yote notes - edition 16
COMING UP: at NAIA Baseball Championships Opening Round, Azusa, Calif. – vs. Shorter (Ga.), Thursday, 3:30 p.m. (PT)
LAST WEEK: at Verizon Wireless NAIA West Championships – vs. Concordia (W 7-5), vs. Menlo (W 9-2, L 1-0, L 5-4)
OPENING ROUND MULTIMEDIA: There will be no Live Video or Audio from the Azusa Opening Round site, however, Live Stats from all nine Opening Round sites will be available online via the NAIA’s partnership with DakStats at http://www.dakstats.com/websync/Pages/Tournament/TournamentPage.aspx?association=10&sg=MBA&tour=829.
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: The five-team, double-elimination tournament will determine a berth to the AVISTA-NAIA World Series in Lewiston. Thursday: Game 1 – No. 4 Arizona Christian vs. No. 5 Menlo, Noon (PT); Game 2 – No. 2 Shorter vs. No. 3 College of Idaho, 3:30 p.m. (PT); Game 3 – Winner 1 vs. No. 1 Azusa Pacific, 7 p.m. (PT). Friday: Game 4 – Loser 1 vs. Loser 2 (loser out), Noon (PT); Game 5 – Winner 2 vs. Winner 3, 3:30 p.m. (PT); Game 6 – Loser 3 vs. Winner 4 (loser out), 7 p.m. (PT); Saturday – Game 7 – Loser 5 vs. Winner 6 (loser out); 1 p.m. (PT); Game 8 - Winner 5 vs. Winner 7, 5 p.m. (PT); Monday – Game 9: Winner 8 vs. Loser 8 (if necessary), 1 p.m. (PT)
YOTES EARN AT-LARGE BID: For the second time in three seasons, The C of I earned a berth to the NAIA National Championships, one of 45 teams playing in nine Opening Round sites, trying to earn a spot in the 10-team NAIA World Series, set for Memorial Day weekend in Lewiston. A total of 29 teams received automatic berths through their conference or unaffiliated tournaments, four teams earned spots as host schools for Opening Round sites, and 12 teams received at-large bids.
TEAMS IN THE FIELD: Automatic Qualifiers – Arizona Christian (AII #1), Asbury (Ky.) (Unaffiliated #1), Avila (Mo.) (Heart of America #1), Bacone (Okla.) (Red River #2), Concordia (Calif.) (Golden State #1), Dakota State (S.D.) (AII #2), Doane (Neb.) (Great Plains #1), Embry Riddle (Fla.) (Sun #1), Faulkner (Ala.) (Southern States #2), Georgetown (Ky.) (Mid-South #1), Grand View (Midwest Collegiate #1), Judson (Chicagoland #1), Lee (Southern States #1), LSU-Shreveport (Red River #1), Lubbock Christian (Texas) (Sooner #2), Menlo (Calif.) (Unaffiliated #2), Missouri Baptist (American Midwest #1), Mount Marty (Iowa) (Great Plains #2), Mount Vernon Nazarene (Mid-Central #2), Oklahoma Baptist (Sooner #1), Peru State (Neb.) (Heart of America #2), Siena Heights (Mich.) (Wolverine-Hoosier #1), St. Francis (Ill.) (Chicagoland #2), St. Thomas (Fla.) (Sun #2), Sterling (Kan.) (Kansas Collegiate #1), Taylor (Ind.) (Mid-Central #1), Tennessee Wesleyan (Appalachian #1), Union (Tenn.) (Trans-South #1), York (Neb.) (Midlands Collegiate #1). Host Berths – Oklahoma City, Tabor (Kan.), South Carolina-Beaufort, Azusa Pacific. At-Large Berths – Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), Bellevue (Neb.), Biola (Calif.), Campbellsville (Ky.), College of Idaho, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.), Indiana Tech, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), Point Park (Pa.), Rogers State (Okla.), Shorter (Ga.), Southern Poly (Ga.).
TOP SEEDS NOT ALL HOSTS: Five of the nine hosts for Opening Round tournaments are No. 1 seeds – as Lee, Oklahoma City, Azusa Pacific, Tennessee Wesleyan, and Embry-Riddle are at the top of their respective brackets. LSU-Shreveport is the No. 1 seed in the Paducah Bracket (host Lindsey Wilson is a No. 2 seed), Faulkner is the No. 1 seed in the Hardeeville Bracket (host USC-Beaufort is a No. 3 seed), Oklahoma Baptist is the No. 1 seed in the Hutchinson Bracket (host Tabor is a No. 4 seed), and Concordia is the No. 1 seed in the Marion Bracket (with host St. Francis a No. 3 seed). Only five teams needed to take flights to their Opening Round sites – the Coyotes and Shorter to Azusa, Calif., Biola and Siena Hieghts to Daytona Beach, Fla., and Concordia to Marion, Ind..
SECOND TIME TO THE OPENING ROUND: It marks the second time that the Yotes have played in the Opening Round of the NAIA Tournament – since the new qualification format was adopted by the NAIA in 2010. In 2010, The C of I traveled to Riverside, Calif., for a site hosted by Cal Baptist. The Coyotes lost a first-round decision to Madonna (Mich.), 8-5, won an elimination game against Huntington (Ind.), 4-2, before losing an extra-inning slugfest with Vanguard (Calif.), 12-11.
PLAYOFF STREAK EXTENDED TO 26 YEARS: For the 26th-straight season and the 30th time overall, the Coyotes have clinched a spot in the postseason. - compiling an all-time playoff mark of 85-60. Prior to the reinstatement of the program in 1987, the Yotes qualified for the postseason in 1940, 1948, 1949, and 1966 – winning the Northwest Conference title in both 1948 and 1949. Over the last 25 years, the Coyotes have advanced out of the conference/region tournaments in 1994, 1996-00, 2002, and 2010, making four trips to the NAIA World Series – including the 1998 national championship season. The 1999 team placed second at the World Series, while the 2002 team finished third.
12TH 35-WIN SEASON IN 22 YEARS: With their Game 1 victory on April 22, the Yotes recorded their 35th win of the season, the 12th time in the last 22 years that The C of I has recorded 35-or-more wins in a season. The Coyotes have won at least 25 games each season since 1987, recorded 30-wins 19 times, while they have recorded 40-or-more wins eight times, and have won 50-or-more games twice.
FINAL NATIONAL POLL: With their runner-up finish at the NAIA West Grouping Qualifying Tournament, the Coyotes dropped one spot in the final regular-season NAIA Top-25 Poll, falling to the No. 3 team in the “others receiving votes” category. The C of I received 51 voter points, 42 points fewer than last week – but completed the season earning votes in every poll during 2012. LSU-Shreveport opens the postseason ranked No. 1, followed by Lee, Oklahoma City, Azusa Pacific, and Faulkner. Lewis-Clark State is ranked No. 10, Shorter is ranked No. 18, while Arizona Christian received votes.
ABOUT SHORTER: The Coyotes open up the tournament against Shorter University of Rome, Ga. The Hawks (37-17) are an at-large selection out of the highly-competitive Southern States Athletic Conference – making their first and only trip to the tournament, as the school will join the NCAA Division II next season. The squad is a very good offensive club (.315 team batting average), led by Willie Lewis (.517 3 HR 44 RBI), Blake McCullers (.355 5 HR 48 RBI), and Mike Miranda (.333 9 HR 43 RBI), while on the mound, power pitcher Ryan Newell (9-4 3.53 ERA, 110 K) and Stuart Charleston (8-2 2.62 ERA) lead the way. It is the first-ever meeting between the teams, while just the second meeting against a team from Georgia (defeated Brewton-Parker at the 2000 NAIA World Series in Lewiston).
ABOUT AZUSA PACIFIC: Top-seeded Azusa Pacific has had a stellar season at home in 2012, posting a 26-2 record at the APU Baseball Complex – but have played just two games against a team from outside California. The Cougars (44-10) were ranked No. 4 in the final regular-season NAIA poll and were the Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season champions. APU has a quality pitching staff – anchored by Michael Finnigan (6-1 3.23 ERA) and Jacob Cage (8-1 4.35 ERA), along with a dominant closer in Alan Garcia (0-1 3.65 ERA, 15 saves). Offensively, the Cougars average nearly eight runs per game and have hit 72 home runs, thanks to slugging first-baseman Jordan Leyland (.428 22 HR 69 RBI), along with outfielder Matt Kimmel (.449 7 HR 57 RBI), designated hitter J.C. Aguayo (.348 9 HR 43 RBI) and outfielder Johnathan Erb (.329 8 HR 50 RBI). The two teams have met nine previous times – the last in 2002, with the Coyotes having a 7-2 all-time series edge.
ABOUT ARIZONA CHRISTIAN: Making their first-ever postseason appearance, Arizona Christian was the champion of the Association of Independent Institutions. The Firestorm (33-21) have a 4-5 record against teams in the field – including a split against Azusa Pacific. ACU has a quality pitching staff (4.10 team ERA) – led by Josh Dreier (7-3 2.98 ERA) and Alika Pruett (6-4 3.12 ERA). Offensively, the Firestorm are led by first-baseman Tyler Osborne (.331 3 HR 34 RBI), outfielder Alex Glenn (.329 7 HR 34 RBI), and third-baseman Travis Molina (.285 8 HR 33 RBI). The Coyotes have never faced ACU.
ABOUT MENLO: Making their first-ever NAIA Tournament appearance, Menlo won the NAIA West Tournament with a pair of one-run victories over the Coyotes. The Oaks (29-25) used quality pitching throughout the tournament, as Joey Webb (7-1 2.33 ERA) picked up two wins in the series, with James Jensen (4-1 2.69 ERA) handcuffing the Yotes with a win and a save. Outfielder Collin Forgey (.309 7 HR 45 RBI) is the top offensive threat, with third-baseman Michael Brandi (.293 4 HR 42 RBI) and first-baseman Will Pierce (.283 3 HR 40 RBI packing some punch. The Yotes are 4-3 this season against Menlo and hold a 6-3 all-time series lead.
GARSEZ NAMED PLAYER OF THE YEAR: For the second-straight year, C of I outfielder Izaac Garsez (Caldwell, Idaho / Caldwell HS) was named the NAIA West Grouping Player of the Year, announced Saturday at the Verizon Wireless NAIA West Tournament in Portland, Ore. The senior, led the loop with a .407 batting average, 88 hits, 74 runs scored, while leading the NAIA with 12 triples. Garsez, who was named NAIA West Player of the Week three times this season, also had eight home runs, 52 RBI, recorded 19 doubles, and had 29 stolen bases. He becomes the first two-time NAIA West Player of the Year in the 13-year history of the league. Three other Coyotes were honored on the 18-player team – catcher Jarel Lewis (Boise, Idaho / Capital HS), shortstop Tanner Hodges (Sisters, Ore. / Mount Hood CC), and pitcher Taylor Nicholson (Emmett, Idaho / Columbia Basin CC). Lewis hit .380 with five homers and 52 RBI, leading the league with 22 doubles, earning the honor for the second time. Hodges hit .363 with 15 doubles, four triples, and a NAIA West-leading 63 RBI. Nicholson posted a 7-2 record with a 2.42 ERA in 81 innings, leading the team with 57 strikeouts. Lewis-Clark State claimed the other two awards – as Michael Noteware was named Pitcher of the Year and Gary Picone was named Coach of the Year. Two other Coyotes were named to the Gold Glove Team – as third-baseman Jeffrey Harris (Caldwell, Idaho / Wenatchee Valley CC) and pitcher Chad Yeggy (Boise, Idaho / Centennial HS) were honored by the coaches. Harris had just 11 errors in 198 chances at the hot corner, while Yeggy was flawless on 26 chances on the mound.
YOTES PLACE SECOND AGAIN: For the second-straight season and the fifth time in the last 10 years, the Coyotes finished as the runner-up at the NAIA West Grouping Championships – losing the title game in extra innings to Menlo. The C of I became just the third team to lose the title after winning their first two games – as British Columbia lost the title in 2002 (to the Coyotes) and Cal-State San Marcos lost the title (to UBC) in 2009. As a team, the Yotes hit .270 in the four-game tournament – as Tanner Hodges went 6-for-15 with a pair of doubles, and Izaac Garsez went 7-for-18 with two long home runs and four RBI. However, the squad hit just .244 with runners in scoring position during the tournament.
PITCHING SOLID IN PORTLAND: A big bright spot for the Yotes was their arms, as the contingent of pitchers combined for a stellar 2.88 team ERA in the tournament. Taylor Nicholson had his best outing of the year, albeit in a losing effort – allowing just five hits and striking out 11 in a 1-0 loss on Friday. Todd Griffiths (Meridian, Idaho / Lower Columbia CC) continued to pitch well, tossing 10 innings of one-run ball, picking up a win and a save, while Michael Garza (Othello, Wash. / Columbia Basin CC) logged four-plus innings of one run, four hit relief – as the Coyote bullpen threw just five-plus innings for the weekend.
RECORD BOOK: Six Coyotes have cracked the single-season record book, as Izaac Garsez has set a new record for triples (12), ranking No. 4 in runs scored (74), No. 6 in hits (88), and No. 8 in stolen bases (29). Michael Garza is No. 2 in appearances (27), Todd Griffiths is No. 4 in saves (56), Jarel Lewis is No. 4 in doubles (22), Chad Yeggy is No. 7 in starts (14), and Tanner Hodges is No. 9 in RBI (63) . Garsez ranks among the Top-10 all-time in eight categories – No. 1 in triples (30), No. 4 in stolen bases (69), doubles (44), and in runs scored (180), No. 5 in home runs (27), and RBI (150), No. 6 in hits (225), and No. 8 in at bats (642). Yeggy is No. 3 all-time in saves (10), No. 4 in appearances (74), No. 5 in innings pitched (226.1), and No. 8 in strikeouts (137) in wins (18), with Lewis No. 9 in hit-by-pitches (32) and No. 10 in doubles (39), while Griffiths is No. 6 in saves (8).
GAME RECAP: C OF I 7, CONCORDIA 5: Todd Griffiths singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, then worked out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the ninth to pick up his sixth save, as The C of I won a 7-5 decision over host Concordia University in Game 3 of the Verizon Wireless-NAIA West Tournament, Wednesday in Portland, Ore. Deadlocked at 4-4 in the seventh, Jesse Dodd (Eagle, Idaho / Loyola Marymount U.) was hit by a pitch and Zach Fabricius (Fruitland, Idaho / Treasure Valley CC) walked. Griffiths followed with a base hit through the middle, scoring pinch runner Jake Vincent (Caldwell, Idaho / Blue Mountain CC) with the go-ahead run. Dodd added a sacrifice fly in the eight, with Izaac Garsez blasted a mammoth home run in the ninth to give The C of I a 7-4 lead. The Cavaliers made it interesting in the ninth, as C.J. Watson and Blake Drake singled to chase starter, Chad Yeggy. Griffiths was summoned from the pen and gave up a single to Sheldon Austria to load the bases. However, Jordan Keeker grounded into a double play (scoring a run), and Mike Cero lined out to short to end the game. CU took a 1-0 lead in the first, tallying an unearned run on a Sean Myrom run-scoring single. The Yotes battled back, stringing together four two-out hits in the second - including an RBI single from Fabricius, an RBI double from Griffiths, and an RBI single from Brett Ward (Nampa, Idaho / Nampa HS) to make it 3-1. The Cavs tied the game in the bottom half on a Drake RBI double and an Austria RBI single. The C of I regained the lead in the third on a Jeffrey Harris RBI groundout, but CU evened the score in the sixth on a Drake fielders' choice. Yeggy got the win for the Yotes, going eight-plus innings, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs - notching his team-leading eighth win. Garsez went 3-for-6 with two runs scored, with Dodd, Griffiths, Jarel Lewis, and Tanner Hodges all recording two hits. The C of I had 15 hits in the win, but stranded 14 runners. Concordia starter Jason Snodgrass allowed five runs on 13 hits in seven innings of work, with Austria, Keeker, and Mike Dickman recording two hits.
GAME RECAP: C OF I 9, MENLO 2: Izaac Garsez went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and Todd Griffiths tossed a complete game, as The C of I moved into the title game of the Verizon Wireless NAIA West Tournament, defeating Menlo College, 9-2, Thursday in Portland, Ore. A Jarel Lewis RBI double in the first inning got the Yotes on the board, with Tanner Hodges adding a two-run single in the third to push the lead to 3-0. The Oaks scored an unearned run in the bottom of the third, but a base-running blunder got the Coyotes out of trouble. In the fifth, back-to-back RBI doubles from Hodges and Jeffrey Harris extended the Yotes lead to 5-1, with The C of I blowing the game open in the sixth, as Griffiths singled in a run, and Garsez clubbed a long two-run homer - his third-straight game with a long ball. Griffiths allowed 11 hits, but only one earned run in picking up his third win of the year - striking out six. Lewis, Hodges, Harris, and Griffiths all had two hits in the 13-hit C of I attack. Taylor Cohn and Coleman Cox each had two hits for Menlo, as starter Derek Martinez struck out seven in six-plus innings of work, but allowed 11 hits, walked three, and had three wild pitches.
GAME RECAP: MENLO 1, C OF I 0: James Jensen tossed a five-hit shutout, as Menlo College forced a winner-take-all title game at the 2012 Verizon Wireless NAIA West Tournament, stopping The C of I, 1-0, Friday in Portland, Ore. Jensen allowed just four runners in scoring position all evening - with the Yotes getting just one runner to third base. It was the second time the righty had defeated C of I this season, having topped the Yotes, 6-4, on April 24. Taylor Nicholson was equally impressive for the Yotes, striking out a season-high 11. However, the Oaks manufactured a run in the eighth - as Ty Finley singled, with Mickey Phelps popping up a sacrifice attempt - that a diving Jeffrey Harris at third could not corral, putting runners at first and second. After a sacrifice, Collin Forgey hit a fly ball deep enough to score pinch runner Taylor Cohn with the lone run of the game. The Yotes put runners at the corners with two outs in the eighth, but Harris grounded out - while having the tying run aboard in the ninth, but Cameron Packham (Kuna, Idaho / Kuna HS) grounded out to end the game. Tanner Hodges and Zach Fabricius each had two hits for the Yotes.
GAME RECAP: MENLO 5, C OF I 4 (10 ): A Michael Brandi RBI single in the top of the tenth inning plated the winning run, as Menlo College defeated The C of I, 5-4, to win the 2012 NAIA West Grouping Championship in Portland, Ore. Tied 4-4 in the tenth, Collin Forgey led off the frame with a triple to right center, with Brandi lining a 3-2 pitch into left for the game-wnning hit. The Yotes got a two-out single by Jeffrey Harris in the bottom of the inning, with Jesse Dodd reaching on an error - however, Harris was thrown out trying to score on the plate to end the game. No C of I player had more than one hit, while Jake Vincent scored a pair of runs.
ABOUT THE COACH: The 2012 season marks the 25th year in The C of I baseball program for head coach Shawn Humberger, his 12th year as Coyote skipper. Last season, he led the squad to a 33-21 mark and advanced to the title game of the NAIA West Qualifying Tournament. During his tenure, Humberger has compiled a 403-258-1 record, including a third-place finish at the 2002 NAIA World Series and a trip to the 2010 NAIA National Tournament. He has been named CCC Coach of the Year on six different occasions (2002, 2005, 2006. 2007, 2008, and 2009), along with earning NAIA Region I Coach-of-the-Year and CCC Men's Coach-of-the-Year for all sports in 2002. A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, Humberger graduated from Twin Falls High, played for the College of Southern Idaho for two seasons, and played at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas for one year. In 1984, Humberger was part of the CSI national championship junior-college team. In addition, he was named to the 1985 Junior College All-America team. Humberger, a 1989 C of I graduate, also served as the facilities coordinator for the J.A. Albertson Activities Center for ten years, is a physical education instructor at the College, and coached Nampa's American Legion baseball program for eight seasons.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information on The C of I baseball program, head to the official homepage of the Coyotes, http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/baseball.