California Baptist wins twice at NCCAA Baseball National Championship
MASON, OH - Devyn Rivera threw his first shutout of the season, and Andy Crowley had two hits and two RBIs to lead California Baptist University to a 5-0 win on Wednesday, May 16, over Bluefield in the opening game of Pool B at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) World Series Wednesday afternoon.
The win moves the Lancers to 39-12 overall and 1-0 in the pool. They play again at 5 p.m. (Pacific) against Malone, which lost 8-0 to Oklahoma Wesleyan this morning.
Bluefield drops to 31-28 overall, 0-1 in pool play.
After giving up three hits in the first two innings, Rivera settled in and dominated until the Lancer bats awoke. He scattered six hits and allowed just one walk, which came with two outs in the seventh. He struck out seven for his second career shutout.
"Devyn did a great job limiting free bases today," CBU Head Coach Gary Adcock said. "When he's throwing well, he keeps his free base count down and that's the key to his success."
Rivera (6-1) also benefited from two strong defensive plays. With a runner on third with two outs in the first, Andy Riley tried to steal home when a ball squirted by catcher Ryan Douglass, but Douglass tracked it down and tossed it to Rivera covering home to get Riley to end the inning.
Then, with a scoreless game in the third, Bluefield threatened after putting runners at second and third with two outs, but Cole Bullard made a spectacular diving play up the middle to rob Zach Myers of a hit and keep the game scoreless.
"Both of those plays were game changers," Adcock said. "That's being a good teammate and then Devyn returned the favor by putting up zeros the rest of the way."
The Lancers finally tacked on a run in the fourth and fifth before putting the game away with three in the sixth. After Blair Moore hit a one-out double in the fourth and Matt Daugherty singled, Crowley hit a single up the middle to bring in Moore with the game's first run.
In the sixth, Daughtery hit a one-out triple, his third hit of the day, and scored on a Crowley double down the right field line. Cole Bullard drew a walk before Crowley advanced to third on a flyout by Zach Esquerra. On the same play, Crowley scored from third when the shorstop's toss back to pitcher Ethan Lewis sailed over his head and far enough away to let Crowley score.
Bullard scored on Douglass's second hit of the game.
"We were bad offensively," Adcock said. "We live by a creed to not make excuses. We've got to do a better job with the bats. Their guy did a good job mixing pitches and we did a bad job adjusting to it, but we came up clutch when we needed to."
Daugherty was 3 for 3, while Crowley and Douglass were both 2 for 3. The Lancers had nine hits.
CBU rallies for 3-1 win over Malone in NCCAA Nationals
MASON, OH - Patrick Smith was lights out, and Cole Bullard was clutch.
Together, the senior duo helped California Baptist University to a 3-1 come-from-behind win over Malone Wednesday night in the second game of Pool B action at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) World Series.
The win gives the Lancers’ their third straight 40-win campaign as they improve to 40-12 overall and 2-0 in pool play.
Malone falls to 31-23 overall and 0-2 in pool play.
“This was the exact same formula as earlier today,” CBU Head Coach Gary Adcock said. “It was quality pitching, teammates picking each other up, some luck and clutch hitting late.”
Smith went the distance, the Lancers’ second complete-game of the day. He scattered five hits, just two after the first inning when Malone strung to together three hits to take a 1-0 lead.
It stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth inning when Kevin Odom and Matt Marnati drew back-to-back walks to lead off the frame. Blair Moore then hit a game-tying single up the middle.
After Alex Haines (3-4) struck out Matt Daugherty and Andy Crowley, Bullard laced an RBI single to center that scored Marnati, and after Adam Heideman misplayed it, Moore scored all the way from first to give the Lancers a 3-1 lead.
Haines had carried a three-hit shutout into the sixth inning before the Lancers struck.
“You try not to panic, which is easier said than done in this setting,” Adcock said, referring to the Lancers’ early struggles against Haines. “Haines did a good job. We were swinging and missing. He gave us a couple of free bases late, and good teams take advantage of opportunities and we took advantage.”
Malone threatened in the seventh, getting the first two on with a walk and a fielder’s choice error, but Smith got Kyle Sprague to line into a double play to center field as Crowley caught Michael Chack too far off second. Smith got Sam Craciun to ground out to Moore at third to end the game.
Bullard finished 2 for 3. Smith had four strikeouts.