CBB: Westmont headed to Georgia for NAIA Tournament

Westmont Baseball (39-15) will make a return trip to Lawrenceville, Georgia to participate in the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round Tournament. The 15th-ranked Warriors will enter the five-team double-elimination tournament as the number two seed. Georgia Gwinnett (47-12), the tournament host, is the number one seed. The Grizzlies are the fourth-ranked team in the NAIA.

Westmont’s first game will be against third-seeded and 20th-ranked St. Thomas of Florida (41-15) on Tuesday, May 12. The Warriors’ game will be preceded by a match-up between fourth-seeded St. Catharine of Kentucky (37-15) and fifth-seeded Spring Arbor of Michigan (30-16).

The Bobcats of St. Thomas tied #16 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) for second place in the Sun Conference, but fell to the Eagles 2-1 in the conference tournament championship game. St. Thomas posted a record of 8-7 against teams in the National Championship field and a record of 4-6 against teams ranked in the top 25.

The Bobcats have posted a team ERA of 4.40 this season. Marcos Barrios leads the team in pitching with a 7-2 record. He has started 12 games for St. Thomas and has an ERA of 4.04.

At the plate, the Bobcats boast a .334 team batting average. Eric Santamaria leads the team in hitting with a batting average of .371. Fourteen players have a batting average over .300. St. Thomas has outscored their opponents 493 to 280.

The Grizzlies bring a team batting average of .340 to the Opening Round Tournament led by Ty Abbott who has tallied 95 hits in 228 at bats for a .417 average. Georgia Gwinnett brings to the tournament 12 batters with averages over .300. The Grizzlies have outscored their opponents 512-281.

On the mound, Georgia Gwinnett has recorded a team ERA of 4.42. Among their starters, Ryan Minteer has both the best ERA at 3.13 and the best record at 8-2.

The Grizzlies are an unaffiliated institution and hosted the Association of Independent Institutions Tournament. Georgia Gwinnett fell 11-5 to Cal State San Marcos in the championship game. The Grizzlies have played 10 games against teams in the championship field and have produced a record of 4-6. Against teams in the top 25, Georgia Gwinnett has gone 1-2.

St. Catharine was the runner up in the Mid-South Conference regular season. The Patriots lost 4-3 to Lindsey Wilson in the tournament championship game last Saturday. On the season, St. Catherine played eight games against teams in the national championship, winning half. Against top-25 teams, the Patriots were 2-1.

The Patriots have outscored their opponents 304 to 195 over the course of the season and have posted a team batting average of .392. Francisco Gonzalez leads the team offensively with a .392 batting average.

On the mound, St. Catharine has posted a team ERA of 3.19. John Werner has an ERA of just 1.38 and a record of 9-2 in 91 innings of work.

Spring Arbor reached the NAIA Championship by winning the Crossroads League Tournament. The Cougars defeated Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) in the championship game by a score of 11-1. Spring Arbor finished third in the regular season standings.

The Cougars produced a 5-6 record against NAIA Championship Tournament teams. The only top-25 team faced was Mount Vernon Nazarene against whom they were 1-3.

Spring Arbor has outscored its opponents 208 to 145. They have a team batting average of .267, led by Chris Wegrzyn who has 47 hits and a .315 average.

Sam Memmelaar leads the Cougar pitching staff with an ERA of 0.78 and a record of 5-2 in 46 innings of work.

The Opening Round Tournament is scheduled to run through Friday, May 15. The winner will advance to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho which begins on May 22.