Double-dip with Jackets rained out

Pilots coach speaks candidly about SAGU

WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The start of the regular season for Major League Baseball arrives this Easter weekend. College baseball teams, however, begin the stretch drive in their 2012 campaign.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University, whose rescheduled doubleheader at LeTourneau University set for this evening in Longview, has been rained out, are preparing to wind-up instead of wind-down in the final month.

Originally, the Lions (11-22 record) and Yellowjackets (11-17) had a twinbill postponed (February 15) due to fog after SAGU had taken a 5-2 lead in the first game. Conditions deteriorated rapidly while the Jax were at bat.

SAGU had planned to start left-handers Zach Worrell (Ft. Worth, Tx / Central Christian College, LD Bell HS) and Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / LeTourneau Univ, Boswell HS).

Southwestern has been able to develop a deeper bullpen over the past month, and can call upon a handful of hurlers to eat-up-innings from the hill.

RHP John Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS), RHP Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) and LHP Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) go along with Morgan and Worrell.

Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx / Grambling State Univ, Poly HS) has battled back from an elbow injury. The LHP may get to pitch in the closing weeks, though starting isn't likely. )) has battled back

Seeking Post-Season Life

While a berth in the Red River Athletic Conference tournament appears out of reach, post-season play remains possible.

The National Christian College Athletic Association’s national tournament begins with the Central Regional in the Denver area during May 3-5. Southwestern needs several wins in April to receive an invitation.

Should SAGU qualify, the decision will be announced by the Athletic Department. The NCCAA Nationals is played near Cincinnati during May 16-19.

SAGU meets Dallas Christian College on Tuesday, April 10, and has just three home tilts remaining – all with the University of the Southwest. The series will be played at the Waxahachie Sports Complex on Friday and Saturday, April 13-14.

A “Senior Day” ceremony, recognizing the contributions of nine senior players, will be held that Saturday.

The Lions hope to announce the rescheduling of three home games against Huston-Tillotson University (4-22 record). They were rained out on Feb. 17-18.

SAGU is 2-7 against the Rams, whose campus is located in downtown Austin, Texas. The winner of the series will probably finish in ninth place in the RRAC.

River Pilots navigating the Red River

Louisiana State University in Shreveport (30-3, 17-3 in RRAC) is in position to win the league title for the second year in a row, equaling their number of years as a member in the RRAC.

They have two major series awaiting; April when they tangle with Texas at Brownsville (25-17, 13-5 in RRAC) during April 13-14, and Texas Wesleyan University (28-12, 14-6 in league play) on April 20-21. Both series are at home.

The Pilots swept the fourth place team, Northwood University (19-12-1, 9-5-1 in RRAC), last month.

A year ago the 2011 Pilots advanced to the NAIA World Series / Final Four, played annually in Lewiston, Idaho, for the second time in the past decade.

In their first trip to the World Series in 2003, LSU-Shreveport finished third in the nation with a school record 52 wins.

The Pilots' head coach for 13 years, Rocke Musgraves (49) spoke about his team, now ranked #1 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (as of April 3) and about SAGU as well following their series against the Lions over the weekend.

Comparing this year’s edition of his River Pilots to the 47-15 club that was ranked #6 in the NAIA last season, Musgraves pointed out “…that pitching is definitely our strength,” a unit that has a 2.60 earned run average.

“Our position players are much more balanced,” he continued. “Plus, we are able to find different ways to score runs rather than sitting back and waiting on a (someone to hit a) 3-run homer.”

Musgraves' assessment of SAGU

As for the Lions, whom his team struggled to defeat until they pulled away in the late innings, he saw favorable improvement.

“The biggest difference that I saw in this year’s team (compared to last year’s team) was the talent,” Musgraves stated. “This team has more tools to work with. There were some hitters in their lineup that we really struggled getting out. We were throwing some good pitches up there and they were doing a good job of making solid contact.”

A graduate of Westmont College (Santa Barbara, Cal), he praised the Lions for their upgraded play in the series.

“I felt that this year’s SAGU team, in two of the games (in the three-game series), was one hit a way, two hits away or maybe even one play away from winning a game or making it a game. If they can find a way to start believing in themselves, I think that they are a lot closer than they were (before).”

When asked about specifics, Coach Musgraves cited SAGU’s strength up the middle.

“The (Dustin) Jett* kid was the one that stood out the most to me,” he said the senior centerfielder. “He got some great jumps on balls heading to the gap and was able to run them down. Anytime a ball was headed his way, I knew the chance of us getting on (base) was not good. He can cover some ground out there!”

“Their catcher (sophomore Jared Denton) is very solid,” he added, “and I thought the two middle guys (freshmen Jacob Spivey and Donovan Vess), with a little more intensity, can be very good. They have the tools.”

As for the enhanced pitching staff, which has seen SAGU cut their ERA almost in half in two years, the coach was quick to mention the play of Worrell, John Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS)  and seniors Morgan and Tim Kolczak* (San Antonio, Tx / F.E.A.S.T., Taft HS) .

“With a freshman like that (Worrell), that’s really big for their future. He’s really got a chance. The ball comes out of his hand really well. He’s what we call sneaky-fast.”

“I was also really impressed with Savis. (He’s just a) sophomore. With (his) size, if he can develop a little more velocity to go with that hard breaking ball, he is going to be able to do some damage too.”

“And Morgan can be very frustrating as a hitter to face because he keeps you off balance. I really think the future bodes well for SAGU with starters Worrell and Savis. Plus, they have a real solid closer (Kolczak) as well.”

With a current 473-240 (.663) career coaching mark in Shreveport, Musgraves knows a few things about winning at the collegiate level. He made some observations about Southwestern’s first year skipper, Jonathan Shockley.

“I had the opportunity to visit with Jon before the game; he seems like a good man with Christ in his heart and I was really impressed with that,” he quipped.

“Anytime you have that going for you, good things are more likely to happen. It will be interesting to see the (recruits) he brings in over the next few years.”

Chavo: "Bravo to the 2012 Lions!"

Senior outfielder Ben Chavez, one of the team’s tri-captains, shared his own views about the Lions.

In his second season after transferring the New Mexico Military Institute, Chavo declared "…this year we have a better team as a whole.”

“We have improved all the way around with the addition of new team members as well as guys who have been here for a while that are stepping up. I also feel like we have great leadership from the top down."

Tuning in to the SAGU Sports Network

Before the interview ended, Coach Musgraves made a point to praise Southwestern on a few fronts.

“I really have a high impression of SAGU,” he continued, “especially their journalism department. We were able to watch their basketball games on the internet (SAGUtv). It was an absolute pleasure!”

“Listening to their classy announcers (Clay Scarborough and Tim Roberts) was great! I really enjoyed that and feel it is a positive part to the Red River Athletic Conference.

They have a lot of great things going for them and dealing with SAGU is a pleasure in and of itself.”

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.

Special thanks to Mark Cantrell, LSU-Shreveport S.I.D., for his contributions to this article.

*Tri-Captains: Ben Chavez, Dustin Jett and Tim Kolczak.
 

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New recruit gets out of Dodge

Aug 06, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU signs third-baseman, Collin Gifford Lions lasso Dodge City, Kansas standout WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team is filling...

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Bayou State yields Second Baseman

Bayou State yields Second Baseman

Aug 04, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU signs Arcadia's Bruce Johnson Former All-Stater transfers to play for Lions WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University has acquired Bruce Johnson as...

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SAGU sinks talons in baseball recruit

SAGU sinks talons in baseball recruit

Aug 04, 2013 - Baseball News

Outfielder from Cortez, Colorado commits to Lions New Coach Sam Blackmon inks outfielder Tallon Ralstin WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Head Coach Sam Blackmon has added a new baseball rec...

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Baseball Lions secure Clay Gentle

Baseball Lions secure Clay Gentle

Aug 03, 2013 - Baseball News

Outfielder hopes to be a 'rock' for SAGU WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University has announced the signing of Clay Gentle, a three-time All-...

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Baseball Lions sign Brock Schneider

Baseball Lions sign Brock Schneider

Jul 29, 2013 - Baseball News

Outfielder was standout for Arlington Martin HS WAXAHACHIE, Texas  -- Sam Blackmon has hit the ground running since being introduced as the new Head Coach of baseball at Southwestern Assem...

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SAGU hands reigns to Baseball Lions

SAGU hands reigns to Baseball Lions

Jul 12, 2013 - Baseball News

Sam Blackmon signed as new Head Coach Jesse Godding, A.D., weighs in on baseball challenges  WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Athletic Department at Southwestern Assemblies of...

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Lions land pitcher, Ortiz III

Lions land pitcher, Ortiz III

Jul 08, 2013 - Baseball News

Left-hander hails from Lorena, Texas Assistant Coach Rickman 'Votes for Pedro' WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The third member of this year’s baseball recruiting class has a...

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SAGU lands All-State pitcher

SAGU lands All-State pitcher

Jun 10, 2013 - Baseball News

Westlake's Tucker Burt commits to Lions Faith, joining the Sooner Athletic Conference draws recruit WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University b...

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Josh Terry inks deal, links family bond to SAGU

Josh Terry inks deal, links family bond to SAGU

May 18, 2013 - Baseball News

Infielder follows brother Jared Terry to Lions Soft-talker from Lone Star, Tx carries big stick WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A small city with a mighty name. Lone Star, Texas...

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Baseball Recap: Young Lions emerging

Baseball Recap: Young Lions emerging

May 10, 2013 - Baseball News

Freshman-laden squad building new core Denton, Thomas, Pisors, Threadgill among top players WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The 2013 baseball season for the Southwestern Assemblies of G...

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Denton makes grade for character

Denton makes grade for character

May 01, 2013 - Baseball News

RRAC lists Champions of Character LSU-Shreveport rallies to win RRAC tourney WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Red River Athletic Conference office in Waco announced its post-season h...

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Lions strand 22 baserunners in twinbill

Lions strand 22 baserunners in twinbill

Apr 21, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU loses lead late in both games Denton, Thomas collect five hits apiece WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team wrapped up their 2...

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Saturday doubleheader on campus

Saturday doubleheader on campus

Apr 19, 2013 - Baseball News

Today's single game rained out Pisors, Turley to start vs Tillotson WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team will wrap-up the 2013 sea...

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Baseball Lions play final games at home

Baseball Lions play final games at home

Apr 17, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU meets Tillotson on Friday, Saturday Reduced squad falls to Dallas Christian on Tuesday WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team w...

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Lions show mettle in Forth Worth

Lions show mettle in Forth Worth

Apr 14, 2013 - Baseball News

Squad show no signs of winding down SAGU plays DH Tuesday in downtown Dallas FORTH WORTH, Texas  --  A recent slide by the baseball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God Unive...

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Lions face Wesleyan in Ft. Worth

Lions face Wesleyan in Ft. Worth

Apr 12, 2013 - Baseball News

Hard-working Fletcher earns first start SAGU's youth movement continues WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University has seven games remaining in a sea...

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Lions topped by LSU-Shreveport

Lions topped by LSU-Shreveport

Apr 07, 2013 - Baseball News

Freshmen shine: Mee drives in Cross for clutch run Frosh pitchers turn in gutsy effort; Umphenour, Turley, Chitty, Pisors WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of ...

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Lions corral Mustangs for 10-8 road win

Lions corral Mustangs for 10-8 road win

Mar 31, 2013 - Baseball News

Rodriguez late homer keys 16-hit attack Cox, Chitty earn 2nd win, first save on the mound HOBBS, New Mexico  --  Enrique Rodriguez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Nolan HS) doubled to st...

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Stray Cats cost Lions in Muskogee

Stray Cats cost Lions in Muskogee

Mar 24, 2013 - Baseball News

Rodriguez collects 3 hits in setback to Bacone SAGU prepares for big series in New Mexico WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Scattered like dandelion fluff in a brisk wind, so were baserun...

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Baseball Lions caged twice at Bacone

Baseball Lions caged twice at Bacone

Mar 23, 2013 - Baseball News

Chitty has solid effort on the hill SAGU plays single game Saturday at 1:00pm MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma  --  Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) and Justin Dossey (Aubrey, Tx / ...

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Baseball Lions blanked by Texas College

Baseball Lions blanked by Texas College

Mar 18, 2013 - Baseball News

Missed chances in 8-7 loss prove costly SAGU faces Bacone in OK next weekend WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A week after sweeping Wiley College, the Southwestern Assemblies of God Univ...

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Grand Slam leads to Lions loss

Grand Slam leads to Lions loss

Mar 13, 2013 - Baseball News

Loss to Mountaineers snaps 3-game winning streak SAGU hosts Texas College on Friday and Saturday WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A grand slam homer off the bat of Brad Holmes proved dec...

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Baseball Lions take two from Wiley

Baseball Lions take two from Wiley

Mar 10, 2013 - Baseball News

Dossey, Chitty earn wins in relief SAGU hosts four home games this week WAXAHACHIE, Texas  -- Driven by full sails gained from a bottom-of-the-ninth, come-from-behind win on Friday...

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SAGU baseball sweeps Wiley

SAGU baseball sweeps Wiley

Mar 10, 2013 - Baseball News

Team rallies twice in extra-innings Lions end skid of losing 14 straight RRAC series WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  For the first time in five years the Southwestern Assem...

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Baseball Lions upend Wiley, 4-3

Baseball Lions upend Wiley, 4-3

Mar 09, 2013 - Baseball News

Froelich delivers game-winner in ninth SAGU hosts Saturday twinbill at noon    WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  For the fifth time this season the Southwestern Assemb...

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Baseball, Softball Updates

Baseball, Softball Updates

Mar 04, 2013 - Baseball News

Lions welcome Wiley on Fri/Sat Lady Lions host Northwood on Thurs WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The baseball and softball teams from Southwestern Assemblies of God University will be ...

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Baseball Lions begin conference season

Baseball Lions begin conference season

Feb 22, 2013 - Baseball News

Three-game series vs. Jarvis this weekend Killebrew, Pisors will start the first two games WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The young baseball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God Un...

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Lions out-roar, outlast Coyotes

Lions out-roar, outlast Coyotes

Feb 14, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU earns split of 4-game series Baseball team wins twice with late rallies WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team battled a perenn...

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Lions split DH with Kansas Wesleyan

Lions split DH with Kansas Wesleyan

Feb 14, 2013 - Baseball News

Team travels to Ozark Mountains today Four-games vs. Ecclesia College on Fri/Sat WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The new look, new attitude Southwestern Assemblies of God University men...

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Baseball, Softball at home today

Baseball, Softball at home today

Feb 08, 2013 - Baseball News

Lady Lions play on campus, Lions at WSC WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The start of the 2013 softball season commences today for Southwestern Assemblies of God University with a doublehead...

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Lions enjoy sweet sweep of victory

Lions enjoy sweet sweep of victory

Feb 06, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU takes pair from Crusaders Play of Pitchers and Denton is plenty WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Like a busy tailor, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team has ...

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