This series has a lot at stake, including first place in the conference being up for grabs. The USAO Drovers (#7) come into this series with a record of 28-4, and 14-1 in conference play. The Oklahoma City Stars (#9) come into this series with a record of 27-4, and a 13-2 conference record.
What To Know About The Drovers:
The Drovers have had a very balanced attack all season, as they have a team ERA of 4.06 and a team batting average of .367 which is first in the NAIA. On the offensive side of the ball, the Drovers are led by Daniel Lafarga. He is currently hitting .393 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI’s. Another key piece to this offense, is catcher Coleton Horner. He is hitting .492 with 3 home runs and 8 doubles, in 17 games played. The Drovers have always been known for there abilities to pitch, and they have been exceptional on the season. They have a very dominant rotation, with Tucker White, Francis Ventura and Jose Hidalgo. White is 4-0 on the season, with a 2.96 ERA, and teams are hitting just .223 off of him. Ventura is 6-0, with a 3.93 ERA on the season. Opponents are hitting .231 against him on the season . Hidalgo is continually his success, as he is 6-1 with a 1.80 ERA on the season. Opponents are hitting .182 off of him on the season. The Drovers also have two really big threats out of the bullpen, in Corey Korenic and Angel Reyes. Reyes is currently 3-0, with a 2.39 ERA on the season. He is holding opponents to a .234 batting average, and he is ranked number 3 in NAIA with 8 saves on the season.
Outfielder Greg Barnette said “Its a big one for us, its for first place in the conference they sit a game back of us in the standings. This is always a series that you look at when you get the schedule at the beginning of the year as one thats going to be tough. We will be ready to go and amped up plenty just got to do what we do and execute and i think it will be a great series for us.”
What To Know About The Stars:
The Stars have had a very successful season, as they are 1st in NAIA In runs scored per game with 10. The pitching staff is ranked 18th in ERA with a 3.35 ERA. The offense is led by Lane Milligan, as he is hitting .495 with 5 home runs and 46 RBI’s. The Stars are also carried by Branden Grieger, as he is hitting .393 with 5 home runs and 8 doubles. The pitching staff for the Stars, is also ranked 7th in opponents batting average as they are hitting just .211 on the season. This pitching staff is led by Bryce Milligan, as he is 5-0 on the season with a 2.27 ERA. Milligan is averaging 12 strikeouts per outing, and is holding opponents to a .167 batting average. Another great arm for the Star, is Blaze Hasting. He is 5-0 on the season, with a 4.58 ERA. Hastings is holding opponents to .190 ERA, in 39.1 innings thrown.
Oklahoma City’s Lane Milligan said “We’re really excited for the game today, anytime we play USAO we know its gonna be a great series. Both of us could make it to the World Series again this year, so it should be a battle between two high powered teams.”
Oklahoma City’s Head Coach Denney Crabaugh said “It’s going to be two top 10 teams in the Naia going after one another as hard as they can should be a great series.”