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1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell


NAIA_WorldSeriesSANTA CLARITA, Calif. — With the 2015 NAIA Opening Round Baseball Tournament running May 12-15 on the campus of The Master’s College, here’s a quick glimpse of each team competing for a ticket to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho…

The Master’s College:

  • 2015 Record: 42-12 (33-9)
  • NAIA Opening Round Santa Clarita Bracket Tournament Seed: #1
  • National Ranking: #9
  • First Game: Winner of Game 1 – 3:00 PM, Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Master’s College hosts the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round for the third year in a row after winning the Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season championship and being ranked in the NAIA Top 25 (as high as No. 5) throughout the entire 2015 campaign.

Piloted by 19th-year head coach and GSAC Coach of the Year Monte Brooks, the Mustangs went 33-9 in conference play, setting a GSAC regular-season record for wins on the way to a 42-12 record.  The program’s winningest coach (570 wins) leads the Mustangs into the Opening Round, hoping to repeat the success of two years ago when they steamrolled through the tourney en route to the NAIA World Series.

Fueling the Mustangs’ efforts are five All-GSAC performers, senior outfielder/pitcher Steve Karkenny, junior first baseman Collin Nyenhuis, junior third baseman Nick Covello, and sophomore starting pitchers Jason Karkenny and Conner Menez.

Despite missing seven games due to a late-season appendectomy, Karkenny, a three-time All-GSAC selection, paced the club in seven offensive categories, including batting average (.368), runs (57), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.704), on-base percentage (.502), OPS (1.206) and stolen bases (30). The righthander also distinguished himself on the mound, notching a staff-high eight saves to go along with a miniscule 0.59 earned-run average.

Producing similar numbers was Nyenhuis, who rebounded from a sub-par sophomore season to post terrific junior numbers. The first baseman, who hit .365 with a 1.035 OPS, came on late to lead the GSAC in rbi (57), doubles (20), total bases (121), and sacrifice flies (7), and was second with 72 hits. He also flashed the leather in the field, committing only two errors in 548 chances for a sparkling .996 fielding average.

Across the diamond at the hot corner, Covello was a consistent performer all season long, hitting .347 to go along with a 1.038 OPS while leading the club with 30 walks and finishing tied for third in the GSAC with 10 home runs and sixth with 49 rbi.

It’s no surprise that the Mustang pitching staff was one of the best in the GSAC with Jason Karkenny and Menez hurling one quality outing after another. Karkenny made a seamless transition from the bullpen to a starter role, leading the conference with 11 wins (11-4). He was second in innings pitched (106.1) and pickoffs (6), third in opponent batting average (.222), and fourth in earned-run average (2.37).

Meanwhile, Menez developed into the conference’s best No. 3 starter, going undefeated with a stingy 1.50 ERA, the second-lowest mark in the GSAC. He paced the conference in fewest runs allowed (15), and fewest earned runs allowed (12).

 

University of Northwestern Ohio:

  • 2015 Record: 42-13 (28-5)
  • NAIA Opening Round Santa Clarita Bracket Tournament Seed: #2
  • National Ranking: #17
  • First Game: University of British Columbia – 12:00 PM, Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The 2015 season was one that brought excitement as the University of Northwestern Ohio Racers began preparation in the fall for their fifth season of competition. The Racers unveiled a new turf infield in the fall season, and as the spring campaign got underway, UNOH headed south, winning nine of their first 14 games away from home.

Upon returning home, the Racers posted a 14-2 homestand, picking up wins in their first 11 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference contests.

UNOH eventually posted a 41-10 regular campaign, including a 28-5 mark in the WHAC, taking their first ever WHAC title in the process.

Head coach Kory Hartman was named the WHAC’s Coach of the Year, and Ryan Burns earned WHAC Pitcher of the Year honors.

Seven Racers were named to the First Team All-WHAC squad, with three more on the Honorable Mention squad.

In addition, several Racers have set new UNOH records during the season, with Jose Cruz (single season HR – 7), Brandon Collins (Single Season RBIs – 62), and John Schreiber (Single Season Saves – 13).

 

University of British Columbia:

  • 2015 Record: 38-17 (18-10)
  • NAIA Opening Round Santa Clarita Bracket Tournament Seed: #3
  • National Ranking: Receiving Votes
  • First Game: University of Northwestern Ohio – 12 PM, Tuesday, May 12, 2015

For the second straight season, the UBC Thunderbirds are in Santa Clarita for the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round.

The team won the NAIA West Grouping Championship in Portland, Ore., to earn a place in the Opening Round.

It was UBC’s second straight NAIA West title, and its fifth in seven years.

The team currently has a 38-17 record under the guidance of Terry McKaig, who is in his 18th and final season as head coach.

Pitcher Alex Webb was named the NAIA West Pitcher of the Year and was joined by four other T-Birds on the All-NAIA West Group Team.

Two UBC players earned Gold Glove honors.

 

Vanguard University:

  • 2015 Record: 34-20 (27-15)
  • NAIA Opening Round Santa Clarita Bracket Tournament Seed: #4
  • National Ranking: Receiving Votes
  • First Game: Cal State University San Marcos – 9 AM, Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Lions tied a program high 34 wins which has happened twice since 2005.   Vanguard finished the regular season in fourth place in the GSAC.

Highlights from the year included Jose Rojas belting 10 homeruns en route to an All GSAC Selection as a short stop and an All GSAC Golden Glove Selection.

Pitcher Sean Isaac earned an All GSAC nod to combine with his Pitcher of the Week Award after striking out a school record 16 batters in eight innings on the hill.

Outfielder Brandon Sandoval was the final member of the Blue and Gold to be rewarded with an All-Conference Award.

Vanguard reaches the NAIA Opening Round for the second straight season.

 

Cal State University San Marcos:

  • 2015 Record: 36-15 (7-0)
  • NAIA Opening Round Santa Clarita Bracket Tournament Seed: #5
  • National Ranking: Receiving Votes
  • First Game: Vanguard University – 9 AM, Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The 2015 Cal State San Marcos baseball team is making its third and final fappearance in the NAIA Opening Round after winning the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Conference Championship last week, defeating top-rank and host Georgia Gwinnett twice.

It is CSUSM’s third A.I.I. title in five years.

The Cougars have put together a 36-15 record under  head Dennis Pugh, the only baseball coach at CSUSM since its inception in 2007.

Starting pitcher Emilio Esquibel was named A.I.I. Pitcher of the Year, Stefan Miladinovich A.I.I. Newcomer of the Year, and Tyler Place A.I.I. Freshman of the Year, who all were joined by Denny Vigo, Ray Patchen, Brandon Bentson and Dylan Costello on the All-Conference Team.

For more information on the 2015 2015 NAIA Opening Round Tournament – Santa Clarita Bracket, click here

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