The recent snowstorm that swept through the Omaha area didn't do much to slow down the YC baseball team as they won the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament for the second year in a row. The title guarantees them a berth in next week's Opening Round of the NAIA Championship. Regional invitations are to be announced on Sunday.
As hosts of the MCAC Tournament, the #9 Bellevue University Bruins, had to make several changes to the schedule as the first two days proved non-playable. Thursday's postponement and the inclement weather forecasted for Saturday caused Bellevue to change it to a one day single-elimination tournament on Friday, May 3.
York relied on All-Conference pitcher Aaron Conyers for game one against 3rd seed Oklahoma Wesleyan. Conyers threw his 7th complete game this season, allowing only 3 hits and 2 unearned runs in route to York's 7-2 win. On Tuesday of this week, Conyers was named National Pitcher of the Week by the NAIA for his no-hit game against Central Baptist on April 26.
Panther bats came to play with nine hits registered by the team. Four players had two hits apiece - Jordan Leis, Matt Owen, Jordan Pella, and Trevor Ramos. First-Team All-Conference third baseman, Zach Garcia, was injured in the first inning. The Stockton, Calif., senior broke his ankle stealing 2nd and is out for the rest of the season.
Head Coach Nick Harlan went through the pitching lineup In the championship game against Central Baptist. As York's starter, Tyler Molder went three innings and gave up two runs on six hits and two errors. Julio Angulo came in as relief at the beginning of the fourth and threw two innings giving up one run on three hits. Adam Dubberke took the mound in the sixth and threw the inning with no hits or runs registered. Matt Blaemire came in at the top of the seventh and retired the lineup in order. Left handed pitcher Chris Costanza made his tournament debut in the top of the eighth and gave up no hits or runs. In the ninth, Reid VanWesten took his turn on the mound and retired the lineup in order to secure the 18-3 victory.
York's offense found a very nice rhythm in the fourth, scoring nine runs on five hits and two errors. They added three insurance runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to take a 15 run lead into the final two innings. The Panthers finished with 17 hits in the championship win. Brett Wise and Junior Carrizoza led the Panthers with 4 of 5 and 3 of 4 respectfully. Wise had the only triple of the game and Carrizoza had three of YC's nine doubles. Trevor Ramos and Tyler Helms contributed 2 doubles each in the game.
The Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference announced the 2013 All-MCAC Baseball Teams Friday in conjunction with the tournament. York College headlined the honors with ten players receiving honors including seven receiving First-Team votes. York is now 41-10 on the season. Congratulations Coach Harlan and Coach Walth and the entire Panther baseball program on an incredible season so far and good luck with your NAIA Opening Round!
As the MCAC Tournament Champions, York moved up to #9 in the final Coaches Poll that was released Sunday night. With that rank, the Panthers are a #1 seed in the National Championship Opening Round Joliet Bracket. Games will be played on Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Illinois May 9-13.
Opening Round champions will join host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at the 57th annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho, May 24 – 31.
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