Barons declared SSAC Baseball Co-Champions with Lee, advance to Nationals
|The Barons celebrate their 10-9 win over AUM during the SSAC Baseball Tournament in Columbus, Ga., Sunday. The Barons earned an automatic bid to the NAIA World Series for having the longest unbeaten run in the SSAC Tournament, four straight wins. The Barons were declared Co-Champions with Lee University Monday. (Photo by Norman Winter)
By Kelley M. Arnold
Director of News & Public Information
COLUMBUS, Ga.–Brewton-Parker College’s Baseball team was declared SSAC Baseball Tournament Co-Champions with No. 4-ranked Lee University Monday due to inclement weather.
Baron Jacob Evors (28), a junior from Blackshear, Ga., is at bat against Auburn University at Montgomery Sunday. The Barons edged out AUM, 10-9.
The Barons, ranked 24 in the nation, were scheduled to face the Lee Flames in a deciding game Monday afternoon, but heavy downpours made that impossible. The Barons advance to the NAIA World Series after earning the SSAC’s automatic bid for the tournament for having the longest winning run in the tournament. The Barons won four straight games before losing to the Flames Sunday night, 8-0. They defeated Lee (46-11) in earlier rounds.
The Flames also advance as the SSAC Regular Season champs.
This is the first time since 2000 the Barons Baseball team finds itself on the way to the Nationals, said Simmons. She praises the Barons Baseball Staff, led by Coach Boo Mullins and assisted by Coach Joey Russell.
“I am extremely proud of the Barons baseball staff and team and their amazing accomplishment,” said Athletic Director Sheila Simmons. “To me, (the Barons) outplayed everyone in the tournament with their heart, character and their passion. They represented our institution with class.”
According to the SSAC, “The Barons have shown an indomitable will to win, scrapping out four consecutive one-run victories before Sunday night's setback. The Barons have also gone late into games playing three straight extra-inning games at the tournament, including a 15-inning win over Lee on Friday.”
According to Coach Russell, the Barons were World Series participants in 2000. The Barons won the World Series in 1997. The next step for the Barons is the opening round games, a five team double-elimination tournament, played at host sites on May 18-21. The winners of these nine region tournaments will go on to play for the NAIA Avista World Series in Lewiston, Idaho from May 28-June 4.
“We’re happy to be in the regional, and we look to have a pretty high seed wherever we land,” said Russell. “Once you are in the (national) tournament, the season starts over. Everyone has got a chance. It’s either win or go home. It’s a good position to be in.”
BPC’s Drew Parker, a junior from Surrey, British Columbia, was named the SSAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, according to the SSAC. “Parker was 2-0 at the tournament and also recorded a save. He posted a 1.74 ERA over 10 and one-third innings of relief at the tournament and had nine strikeouts. Parker threw six and one-third innings of scoreless relief to get the win against Lee, then came on to earn the save in the final inning against SPSU. Finally, Parker threw three innings of relief against AUM to earn the win that sent the Barons into the championship game,” said an SSAC release Monday.
Several Barons were honored with awards at an SSAC banquet last Wednesday night. Joey Delgado, a junior from Tampa, Fla., was named Pitcher of the Year for the conference. He also won 1st Team All Conference. Other winners are Senior Robby Kuzdale of Tampa, Fla., 1st Team All Conference (outfield); Junior Josh Barrs of Jacksonville, Fla., 2nd Team All Conference (first baseman); Senior Ryan Hewitt of West Palm Beach, Fla., 2nd Team All Conference (second baseman); Junior Delgis Soto of Bronx, N.Y., 2nd Team All Conference (pitcher); and, Junior Randall Shepherd of Vero Beach, Fla., 2nd Team All Conference (catcher).
The Barons are being welcomed back to campus today aruond 4 p.m. with a celebration in the Gilis Gym inside the Snooks Student Activities Center. Come on out and support the Barons!
For more information about the Barons, go to www.bpc.edu/athletics/baseball, or www.ssacsports.com.
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college in south Georgia.