Twinbill Preview: 'Cats and Horns
Big Monday Doubleheader in Tyler
Tourney berth on the line for SAGU
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Anxious as a bull at a gate, baseball teams at Southwestern Assemblies of God University and Texas College, both needing to win their three-game series, watched weekend rains nullify each contest.
Monday, April 23, is the deadline for teams to qualify for post-season play.
So SAGU and TC are relieved to announce they will make up two of rained-out contests in a matinee doubleheader in the City of Roses, Tyler.
The first game will begin with a noon first pitch. The second game will commence approximately 45 minutes after the first one ends. Texas College will recognize their seniors in a special ceremony between the games.
For Southwestern (15-25), winners of 4-of-6 entering the series, to earn a bid to the NCCAA* Central Regional, they must sweep the two games.
That tournament will be played in the Denver suburb of Lakewood next weekend, May 3-5. Colorado Christian University (NCAA Division II) will serve as the host to the venue.
If the Lions do not manage to take two, their season will end. A year ago these teams met in the season finale with the Horns winning the series two games to one.
TC (24-22-1), who has won five in a row, can move into third place in the Red River Athletic Conference by taking two.
SAGU Head Coach Jon Shockley said on Saturday night that he plans to start senior Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / LeTourneau Univ, Boswell HS) in the critical opening game. The 6’3 left-hander is 2-6 with a 5.87 earned run average.
Freshman southpaw Zach Worrell (Ft. Worth, Tx / Central Christian College, LD Bell HS), 2-1, is slated for his fourth start in the second game. He owns a 3.50 ERA and has superb control.
In what could amount to the biggest game of the season, the third game, Shockley has four possible starters, or a combination of the same.
With the teams agreeing to play a pair, instead of a tripleheader, Shockley can call on a pair of righties; sophomore John Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS) and Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) should either starter falter.
Savis is 1-6 with a 5.00 ERA and a team-leading 45 strike outs (9.0 per game). Davis is 3-5 and a 5.42 ERA. Hot of late, he has the team's best strike-outs to walks ratio at 42-18.
Others who could be used in long-relief include freshmen; LHP Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Tyler Junior College, Red Oak HS) is 0-3 with a 6.49 ERA and RHP Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) is 1-0 with an impressive 1.80 ERA.
(See their statistics below)
SAGU vs TxC: Analyse This
Comparing the teams reveals two well-matched ballclubs.
In pitching, Texas College ranks #5 in the 10-team RRAC with a 4.42 ERA, while SAGU has moved up to #6 at 5.38.
Opposing teams hit Steer pitching to the tune of a .274 batting average, while SAGU opponents hit .275, again ranking #5 and #6 in the Red River.
At bat, TC is #3 with a .301 team batting average. Southwestern, at .282, has risen from last (.255) to fifth over the past five weeks.
Both squads have struggled with producing hits with runners in scoring position.
TC scores 5.32 runs per game to SAGU’s 3.65, ranking at #8 and #9 respectively.
On the basepaths, catchers beware. The Steers lead the league in stolen bases with 133, and average of 2.83 thefts per game. The Lions are #3 at 93 swiped bags, or 2.33 per contest.
Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson once wrote, “By the time they had diminished from 50 to 8, the other dwarves began to suspect "Hungry.”
The season has come down to one day. The survivor may come down to the larger appetite.
*NCCAA - National Christian College Athletic Association
Key Doubleheader Pitchers for Monday
|Rockie Davis, Fr||RHP||3-5||5.42||13-7||58.1||42-18-7||.286|
|Robert Elles, Fr||LHP||0-3||6.49||7-4||26.1||21-17-2||.314|
|Nic Morgan, Sr||LHP||2-6||5.87||11-11||58.2||36-39-9||.283|
|John Savis, So||RHP||1-6||5.00||9-8||45.0||45-44-8||.256|
|Jacob Spivey, Fr||RHP||1-0||1.82||2-2||10.0||6-9-0||.179|
|Zach Worrell, Fr||LHP||2-1||3.50||4-3||18.0||17-6-1||.253|
|Key: R/L Right or Left-handed. W-L Wins-Losses in pithing decisions. ERA – Earned Run Average (runs allowed – free from errors – every nine innings). GP – Games Played as a pitcher. GS – Games as Starting Pitcher. IP – Innings Pitched. SO – Strike Outs. BB – Base on Balls (walks). OPBA – Opponent’s Batting Average against that pitcher.|
Top 8 Cats Bats
|Donavan Vess, Fr||119||14||45||29||.378||9-1-1||15|
|Mario Mendoza, Sr||118||27||40||19||.339||3-4-0||15|
|Dustin Jett, Sr||127||22||42||16||.331||5-2-0||21|
|Jared Denton, So||88||5||28||13||.318||3-0-0||6|
|Jacob Spivey, Fr||88||12||28||12||.318||2-0-0||3|
|Robert Elles, Fr||73||7||20||8||.274||2-0-1||3|
|Riley Hensel, Sr||82||9||22||6||.268||3-1-0||4|
|Ben Chavez, Sr||111||15||26||14||.234||3-0-1||7|
Key: AB – Times At Bat. R – Runs scored. H – Base Hits. RBI – Runs Batted In. 2B – Doubles. 3B – Triples. HR – Home Runs. SB – Stolen Bases.
MORE STATS: For detailed statistics on every player, visit www.naia.org and click on SPORTS, then BASEBALL, then STATISTICS, followed by CONFERENCES and the Red River Athletic Conference. Click on SAGU for team or individual stats.