PREVIEW: Patriots, Kingsmen set for regional opener
Texas-Tyler (31-17)
Cal Lutheran (31-12)
5/18/2016 | Spokane, Wash. | Attendance: 75
Cal Lutheran0000101013120
Win: Cason Adams (8-2) 7.072226
Loss: Trey Saito (9-4) 7.174435
Graham Welch (UTT) 422100
Davey Cascio (CLU) 514000

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist |

TYLER – The UT Tyler Patriots will open the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Spokane Regional against Cal Lutheran at 5:15 p.m. (CDT) on Wednesday in Spokane, Washington at Avista Stadium.

“We have a team that is full of tough guys and a resilient ball club,” UT Tyler coach Chris Bertrand said. “We struggled in the middle of the season but got better from it. We got off the mat. Two straight weeks and we’ve played and won the if-necessary game. I’m proud of the way our guys have answered the bell. Every time we get knocked down we stand back up. I think it’s the mark of a champion and the characteristic of this ball club."

The Patriots (30-17), who are the fifth seed in the tournament, earned their sixth trip to the NCAA Division III postseason after making their way through the two-week American Southwest Conference Championship tournament with a 5-2 win over Hardin-Simmons in the title game on Saturday in Abilene.  The Kingsmen (31-11) are making their 14th NCAA appearance and have won seven straight, including a 4-1 win over Occidental in the SCIAC Championship game to earn the bid. UT Tyler, which has won 10 of its last 13 games, has now recorded 30 wins or more in 10 of 13 seasons in program history and have advanced to the NCAA tournament in six of nine seasons of eligibility. The Patriots are 4-10 all-time in NCAA DIII postseason play, while CLU is 36-32 all-time in NCAA play. The tournament will begin on Wednesday with Trinity (35-7) and Pacific Lutheran (26-17) playing at 2 p.m. (CDT) and Case Western (29-11) and Whitworth (29-11) playing after the Patriots. The regional is a double-elimination tournament with games scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and the regional championship set for noon on Saturday.

Alex Bishop has established a new single-season record at UT Tyler with 20 doubles this season and leads the Patriots with a .416 batting average. A sophomore left-handed hitter, Bishop leads the team with 69 hits in 47 games and has six home runs and two triples to go along with his 20 doubles. Along with having the single-season record of 20 doubles, Bishop has been hit by a pitch 11 times which is the second most in a season in program history and has a .530 on-base percentage which is the fourth best. The UT Tyler first baseman has 49 RBI in 47 games this season and is tied with Trenton Buchhorn for the team lead with the six home runs. Bishop enters this weekend with a team-leading 23 multi-hit performances and has 16 multi-RBI games, including having two two-hit games in last week’s ASC Championship series against Hardin-Simmons. His most productive game this season came with five RBI in a win against LeTourneau, while he’s had three hits in nine games this season. Bishop has reached base in 34 straight games.

Buchhorn leads the team with 60 RBI in his junior season with a .326 batting average that includes 61 total hits. An infielder who has played second and third base before settling in at shortstop, Buchhorn has 17 doubles and seven triples to go along with his six home runs in 187 at-bats. He leads the Patriots with 17 multi-RBI games this season and has 20 multi-hit games which is tied with Sam Lane who comes into this weekend with a 61 total hits that includes 10 doubles, three triples and two home runs. Lane has produced 31 RBI and is 13-for-13 on stolen bases this season. Lane is first in program history with 15 triples in his career and owns the best fielding percentage with 366 putouts, six assists and no errors in 169 games played in a UT Tyler uniform. The senior from Plano is second in program history with 44 stolen bases and third with 201 career hits. His 33 doubles and 136 runs are the fifth most of any Patriot. 

Daniel Williams has been on a postseason tear with three home runs in the ASC tournament and was named the ASC Championship MVP. Williams has not hit a home run all season until connecting on one against Texas-Dallas in the first round of the tournament and then crushing two more in the knockout blows against Hardin-Simmons. A left-handed designated hitter, Williams enters this week’s regional tournament with a .355 batting average that includes 13 doubles, three home runs and 21 singles. He’s produced 16 RBI in 93 at-bats, while Graham Welch has 35 RBI from the leadoff spot in the lineup. A freshman left-handed hitter, Welch has 14 doubles, one home run and the most triples in program history with 10 entering this weekend. An outfielder who is now in left field, Welch is hitting .337 with 65 total hits in his first season with the Patriots which includes 19 multi-hit performances.

Blake Wilson is also a freshman who has emerged as a key contributor at third base. Wilson has started 34 games for the Patriots and is hitting .337 with six doubles and 36 singles and only five errors in the field with 68 putouts. Wilson hits second in the lineup and has scored 48 runs which is the second most behind Bishop’s 50 runs scored. The third freshman is out in right field with Josh Burns coming in with a .304 average in 22 starts. He has five doubles and hit a grand slam in a win over Sul Ross where second baseman Braxton Hollenshead hit his first home run. Hollenshead has 23 RBI this season and has hit two home runs in the postseason after his blast in Alpine in the last week of the regular season. Hollenshead hit one home run in the conference tournament in Austin and then another one against HSU. He has 41 hits, including nine doubles and two triples to go along with his recent power surge of three homers in the past three weekends. Brady McCoy has made 37 starts at catcher and enters this weekend with a .285 batting average. A Houghton, Louisiana native, McCoy has six doubles and two home runs this season and has 14 RBI. He is a .357 hitter against left-handed pitchers and has 39 assists from behind the plate this season.

Cason Adams is scheduled to start in the first game of the regional tournament against Cal Lutheran and enters the NCAA tournament with a 7-2 record and 63 strikeouts. The junior right-hander owns a 3.61 ERA in 14 starts this season and has walked only 25 batters in 87 1/3 innings. Adams comes intot he regional tournament with a 15-9 career record and with 138 strikeouts in 189 2/3 innings of work. 

Michael Blevins is 3-4 in his senior season and has 56 strikeouts this season in 12 starts, while Max Page (3-2) has earned wins in two postseason starts. Blevins is 14-10 in his career which has spanned five season and 205 innings of experience. A senior from Houston, Blevins is third in program history with 150 strikeouts. Page had started only one game before shutting down UTD in the first round of the ASC tournament in Austin and then doing the same to HSU last Saturday to send the Patriots on. Page has a 3.41 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings pitched this season. Reese Read (3-0) anchors the pitching staff as the team’s closer. A junior right-hander who transferred from TJC, Read has four saves this season and a 2.20 ERA. He had two strikeouts to close out the win over HSU last Saturday.  


Tournament Schedule / Results

Wednesday, May 18 Links 
Game 1 (Noon):  Trinity (#1 seed) vs. Pacific Lutheran (#6 seed) Live Stats / Video
Game 2 (3:15 pm):  Cal Lutheran (#2 seed) vs. UT-Tyler (#5 seed) Live Stats / Video
Game 3 (6:30 pm):  Case Western Reserve (#3 seed) vs. Whitworth (#4 seed) Live Stats / Video
Thursday, May 19  
Game 4 (Noon):  Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 Live Stats / Video
Game 5 (3:15 pm): Winner Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3 Live Stats / Video
Game 6 (6:30 pm):  Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3 Live Stats / Video
Friday, May 20  
If four teams remain after game 6 -   
Game 7 (Noon):  Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6  
Game 8 (3:15 pm):  Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 6  
Game 9 (6:30 pm):  Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8  
If five teams remain after game 6 -   
Game 7 (Noon): Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 6  
Game 8 (3:15 pm):  Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5  
Game 9 (6:30 pm):  Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7  
Saturday, May 21  
If two teams remain after game 9 -   
Game 10 (Noon):  Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9  
Game 11 (3:15 pm):  If necessary, same teams  
If three teams remain after game 9 -   
Game 10 (Noon):  Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 9  
Game 11 (3:15 pm):  Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10  
 Complete NCAA Div. III Tounament Bracket (link)