Baseball alumni: Smith wins NAIA title; Boyle and Weiks open NCAAs; Calhoun’s squad in NJCAA title
Black Hills alum Ryan Smith and his Faulkner University Eagles won the NAIA championship on Thursday night with an 11-4 win over Lewis & Clark State on LCSC’s home field in Lewiston, Idaho. Faulkner went 56-11 this season and was the #1 ranked team in the nation. Smith, a junior that pitched two years at Chemeketa Community College before transferring to the Montgomery, Alabama school, appeared in nine games for the Eagles posting a 2-0 record with a 2.52 ERA in five starts.
In other college baseball post-season news, two area high school baseball players open the NCAA Division I regionals tomorrow. River Ridge alum Brandon Boyle and South Alabama will take on Mercer in Starkville, Mississippi at noon while Capital grad Jourdan Weiks and the University of San Francisco will face Rice at 2:00 PM in Eugene, Oregon. Both games can be seen on ESPN3.
Boyle, a junior transfer from Lower Columbia Community College, has made 19 appearances and four starts for the Jaguars posting a 2-2 record striking out 36 batters over 45 2/3 innings of work. South Alabama is 42-18 so far this season and is the #2 seed in the Starkville regional, hosted by Mississippi State, the #1 seed. Mercer is the #3 seed while Central Arkansas is the #4.
Weiks had his struggles for the Dons in his sophomore season hitting just .159 in just 44 at-bats. He started 10 times and appeared in 34 games scoring 13 runs for the Dons. USF went 34-22 this season and are the #3 seed in the Eugene regional where they will face the #2 seed Owls. Oregon is the #1 seed and will face #4 South Dakota State on Friday.
One last local post-season note: Nick Calhoun, the incoming head coach for the Hawks Prairie Cardinals of the Puget Sound Collegiate League, is an assistant coach for Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. With a 6-0 win over Heartland on Thursday night, the Aggies moved into the National Junior College Athletic Association championship game on Saturday. Calhoun’s squad is 45-22 this season and will take on either Madison College or LSU-Eunice for the title.