published Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Tennessee Wesleyan College romps in World Series

LEWISTON, Idaho -- Fourth-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan College took the NAIA's best baseball run production (471 RBIs) and second-best runs total (505) and slugging percentage (.532) into its Friday opener in the NAIA World Series against fifth seed Embry-Riddle and won 17-3. The Bulldogs (49-11) scored five runs in the top of the first inning, gave up three in the second and then rolled into a 6 p.m. EDT game Monday against top-seeded LSU Shreveport or Rogers State. Stephen Branca drove in four runs and Dale Ricketts had three RBIs for TWC, which got home runs from those two plus Jake Stone, Taylor Oldham and Drew Levi to help pitcher Jeremy Fitzgerald improve to 11-0. Anthony Boix was 3-for-6 and matched Branca and Stone with three runs each, and Oldham was 3-for-5 in the Bulldogs' 15th win in a row. Second-seeded Lee University (54-9-1) plays today at 6 EDT against seventh seed Point Park (52-9), which won 7-3 over College of Idaho.

• JACKSON, Tenn. -- After batting in four runs in Thursday's win, No. 3 batter Sam Eberle from Chattanooga was more a decoy than a deliverer in Friday's 9-4 defeat of Eastern Kentucky in the Ohio Valley Conference baseball tournament. Eberle walked ahead of a Ben Waldrip sacrifice fly in JSU's tying three-run sixth inning and walked ahead of Waldrip's three-run double in the five-run seventh. Eberle scored a run in JSU's later 7-6 loss to Austin Peay (35-22), which got a sacrifice fly from Jon Clinard from Bradley Central.

• DELAND, Fla. -- Baylor School graduate Dylan Craig was 2-for-4 and scored twice as Belmont beat Mercer 10-3 in an Atlantic Sun baseball tournament elimination game Friday. The Bruins (38-22) then beat Florida Gulf Coast 6-4 to reach today's championship matchup.

Basketball

• Former Dalton High School standout point guard and shortstop Amanda Rector signed scholarship players Thursday to play basketball and softball at Tennessee Temple University. She is transferring from NCAA Division II member North Georgia despite having started all 26 games, averaging 32.3 minutes, for the Dahlonega school as a 2011-12 freshman. "In terms of toughness and competitiveness, I think she's the best I've seen in this area since I've been here," Temple basketball coach Kendrick Liburd said. "And she brings a wealth of experience from North Georgia to help elevate our level of play for the next three years. She's a leader on the floor who is comfortable with the ball in her hands at all times. And she plays with such heart and is so smart." Rector was a Best of Preps selection from a Dalton team that reached the state championship game her senior season. "She's real competitive in softball just like in basketball, and she can play infield or outfield," said Randy Crawford, whose Lady Crusaders program is going into its second year. "We have some other good signees, but Amber is going to be a big help. She's a winner." Rector said the departure of the assistant coach who recruited her was part of the reason she left North Georgia, "and I wanted to be closer to home. I had looked at Temple a little bit before. I like the fact that it's a Christian school."

Golf

• Tyler McKeever shot a 69 Friday at The Honors Course to take a one-shot lead in the mid-amateur division of the John T. Lupton Memorial tournament. Andrew Lawson, Brad Wilder and Carlton Forrester shot 70s, and Jimmy White was fifth at 72. Brady Exber leads the senior division with 40 Stableford points, one more than Doug Hanzel with Neil Spitalny and Paul Simson at 38, and Don Marsh with 42 points has a six-shot lead over Bob Howe in the super seniors group.

• SALEM, Ore. -- Lee University finished 11th in the 2012 NAIA men's golf tournament. The Flames closed with a 298 total Friday at Creekside Golf Club, and that left them at 1,205 for 72 holes. Oklahoma City won with a 1,176. Lee's JB Eksteen and Jeremy Lawson finished 38th and 44th individually at 302 and 303, and Matt Emery and Hunter Vest tied for 58th at 307. Lawson, a senior from Hixson, and junior Tyler Smith were NAIA Scholar-Athletes this year. Tennessee Wesleyan missed the cut as a team, but Michael Alread, playing as an individual, rebounded from an opening 83 to tie for 29th at 300.

Track & Field

• Chris Berry concluded his UTC running career Thursday night by finishing 17th out of 48 runners in the NCAA East Regional 10,000-meter run at Jacksonville, Fla. The top 12 advanced to the national meet. Berry's time of 30:44.39 was less than 40 seconds behind that of winner Paul Katam of UNC Greensboro. The only other Southern Conference runner in the meet, Davidson's Ryan Hopkins, was 39th.

• MARION, Ind. -- Bryan College's Bryson Harper and Connor Hatfield will compete in the 3000-meter steeplechase as the NAIA national outdoor track and field meet wraps up today. They were in the top 14 advancing out of the steeple preliminaries Thursday.

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