Late Rally Forces Extra-Innings, Ultimately Not Enough For LeTourneau Baseball In ASC Tournament Gold Bracket Finale At Concordia Texas.
AUSTIN, Texas – With their season on the line and needing a win to play a winner-take-all game on Saturday, the LeTourneau University baseball would force extra-innings. They did it with a ninth-inning RBI single before falling by a final score of 5-1 to Concordia, Texas in the 2019 American Southwest Conference Tournament Gold Bracket Championship Series hosted at Tornado Field in Austin, Texas on Friday, May 10.
LETU sees their 2019 season end after a run in the ASC Tournament as the number eight seed and a 24-21 overall record while the Tornadoes earn the ASC’s automatic berth into next week’s NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament with a 34-10 record.
It would be leadoff single in the top of the first for CTX that came around to score on a sacrifice fly and give the Tornadoes an early lead. LETU The YellowJackets would not see a first base runner until the bottom of the third as Noah Mahoney and Eli Birriel would both draw walks to put runners on first and second with two outs, but a strikeout would end the inning as LETU would be unable to push a run across.
Just two total base runners would be seen in the fourth and fifth innings to leave things at a 1-0 game going to the sixth when Concordia would put two runners on to force a LeTourneau pitching change before seeing a flyout to end the inning without any damage done. LETU would then see Will Bradshaw draw a one-out walk in the bottom of the seventh but get thrown out at second on a stolen base attempt. An elusive first run was still being searched for by the YellowJackets.
Neither team would score in the eighth before the Tornadoes would strand a one-out single in the top of the ninth which would give LeTourneau one final chance to try and tie things up at 1-1. In the bottom of the inning, it would be Brandon Ramirez who would break up the no-hitter with a leadoff double down the right-field line before a Bryce Brueggemeyer infield single put runners on first and third with no outs. A stolen base for pinch runner Mark Sanders moved the game-winning run into scoring position, but Concordia would manage to flip momentum with a strikeout followed by picking off the runner at third on a failed squeeze play. Despite all the wild action, Kyle Guevara would remain steady at the plate and drive the next pitch he saw into the outfield turf to score Sanders from second a tie the game to force extra innings.
In the extra frame, Concordia would use three hits and a walk to push across four runs and reclaim the lead at 5-1 which would prove to hold and be the final score to clinch an ASC Tournament title.
Pitching would keep the YellowJackets in the game throughout as starter Jared Schurig, and reliever Ryder Lognion would scatter seven hits by the Tornadoes through regulation while allowing just one run to score in the top of the first inning. The duo would combine to strike out nine and keep the YellowJackets within striking distance the entire game which eventually allowed LETU to force extra innings. The three hits for LeTourneau would all come in the bottom of the ninth as Guevara would deliver the lone run of the contest for the YellowJackets on a two-out RBI single to tie things.
Costly Errors Loom Large For LeTourneau Baseball At Concordia Texas; Game Two of ASC Championship Series Set For 2:00 pm Friday
AUSTIN, Texas – A 10-run second-inning by host Concordia University Texas would break open a 3-1 game as the LeTourneau University baseball team would fall by a final score of 16-7 in the opening match of the 2019 American Southwest Conference Baseball Tournament Gold Bracket Series at Tornado Field in Austin, Texas on Thursday, May 9.
LETU falls to 24-20 overall on the season and into a 1-0 hole in the best-of-three series while the Tornadoes are 33-10 overall and just one win away from clinching the ASC Tournament Title.
The YellowJackets would put together five hits in the top of the first inning including three with two outs as Kyle Guevara, and Cody Lee delivered with big singles to drive in a total of three runs as LeTourneau would jump out to a 3-0 lead. A fielding error and walk with two outs would allow CTX to extend their half of the first inning as the Tornadoes would manage to get on the board with one unearned run.
LETU would strand a leadoff single in the top of the second before seeing Concordia put together a sizeable two-out rally thanks in part to two costly errors as ten runs would score on six two-out hits to allow the Tornadoes to take an 11-3 lead after two innings of action. With a tall task ahead of them, LeTourneau would chip away at the deficit in the third and fourth innings by pushing across two runs in each inning while holding CTX scoreless which would send the game to the top of the fifth with the once eight-run deficit cut in half at 11-7.
After going down in order in the top of the fifth, LeTourneau would see Concordia add three runs on two hits and walk to double up the YellowJackets at 14-7 as things would finally settle in defensively. The score would remain a seven-run deficit until the bottom of the eighth as CTX managed to push across two final runs in the inning to put the final margin at 16-7.
Bryce Brueggemeyer and Will Bradshaw would lead LETU with two hits each. The duo would combine to score three runs. Guevara and Lee each drove in a pair of runs as the YellowJackets would strand just five runners but get only one extra-base hit in the contest. Concordia’s 16 runs would come on 13 singles, and three LETU errors and they only earned six. Outside of a 10-run second inning where all 10 would be unearned on seven hits, LeTourneau would outhit the Tornadoes 9-6.
LETU and CTX will be back in action tomorrow for game two in the ASC Tournament Gold Bracket Championship best-of-three series. Due to forecasted weather in and around the Austin area, game two of the series has been moved up from a 6:00 pm start to a 2:00 pm start at Tornado Field. LeTourneau will be the home team in the contest as the YellowJackets will look to force a winner-take-all game three on Saturday.
LeTourneau Baseball Set For ASC Tournament Championship Series In Austin.
LONGVIEW, Texas – A week after going undefeated in the 2019 American Southwest Conference Baseball Tournament Blue Bracket, the LeTourneau University baseball team will make their first-ever appearance in the ASC Tournament Gold Bracket Series beginning on Thursday, May 7th at Concordia University Texas in Austin, Texas.
The Gold Bracket Championship Series format, which was instituted for the 2016 postseason, matches the winners of the ASC Tournament Red and Blue Brackets in a best-of-three series with the winner earning the ASC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.
LETU entered the final week of the regular-season needing a win just to qualify for the ASC Tournament, and has won four of their past five games to qualify as the eight seed before going on to knock off ASC regular-season champion Howard Payne University, fourth-seeded Louisiana College, and fifth-seeded Texas-Dallas to find their way into the championship series. The Tornadoes enter the best-of-three series having won five straight games, including a perfect 3-0 record last week in the ASC Tournament Red Bracket after defeating Sul Ross State and East Texas Baptist twice.
Games one is set for a 6 p.m. start at Tornado Field on Thursday evening with the host Tornadoes serving as the home team while game two will be Friday night at 6 p.m. with LeTourneau serving as the home team despite the game being played on the campus of CTX. If the two teams were to split the first two games, LETU and Concordia would play a winner-take-all game at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 11th.
On the season, LETU is 24-19 overall and 11-11 in true road contests and is led by a .329 batting average from junior Brandon Ramirez. The Willis, Texas native was named to the ASC Tournament Blue Bracket All-Tournament Team alongside Tournament Blue Bracket MVP Eli Birriel who is hitting .306 on the season and is a perfect 12-for-12 in stolen base attempts.
Pitching proved to be a key factor for the YellowJackets last weekend as the LeTourneau pitching staff would allow just three runs in each of the first two games of the ASC Tournament before hanging on to outlast Louisiana College 10-7 in the ASC Blue Bracket Championship game. Getting off to a good start will also be pivotal for LeTourneau in the series as LETU is 20-3 overall when leading after 6 innings but just 2-15 overall when they trail heading into the seventh.
CTX will bring a 32-10 overall record into the series which includes three wins over LeTourneau that took place in Austin back on April 18-19 as the Tornadoes look for their first ASC Tournament title since 2012. Brett Leiferman will lead Concordia into the weekend with a .371 batting average and 37 RBI as the Tornadoes are hitting .299 as a team in their 42 games. Pitching has been a bigger factor for CTX throughout the season with a team ERA of 3.20 and six shutouts.
Historically, this will be the fourth all-time postseason meeting between the two teams and just the second tournament that the YellowJackets and Tornadoes have faced off. All three of the previous meetings came back in 2014 at Tornado Field when LETU would go on to win their only ASC Tournament Title with a 6-4 victory in a winner-take-all elimination game.
LeTourneau Softball Lands Seven All-ASC Selections.
RICHARSON, Texas – Highlighted by two first-team selections and the 2019 American Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year, the LeTourneau University softball team would garner seven all-conference selections as part of the 2019 ASC Softball All-Conference Teams published on Tuesday, May 7.
Earning Newcomer of the Year and First-Team All-Conference would be junior Haydn Parker alongside first-team All-Conference selection Macey Mize while Ethel Warren and Bailey Richey were both named third-team All-Conference at their respective positions. Landing honorable-mention all-conference honors were Kennedi Dillow, Taylor Nichols, and Katelyn Trombley to round out the seven YellowJacket student-athletes named to the all-conference teams.
Parker was named Newcomer of the Year after a season that saw the Brock, Texas native finish second on the team in batting average with a .405 average with 19 extra-base hits and nine homes. Starting 38 of 41 games that LETU played, Parker drove in a team-best 47 RBI and finished with 49 hits, the second-most in single-season history.
Mize recently wrapped up a four-year playing career by appearing 37 games this past season and leading the YellowJackets with a .421 batting average to go along with a team-high 10 home runs and 35 RBI. The Waco, Texas native also stole a team-high 16 bases in 17 attempts and had a .813 slugging percentage to earn her second All-ASC honor.
Warren is named to the ASC All-Conference list for the second consecutive season by finishing as the only LeTourneau player to appear in and start all 41 games this season for the YellowJackets at the right field while posting a .362 batting average with 42 hits and 17 runs scored. With nine extra-base hits and 26 RBI, Warren would steal six bases and walk a team-high 19 times.
Richey earns third-team All-ASC honors after a freshman campaign that saw the Galena Park, Texas native finish with a team-best nine wins in the circle and start 22 games for the YellowJackets as a pitcher. 11 of Richey’s 22 starts would be complete games with a team-best 108.2 innings and a 3.54 ERA with 94 strikeouts.
Dillow made 36 starts for the YellowJackets this season and had a .342 batting average as the junior would collect nine doubles and one triple while driving in 18 runs and scoring 25 of her own. As LETU’s starting second baseman, Dillow posted a .976 fielding percentage and recorded 102 putouts with 64 assists.
Nichols broke on to the scene in her first year with LeTourneau by appearing in 35 games while starting 32 games to finish with a .333 batting average and 19 RBI. The Center, Texas native finished fourth on the team with four home runs and drove in 19 runs while scoring 20 runs of her own.
Trombley finished with the second-most games played among LETU players this season by appearing in and starting 39 games while hitting nine doubles, three triples, and four home runs. With a .336 batting average, Trombley would total 68 bases and steal four bags while making 52 putouts in center field.
As a team, LETU finished with a school-record 24 wins and 18 wins in ASC play while finishing third in the ASC regular-season. The YellowJackets graduate one senior from the 2019 squad and will return nine starters for next year’s team.
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