-run single to left center scoring Roush and De La Rosa tying the game at two. Vincent Mejia then hit a two-run double that allowed Carnall and Ibanez to score giving the Broncs the 4-2 lead.
De La Rosa powered a home run, his first of the season, over the left field bullpen in the bottom of the fourth extending UTPA's lead to 6-2.
In the top of the fifth, Chicago State responded with a couple of runs against Zach Zouzalik (2-0), who got the win after pitching three innings of relief and striking out one. Michael Carpen led off with a single and Jonathan Carpen followed with a walk. A fielding error in the outfield allowed Michael Carpen to score from second cutting the Broncs lead in half. After Miguel Camacho was hit by a pitch, Weston Lewis hit an RBI single to right center field that allowed Jonathan Carpen to score making it 6-4 Broncs.
UTPA then answered back with a five run bottom of the fifth sending nine hitters to the plate. Colten Van Komen got the scoring started in the inning with an RBI single that allowed Mike McCarthy to score from second. A fielding error allowed Stuart MacInnes to score from second giving the Broncs the 8-4 edge. Adrian De La Rosa, who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, followed with an RBI single scoring Van Komen from second. Alex Carnall capped off the scoring with a two-run double to left center field that made it 11-4.
The Broncs added three runs on two Cougar errors to but the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mejia started the inning with a walk then moved to third after a double by McCarthy. A throwing error allowed Mejia and McCarthy to score extending the UTPA lead 13-4. With Van Komen at third, a throwing error by Jack Bobillo allowed him to score making it 14-4.
Troy Green worked a scoreless top of the seventh inning giving the Broncs the 14-4 victory using the 10-run mercy rule.
UTPA and Chicago State will continue their four-game series with a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Edinburg Baseball Stadium with the first game scheduled to start at 1 p.m.
Northern Colorado 11, NYIT 4
OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – In the first of four "battle of the Bears" in Great West Conference play, Northern Colorado came out victorious, winning 11-4 at NYIT on Friday afternoon.
The NC Bears scored 11 runs on 11 hits, while the NYIT Bears scored four runs on eight hits. NC had one error, while NYIT committed two in the conference opener for both teams.
NC's Junior left-handed pitcher Joe Willman won his second-straight outing and evened his record at 3-3 after pitching seven solid innings. He allowed just four runs (three earned) on seven hits, walking just two and striking out four. His younger brother, Kevin, threw the final two innings with just one hit and one strikeout.
All nine players reached base safely at least once for NC and junior Adam Hilker, senior T.J. Berge and junior Ben Packard each had two hits. Junior Tony Crudo also hit his first home run of the season, a three-run blast in the sixth. Berge and fellow senior Marcus Valenzuela also each had a stolen base in the game and junior Jarod Berggren was hit for the eighth time this season – which is the most on the club.
Marcos Perez took the loss for NYIT (1-2). He lasted 5.1 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits, walking four and striking out three. The NY Bears used three other pitchers in relief.
NYIT sophomore Dan Lackner blasted a two-run homer in the sixth inning to cut the gap in half. Senior Eric Cos went 2-for-4 with one run, while Lackner was 1-for-3 with one run and two RBI. Cos also had a tremendous defensive game for NYIT in right field.
Northern Colorado quickly claimed a 3-0 lead in the first inning after A. Hilker was pitched a leadoff walk and Bret Fanning reached on catcher's interference. Tony Crudo then loaded the bases with a walk and a single from T.J. Berge put the visiting Bears up 2-0. Crudo then scored on a sacrifice fly by Ben Packard before the inning closed on two pop ups. Yet, NYIT responded with a run in the bottom half to quicky erase any Northern Colorado hopes of a shutout.
With one out on the board, Ali Rodriguez reached with an infield single and then stole second for his eighth bag of the season. The sophomore designated hitter scored on a Jerry Smith single to right field. Lackner, who got on with a walk, tried to make it two RBI for Smith but was caught out at home. NYIT trailed 3-1.
The visiting Bears pushed their lead to three runs in the third inning as Packard scored on an wild pitch. After two scoreless innings, NYIT put up a run in the bottom of the fifth as Cos scored on an infield single by catcher George Carroll. Cos got on with a single to third base. NYIT trailed 4-2.
Northern Colorado rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth. Trailing 8-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Lackner came up big with his homerun over the left field fence, bringing home first baseman Effrey Valdez. Valdez reached on a Northern Colorado error. However, that was the closest NYIT would get as Northern Colorado posted another two runs in the seventh and a solo run in the ninth.
The Battle of the Bears continues on Saturday, April 9 with a Noon doubleheader at President's Field. The series comes to a close on Sunday, April 10 with a single game beginning at Noon.
Utah Valley 5, NJIT 3 (Game 1)
Utah Valley 9, NJIT 8 (14 innings, Game 2)
NEWARK, N.J.-- Defending GWC champion Utah Valley began defense of its title on Friday afternoon and evening with two airtight wins in the opening conference doubleheader of 2011, defeating NJIT in the first game, 5-3, and then edging the persistent Highlanders in the 14-inning nightcap, 9-8.
Utah Valley, which was 26-2 in Great West play a year ago, including four one-sided wins over NJIT, got all it could have wanted from the Highlanders in their first 2011 encounter on Friday.
In the opener, the teams were tied 3-3 heading into the ninth inning, when DH Austin Heaps broke the tie with a towering sacrifice fly in the ninth inning. Kirk Doxey, who had walked leading off the inning, scored from third and when Heap's fly ball dropped for an error, Chris Benson scored from second base with an unearned insurance run.
The winning pitcher in the opening game was junior RHP Ryan Chadwick (1-1) who did not allow a hit or a run in working the last two innings. Blake Krahenbuhl, a sophomore righthander, started and allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
The losing pitcher for NJIT was sophomore RHP Kyle Burdi, who worked 2.1 innings in relief of the starter, sophomore LHP Austin McAuliffe, who pitched the first 6.2 innings. McAuliffe allowed four hits and three runs (two earned). Burdi (1-4) allowed two hits and two runs (one earned).
Both Highlander pitchers were hurt by bases-on-balls, as McAuliffe issued five and Burdi allowed three. Four of the five Utah Valley runs were scored by men who had walked, including all three runs scored by the leadoff man, Doxey.
Utah Valley had scored a run in the first inning, but NJIT answered with two in the bottom half. The Wolverines went ahead in the top of the fifth inning on a two-run home run by 2B Cole McWhorter, his third homer of the season.
However, the Highlanders had a rapid response in the bottom of the frame, when Teddy Bickert homered leading off to tie the score at 3-3. It was Bickert's second home run of the season, but also his second in as many games.
McWhorter (2-for-2) was the only UVU player with more than one hit and he also led the Wolverines with three runs batted in. Bickert and Matt Weckerle each collected a pair of hits for NJIT. Jeff Peterson had one hit, but finished with two RBI.
The second game was filled with drama and made two important marks in the NJIT record book.
The drama included NJIT coming from behind to tie the score in four separate innings, including three different times in extra innings.
The length of the game, 14 innings, tied for the longest in NJIT's Division I era (began with the 2007 season), matching a 14-inning game against Northeastern (5-4 loss on March 15, 2009 in Seton Hall's Strike Out Cancer Tournament).
NJIT's starting pitcher, sophomore righthander Mark Leiter Jr. entered the school record book with a Division I era-best 13 strikeouts in 9 innings. The reigning Great West Conference pitcher of the Week allowed 4 hits and 3 runs (all in the second inning) and walked 4 along with his record-setting strikeout total.
He surpassed the old mark of 12, set by Matt Melody against UMBC in Florida on March 19, 2009.
Three relievers followed Leiter and the second, senior RHP Steven Ace took the loss with two innings pitched. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned). Ace is 0-1.
The winning pitcher for Utah Valley was its third pitcher, junior RHP Josh Swenson (1-1). Swenson, who came into the game with 3 saves and a team-leading 2.08 earned run average, managed the win despite allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 3 runs in 4.1 innings.
NJIT finished the game with 16 hits and Utah Valley had 10, including one by sophomore SS Kai Hatch, who singled through the left side to score Jason Zundel from third base with what proved to be the winning run in the top of the 14th inning. Hatch finished 2-for-6 and drove in 3 runs.
Heaps, the junior designated hitter who had the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning of game one, was 4-for-7 in the nightcap, with two RBI and three runs scored. C Alex Exon, who did not play in the first game, drove in a pair of runs in game two.
NJIT had three men with three hits each--SS Matt Tomczyk, Weckerle, and Bickert. Peterson and Tyler Kapp added two hits apiece for the Highlanders.
The game was a tight pitching matchup from the third through the ninth inning. NJIT had scored a run in the first inning and Utah Valley answered with three in the top of the second. The Highlanders rallied for two runs in the bottom of the second inning to tie the score at 3-3 and it would stay that way until the 10th inning, when a remarkable sequence of innings began.
Utah Valley scored twice in the top of the 10th and NJIT scored two runs of its own in the bottom half. After a scoreless 11th inning, UVU surged ahead with a run in the top of the 12th, only to have the Highlanders stay alive with a run. In the 13th, the Wolverines scored two runs and again, NJIT answered with two runs.
Finally, Utah Valley (9-17, 2-0 GWC) came up with a run that couldn't be answered, as Hatch's single brought home Zundel with their team's ninth run and Swenson finished off the win with a 1-2-3 bottom of the 14th on the mound.
The marathon doubleheader went just more than eight hours from first pitch to last out. The two teams will continue their conference series with a 6:30 p.m. game Saturday night and conclude it on Sunday with an 11 a.m. start.