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Westmont Baseball Headed to Hattiesburg for NAIA Tournament

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Westmont Baseball (34-16), ranked 20th in the NAIA, has been awarded an at-large berth in the Hattiesburg Bracket of the NAIA Opening Round Tournaments. William Carey (33-25) of Mississippi will be the host in the five-team double-elimination tournament that will take place at Milton Wheeler Field.

Also competing in the tournament are #3 St. Thomas of Florida (53-7), which is seeded at number one; Indiana Southeast (40-12), the third seed and Louisiana State Shreveport (39-21), the fourth seed. Westmont enters the tournament as the second seed and William Carey is the fifth seed.

The Warriors begin tournament play on Monday by taking on Indiana Southeast at 3:30 CDT/1:30 p.m. PDT.

Opening Round Tournaments will take place at nine locations across the United States. The winners of each tournament will advance to the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho that will be conducted from May 25-June 1.

Indiana Southeast finished the Rivers States Conference (RSC) regular season as the runner-up with a conference mark of 23-4. The Grenadiers were 2-3 against top-25 teams, all of those games coming against #16 Point Park (Pa.).

In the RSC Tournament, Indiana Southeast posted a 2-3 record, falling to Park Point in the championship game by a score of 10-5.

Five Grenadiers were named to the All-River States Conference first team: starting pitchers Brandon Nylin and Ryne Underwood, shortstop Richard Rodriguez, outfielder Nicholas Lugo and infielder Josh Beams.

Nylin won eight games for Indiana Southeast against two losses while posting an ERA of 2.43. In 89 innings of work, Nylin struck out 75 and walked 24. Underwood went 6-3 on the season with a 2.63 ERA. Underwood struck out 71 and walked 23 in 85 2/3 innings of work.

Rodriguez hit .339 for the Grenadiers connecting for five home runs and 15 doubles. Rodriguez tallied 49 RBIs. Lugo led Indiana Southeast with 53 runs batted in while posting a batting average of .326. Lugo tallied 11 home runs and 15 doubles. Beams recorded a batting average of .321 while delivering 26 RBIs.

Coach Ben Reel is in his 10th season as head coach at Indiana Southeast and has compiled a record of 369-190-1 (.660). This season, his team has a batting average of .300 and an ERA of 3.10. Reel was named the 2018 RSC Coach of the Year.

St. Thomas comes into the tournament as the regular season co-champions of the Sun Conference with a league record of 22-2. The Bobcats went 4-2 in the Sun Conference Tournament, losing in the championship game to Webber International (Fla.) by a score of 1-0.

During the season, the Bobcats posted a 6-3 record against top-25 teams, taking four of six from #15 Keiser (Fla.) and two of three from #4 Southeastern (Fla.) - with whom they shared the regular season co-championship.

Outfielder Nelson Mompierre was named the Sun Conference Player of the Year after posting a .412 batting average with 15 home runs, 23 doubles and 74 RBIs.

Joining Mompierre on the all-conference team were starting pitcher Orlando Rodriguez, relief pitcher Erne Valdes, catcher Elih Marrero, first baseman Chris Garabedian, second baseman Jackie Urbaez and shortstop Erick Delgado.

Rodriguez produced a record of 13-0 with an ERA of 2.45 in 84 1/3 innings pitched. Rodriguez struck out 108 and walked 55. Valdes earned eight saves in 20 appearances, posting a 1.98 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 21 walks.

Marrero compiled a .386 batting average with nine home runs, 24 doubles and 75 RBIs. Garabedian hit .412 with 58 RBIs. Urbaez connected for a .399 batting average with eight home runs, 23 doubles and 67 RBIs. Delgado hit an even .400 with eight home runs, 17 doubles and 37 RBIs.

Jorge Perez, the Sun Conference Coach of the Year, is in his 10th season as head coach of St. Thomas and has a record of 366-220 (.625). The Bobcats have a team batting average of .367 and a team ERA of 3.35.

Louisiana State Shreveport was the regular season champion in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) with a record of 22-5. In the RRAC Tournament, the Pilots went 3-2, falling in the conference final to Louisiana State Alexandria 10-2.

Shreveport posted a record of 3-5 against top-25 teams, going 1-2 against both #9 Bryan (Tenn.) and #12 Lyon (Ark.). The Pilots split a pair of games with #19 Texas Wesleyan.

Renny Tolentino was named the RRAC Pitcher of the Year while designated hitter Jordan Trahan received Newcomer of the Year honors and catcher/first baseman Jake Gray was named the Freshman of the Year.

Tolentino started 15 games for the Pilots, putting up a record of 11-3 and posting an ERA of 2.81. He struck out 119 batters and walked 42. Trahan produced a .327 batting average with a team-high 12 home runs and 49 RBIs. Gray notched a team-high .377 batting average while driving in 29.

Joining Tolentino and Trahan on the All-RRAC first team were first baseman Matt Hammock, second baseman Robert Herrera, catcher Beaux Guilbeau, outfielder Kevin VanAsselberg and relief pitcher Pat Day.

Hammock hit .331 for the pilots while driving in 43 RBIs. Herrera produced a .308 batting average with 31 RBIs. Guilbeau put up a .350 batting average with 43 RBIs and VanAsselberg connected for a .367 batting average and 36 runs batted in. In 23 relief appearances, Day collected nine saves and produced an ERA of 3.95.

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