OKLAHOMA CITY – The NAIA Region VI baseball championships happen starting Tuesday at Jim Wade Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma City University.
Top-ranked Lubbock Christian (Texas), fourth-ranked Oklahoma City, No. 12 Wayland Baptist (Texas) and No. 18 Texas Wesleyan are among the teams vying for the regional title and the right to play in the NAIA Mid-South Super Regional. Sooner Athletic Conference tournament finalist Oklahoma Baptist and Red River Athletic Conference tournament runner-up Northwood (Texas) round out the field.
Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament champ Lubbock Christian (50-2) will be led by SAC coach of the year Nathan Blackwood. Junior third baseman Will Stramp has hit .420 with 21 home runs and 74 RBIs, while all-SAC junior pitcher Gary Poynter has gone 13-1 with a 2.72 earned run average for the Chaparrals. Lubbock Christian meets Northwood at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
OCU (49-10) will be led by all-SAC junior third baseman Brent Weaver, who has a .439 average, 23 homers and 81 RBIs, and senior first baseman David Dennis, who has hit .399 with 24 homers and 94 RBIs. Junior all-conference left-hander David Odquist leads the Stars pitching staff with 10 wins to go with 92 strikeouts. OCU takes on Texas Wesleyan at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Wayland Baptist (43-14-1) boasts of junior all-SAC outfielder-pitcher Todd Jeffress, who has nine home runs and 36 RBIs as a hitter and an 11-4 record and 3.10 ERA as a hurler. Wayland Baptist faces Oklahoma Baptist at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Texas Wesleyan (40-14) will be led by all-Red River junior shortstop Butch Ballez, who has a hit .430 with nine homers and 59 RBIs.
Oklahoma Baptist (43-14) has SAC player of the year Justin Collazo as its ring leader. Collazo, a junior first baseman, has hit .433 with 22 homers and 100 RBIs.
Red River tournament champ Northwood (26-23) is led by senior outfielder Justin Parks, who has hit .363 with nine homers and 53 RBIs.
The title game will be 1 p.m. Friday at Jim Wade Stadium. An if-necessary game would be following that game.
The Region VI champion will meet the Region V champ in the Mid-South Super Regional on May 15-17. The Mid-South Super Regional will be at the home field of the Region VI champ. The winner of the best-two-out-of-three series super regional will advance to the NAIA World Series on May 23-30 in Lewiston, Idaho.
NAIA Region VI Baseball Championships
At Oklahoma City
Jim Wade Stadium
Game 1: Lubbock Christian (Texas) vs. Northwood (Texas), 11 a.m.
Game 2: Oklahoma City vs. Texas Wesleyan, 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: Oklahoma Baptist vs. Wayland Baptist (Texas), 6 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11 a.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3, 2:30 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 6 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 11 a.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 6, 2:30 p.m.
Game 9: Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 7, 6 p.m.
Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9, 1 p.m., championship
Game 11: Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 10, 4:30 p.m., if necessary
(courtesy: Oklahoma City University)