Rain hampers baseball series
SAGU-Texas College adjust 3-game set
Plus: Mound rotation, Top 5 hitters, Iron Man
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Today’s baseball game between Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Texas College, scheduled for Tyler, Texas, has been postponed due to threatening weather.
The season-ending three-game set, which has a noon doubleheader slated for Saturday, April 21, could become a tripleheader or rescheduled for early next week.
AccuWeather is calling for an 80% chance of heavy thunderstorms for the Tyler area beginning this morning and lasting through mid-afternoon. Temperatures will reach a high of only 66 degrees. The forecast is sunny, clear and warming, Saturday-Tuesday.
School officials have tentatively rescheduled a tripleheader for Saturday at noon. However, the lasting effects on Texas College Field’s tarpless turf could move the games to Monday or Tuesday.
The games are critical to both SAGU and Texas College.
The Steers, winners of five straight games, are 24-22-1 overall and 13-9-1 in the Red River Athletic Conference. Currently in fourth place, the results of the games could vault them as high as second or drop them out of the RRAC tournament, where only the top six qualify.
Southwestern, 15-25, needs to win twice in order to have a chance for a bid to the Denver Regional in the National Christian College Athletic Association, May 3-5.
Up in Arms
Head Coach Jonathan Shockley has not announced the pitching rotation yet. Two years ago the team's collective earned run average entering March was at 12.00 before finishing the season at 10.00. In 2011 the ERA was reduced to 7.38. This season the staff has neared 5.50.
The upgrade in the arms race has seen the Lions move from last place to ninth (2011) to sixth place this season.
A year ago Lions pitchers held opposing teams to single digits in runs (less than 10) 18 times in 40 games. The 2012 campaign has seen them limit opponents to single figures 30 times in 40 games.
Left-handers Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / LeTourneau Univ, Boswell HS) and Zach Worrell (Ft. Worth, Tx / Central Christian College, LD Bell HS) are likely to get the nod for the first two games.
RHP John Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS) or LHP Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Tyler JuCo, Red Oak HS), or both, may be going in the finale.
Red hot Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) could become a factor if the series delays past the weekend.
Top 5 Cats with Bats
The team’s list of leading hitters entering the series is topped by freshman shortstop Donovan Vess (Ft. Worth, Tx / Eastfield College, Lake Worth HS).
His .375 average has been steady throughout the year, and his 28 runs batted in are the best stats on the club. He totes a .491 slugging percentage, which reflects his 10 extra-base hits.
Leftfielder Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx / Grambling State Univ, Polytechnic HS) has more than made up for an elbow injury that has prevented him from pitching after a no-hitter and one-hitter. The senior is hitting .333 with 16 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
Dustin Jett (Patterson, La / Patterson HS) is concluding a record-setting career. The senior centerfielder has really picked up the pace as he nears the school’s all-time hits record. Jett is batting .325, is tied with Mendoza with 16 ribbies, is second in extra-base hits, has stolen 21 bases and a team-high 20 walks.
Another pair of Lions also hit over .300, giving Coach Shockley five.
Sophomore catcher Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) and freshman second baseman Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) have almost identical numbers while toting .310 and .306 averages, respectively. Both have 12 RBI.
Stout senior catcher Dominic Denney (Medford, Ore / North Eugene HS, La Cueva HS) is one of nine whose playing careers will soon end on the college level. While batting .154, his on-base percentage, .421, is third best.
He recently earned an internship with the Grand Prairie AirHogs minor league baseball team. The interview caused him to miss his only practice in five years (including a redshirt season) at SAGU, which could be an unofficial Iron Man record of its own.
Denney set the school record for walks (30+) in a season in 2011.
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