Getting his first start of his college career, Curtis Taylor provided the Thunderbirds a chance to win but they couldn’t push a run home in a 2-0 loss to San Diego Christian that ended the UBC season.
Taylor went five innings allowing one run but that would prove to be all the offense the Hawks would need. SDC starter Joey Aquino pitched a complete game allowing just six hits while striking out seven.
UBC needed to beat SDC twice but the Hawks didn’t want to wait the extra day. They got a run in the third and another in the sixth off reliever Sean Callegari, who was pitching for the third time in the tournament.
Playing their final college baseball games were seniors Tyson Popoff, Matt Spillman, Sebastian Wong, Matt Thornton and Callegari.
SDC goes to the NAIA World Series May 23 to 30 in Lewiston, Idaho.
Kevin Biro brought in the winning run in gutsy fashion, wearing a pitch by Davenport University reliever Ryan Butzer to give UBC a 4-3 comeback win that puts them in the finals of the Santa Clarita bracket at the NAIA Opening Round.
The Thunderbirds managed just four hits through eight innings but got three in the bottom of the ninth including Tyler Enns‘ clutch single that drove in Tyson Popoff with the tying run. Biro’s HBP scored Bryan Arthur who had doubled as the second batter in the bottom of the ninth.
Starter Jeremy Newton went 5.1 innings allowing three runs while walking two and striking out three. Reliever Matt Thornton got the win working 3.2 scoreless innings.
The win puts the ‘Birds into the finals. They’ll have to beat San Diego Christian twice to win the tournament and qualify for the NAIA World Series.
After collecting just three runs on 10 hits through the first two games, the T-Birds busted out for a 10-run, 21-hit performance with the season on the line in a 10-4 win to eliminate Vanguard University.
Freshman catcher Mackenzie Parlow was inserted into the lineup at DH and provided a spark, going 3-for-6 with three RBI. He drove in runs in the second and third innings as the ‘Birds scored six in the third and chased Vanguard starter Scott Torrey after 2.1 innings of work.
UBC starter Bryan Pawlina got the win, working five innings while striking out six and walking none. Sean Callegari provided two innings of relief with two unearned runs coming in the sixth. Alex Graham finished the game off with with two scoreless frames.
Next up for UBC is a game Wednesday at 11 a.m. Pacific against Davenport University of Michigan.
Playing their second game of the day Monday, the Thunderbirds couldn’t get much going against San Diego Christian and dropped a 12-2 decision.
UBC is now 1-1 at the NAIA Opening Round Santa Clarita bracket with a rematch against Vanguard University set for Tuesday at 3 p.m. Pacific.
Against SDCC, the game was scoreless after two but the Hawks put up single runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings and added four in the sixth to chase starter Alex Webb.
The ‘Birds got a couple in the bottom of the ninth to break up the shutout. OF Bryan Arthur was 2-4 with a run and OF Tyler Enns was 2-3 with a run and an RBI.
Jerod Bartnik‘s eighth-inning home run was one of just three hits for UBC and accounted for all the scoring in a 1-0 win over Vanguard University at the first game of the Santa Clarita bracket.
Starting pitchers Conor Lillis-White for UBC and Clayton Voechting for Vanguard were almost flawless. Lillis-White went six scoreless innings, allowing five hits while Voechting worked eight frames, striking out six. Bartnik’s blast to right field saddled Voechting with the loss.
Sean Callegari came on in the seventh with two on and nobody out, got out of the jam and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. He got the win after allowing no hits and striking out a pair, including the first out of the ninth. Thunderbirds closer Matt Thornton relieved him and after a single, a strikeout, a walk and a hit batter, he got Vanguard 1B Ian Sakry on strikes to end the game with the bases loaded.
UBC now faces #1 seed San Diego Christian Monday at 3 p.m.
The NAIA World Series Opening Round starts Monday and the UBC Thunderbirds have been tabbed the #5 seed in the Santa Clarita bracket taking place at The Master’s College.
The ‘Birds will play #4 seed Vanguard University Monday at 9 a.m. Should the win that, they would take on #1 seed San Diego Christian at 3 p.m.
Also taking part in the five-team tournament are The Master’s College and Davenport University. The winner of the event goes to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
Games from The Master’s College will be broadcast for a fee; check the link below for details:
SANTA CLARITA BRACKET TOURNAMENT PAGE
The sun finally shone on Thunderbird Park last week and CBC TV crews were there to capture it as the ‘Birds got prepped for the next round of the playoffs.
FEATURE – CBC News Vancouver
UBC leaves for The Master’s College in Santa Clara, Calif. on Saturday, May 10. Their first game will be Monday, May 12.
** The NAIA is broadcasting the Opening Round Bracket Show at 5 p.m. Pacific on Friday, May 9 – click the link below if you want to watch live:
Opening Round Bracket Show
Just after wrapping up the NAIA West Grouping title May 4, more good news came in this week with the announcement of the conference awards.
Terry McKaig won his fourth coach of the year honour after guiding the team to a 20-8 conference record and winning the conference title on home turf.
1B Bruce Yari (.361, 56 hits, 30 RBI – .391 in-conference) took home two awards, being named to the NAIA All-West Group team and a Gold Glove winner.
OF Bryan Arthur (.294, 37 hits, 20 RBI – .351 in-conference), LHP Conor Lillis-White (8-0, NAIA-leading 0.50 ERA) and RP Matt Thornton (3-1, 2.03, 5 saves) were all named to the All-West Group team.
The other Gold Glove winner is 2B Matt Spillman, who posted a .972 fielding percentage and committed just four errors in conference games.
Using the formula that brought them success all weekend, the UBC Thunderbirds got solid pitching and timely hitting in a 4-1 win over Concordia University that clinched the NAIA West Grouping tournament.
It’s the seventh conference crown for the T-Birds and first since 2011.
Sophomore Bryan Pawlina got the start and went 5+ innings, exiting with UBC ahead 2-0. Reliever Alex Webb was outstanding, allowing just one inherited runner to score and providing three more scoreless innings to get the game into the ninth. He recorded one out in the final frame and after a couple of Concordia singles, it was senior Matt Thornton that recorded the final two outs and the save.
Starring at the plate for the ‘Birds was senior 2B Matt Spillman who went 2-for-3 and got UBC on the board with an RBI single in the third. He also scored on a Kevin Biro single in the sixth.
Tyler Enns drove in what would be the winning run in the fourth with a single to left. It was the second-straight game Enns brought home the decisive run.
Next up for UBC is a trip to Santa Clarita, California where they’ll be part of another five-team tournament starting May 12 and hosted by The Master’s College. The winner of that event will be going to the NAIA World Series May 23 to 30 in Lewiston, ID.
Trailing 3-2 and lacking much offensive punch going to the bottom of the eighth Saturday against Corban University, the UBC Thunderbirds got a key hit from the a familiar face to grab a 4-3 comeback win.
LF Tyler Enns drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single that helps UBC into the NAIA West Grouping final on Sunday. Enns had also come through in the ‘Birds first game on Friday with a two-run single versus Menlo College to put insurance on the board.
The game Saturday against Corban was interrupted in the fifth inning because of rain. As a result, starter Sean Callegari went just 4.2 innings. Freshman reliever Curtis Taylor went 3.1 and earned the win after allowing just one unearned run. Closer Matt Thornton worked a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save.
3B Kevin Biro was also clutch, driving in SS Tyson Popoff with the tying run after 1B Bruce Yari had laid down a neat sacrifice bunt.
In other action, Concordia University eliminated Menlo with a 7-6 win Saturday evening. Concordia will play Corban Sunday at noon with the loser eliminated.
The winner will play UBC Sunday afternoon with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.
The ‘Birds need one more win to take the West Grouping title and would have to be defeated twice by whichever team advances to face them in order to be stopped. Should a second matchup be needed for the final two teams, it would be played Monday at noon.