Jones powers Sonoma State
Grand Valley State heads to tourney as DII's hottest team
Kyle Jones played in the NCAA Division II national tournament as a freshman, and perhaps a part of him figured trips to USA Baseball Olympic Training Complex in Cary, N.C., would become a way of life at Sonoma State.
Jones is a senior now, and after helping the Seawolves take care of business against Cal Poly Pomona Sunday afternoon with an 8-5 win in the West Regional final at Triton Park in San Diego, he took a moment to reflect on the accomplishment.
“We all pulled together, executed when we needed to and we’re excited about heading back (to nationals),” Jones said. “I was spoiled as a freshman, but this means a lot to me heading back as a senior.”
Jones played with the mindset that he wasn’t going to have his season end here. His base hit in the seventh drove in a run and tied the score at 5-5. The clutch hit is hardly a surprise. Jones was named the most outstanding player of the tournament and broke the school record for hits in a career with 229.
He finished with two hits and Kenny Arnerich (9-2) worked 2 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and striking out one as he helped the Sea wolves (36-20) seal the deal on their first trip to nationals since 2008.
Sonoma State, seeded last in the four-team regional, cranked out 12 hits, including three by Alex Todd, and while the Broncos (36-23) rattled off five hits. Todd also drove in three runs.
Chris Miller and Humberto Tovalin blasted home runs in the seventh to give the third-seeded Broncos a 5-4 advantage but they were unable to build on it as their remarkable run through the regional ended.
The road for Sonoma State doesn’t get much easier. They will open tourney play Saturday against Grand Valley State, the No. 1 team in the nation and the winner of its last 32 games.
For now, however, Seawolves head coach John Goelz planned on enjoying the championship.
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Goelz said. “It’s a culmination of a year’s worth of work and really a career’s worth of work. This is only our second world series in my 26 years here at Sonoma State. It means a lot and we are excited.”
Grand Valley State is headed to North Carolina as the hottest team in the country. The top-ranked Lakers extended their win streak to 32 games with a 13-5 win over Wayne State in the Midwest Regional title game at Corn Crib Stadium on Sunday afternoon in Bloomington, Ill.
The Lakers (52-3) is making its fifth trip to nationals since 2003 and overcame a 4-1 deficit to keep its dream of a national title alive.
The momentum swung in the fourth inning. Down 4-1, GVSU shredded the Warriors (35-21) for six runs on seven hits as they seized control of the game against their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rival.
Eight Lakers tallied hits in the win, with Cody Grice paving the way on a day when the offense rattled off 19 hits in all. Grice tied a career-high with five hits while Jared Cowan finished with three hits and drove in three runs.
Chris Whitney worked 6 1/3 innings and won his fifth game of the season. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out one batter.
The Warriors, who also lost in the conference title game to the Lakers, ended the day with eight hits. Brad Guenther racked up three and also scored two runs.
Michael Wiseman and Ryan Buter tallied two hits apiece as well.
South Central Regional
Matt Curtis won his 11th game of the season, tossing a four-hit shutout, as Central Missouri took down Incarnate Word 7-0 in the South Central Regional final Sunday afternoon at V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium in San Antonio.
The fourth-ranked Mules (49-8) are headed to nationals for the 16th time in program history, and Curtis did his part to make the regional title a reality. He struck out five and went the distance, throwing only 102 pitches. It didn’t hurt that the defense did not commit an error in the win. In fact, the Mules had only one error the entire tourney.
Central Missouri racked up 11 hits and Nick DiBiasse tallied three hits while driving in a run. John Wegener came through with two hits and had one RBI.
The Cardinals never got untracked with Curtis on the mound and no one had more than one hit. Five errors put a dent in any hopes Incarnate Word had of pulling off the upset. The Cardinals used six different pitchers in the setback.
Carter Capps has been one of the top pitchers in the nation all season, and the Mount Olive star did nothing to tarnish that reputation in the Southeast Regional final against Francis Marion on Sunday at Scarborough Field.
The Trojans won the decisive game 2-1 after losing 9-7 in the first game against Francis Marion (40-16) on Sunday afternoon.
Capps came into the game with two outs in the third and the bases loaded. He ended the threat with a groundout and was tough to deal with over the next six innings. He threw 59 of his 68 pitches for strikes despite pitching on just two days of rest.
Capps now has a record of 14-0, a single-season school record, and is 24-0 in his career. Mount Olive (45-8), ranked second in the country, is headed back to nationals for the first time since 2008 when it won the national championship.
“I knew we were in a win or go home situation,” Capps said. “I didn’t have any other choice but to be good.”
Mount Olive finished with eight hits. Tyler Smith tallied three of them. Jacob Rogers added two hits.
“From the first team meeting we had this year, (making nationals was our goal,” Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster said. “Those kids have worked extremely hard every day in practice, and on their own.”
Kyle Cummings and Nick DeProspo blasted solo home runs and helped lift Southern Connecticut State to the East Regional championship with a 2-1 win over Adelphi on Sunday.
The eighth-ranked Owls (43-7-1) are headed to the national tournament for the first time since 2005. They trailed 1-0 early but used back-to-back homers by Cummings and DeProspo in the third to take the lead for good.
Kevin Pettine got the job done on the mound as he ran his record to 10-0 on the season. Pettine was working on two days rest and allowed just six hits in a complete-game effort. He struck out six and was named the most outstanding player of the tournament.
Pettine went 2-0 during the regional and allowed only one earned run in more than 17 innings of work.
Justin Farnum led Adelphi (36-14-2) with two hits while Lucas Romeo drove in the only run of the game for the Panthers. Adelphi, the top seed in the tournament, scored its run in the second inning. The two teams combined to leave 12 runners on base.