Basketball: Drovers Host Red-Hot Golden Eagles

The 10th ranked John Brown Golden Eagles head to Chickasha, Oklahoma to take on the USAO Drovers in a big Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) matchup. The Golden Eagles come into this game with a 19-2 record and currently are 10-1 in conference play. USAO comes into play with a 10-11 record and are sitting at 4-7 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Coming into this contest the Golden Eagles have been one of the hottest teams in the conference riding a 7 game win streak which including knocking off #2 ranked Mid-America. The Drovers are coming off a 91-63 win over Bacone college on Thursday night. USAO has defended their home court well as they are 5-2 at home on the season.
Both these teams love to shoot the 3 ball as they both combine for 59 attempts per game. Both teams are the top 2 in made threes per game. The Drovers are cashing in 11 per game which leads the SAC and the Golden Eagles are sitting with 10 per contest.
Saturday’s matchup is slated for a 3:45 p.m. CT tip at Drover Fieldhouse in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

What To Know About The Drovers:

USAO come into this contest with a chance to get to .500 and back on track. This will be the second of four games during this homestand for the Drovers as they look to take advantage of the home floor. USAO is 5-2 at home on the season and has wins over Oklahoma City and Randall University.
The USAO offense has had no problem scoring this year as they are averaging 87 points per game which ranks them 4th in the SAC. The problem for the Drovers has been on the defensive side of the ball as they are allowing 84 points per game, which is currently last in the conference. The Drovers have made up big time on rebounding as they rank number 1 in the SAC in rebounds per game with 42 per contest.
The Drovers this season are led by Dylan Causwell, Cameron Hines, Moses Byekwaso and Trenton Sandifer. Causwell the lone Senior on this roster is averaging 16 points and 9 rebounds per contest. Causwell this season has managed to pick up 6 double-doubles along the way to rank him second in the SAC. Hines, 5-10 Junior is averaging 12 points and 3 assists for the Drovers on the season. Hines Ranks Number 32 in NAIA Division I in Total 3-Pt FG Made with 51 on the season. Byekwaso the 6-3 Junior is averaging 11 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists for the Drovers. The Drovers have gotten a nice spark from Byekwaso as he is shooting 35% from behind the arc and he also averages 2 made threes per contest. Sandifer the 6-7 Junior has been a big addition to this Drover squad as he is averaging 8 points and 6 boards per contest for USAO. Along with those stats, Sandifer Ranks Number 1 in the SAC in Blocks with 2 per contest. With his great size he has been a big factor on the offensive rebounding for the Drovers as he Ranks Number 31 in NAIA Division I in Offensive Rebounds per Game with 3.

Junior Forward Trenton Sandifer said “Saturday is a huge game for us and could be a good turning point for our season. We have yet to play our best basketball, so all I have to say is that you do not want to miss the show this Saturday”

The Drovers are coached by Chris Francis, who is in his 5th season with the Drovers. The USAO assistant coaches are Chisum Lane and James Davis.

What To Know About The Golden Eagles:

After a big win at home against 2nd rank Mid-America, John Brown now has its eyes set on the top spot in the SAC. With the win the Golden Eagles now pull within just a half game atop the Sooner Athletic standings.
This Golden Eagles team has been centered around its ability to shoot the 3-pointer and also its capability to play on the defensive side of the ball. The defense is holding opponents to just 66 points per game which ranks first in the conference. John Brown has also defend the 3-pointer very well this season as they are holding teams to just 30% from behind the arc. The offense, the Golden Eagles is averaging 80 points per game which ranks them 8th in the conference.
The Golden Eagles this season have been led by Luke Harper, Densier Carnes and Rokas Grabliauskas. Harper the 6-3 Sophomore is averaging 17 points and 4 rebounds for the Golden Eagles. He has also been very strong from behind the arc, as he is shooting 42% for John Brown. Carnes the 6-6 Junior is averaging 14 points and an impressive 9 rebounds per contest for John Brown. Carnes has been dominant on the glass this season, as he ranks Number 9 in NAIA Division I in Total Total Rebounds with 189. Grabliauskas the 6-4 Junior is currently averaging 12 points and 2 rebounds for John Brown. He is also shooting very impressive from behind the arc, as he is shooting 41% for the Golden Eagles.

John Brown is coach by Jason Beschta, who is in his sixth season as head men’s basketball coach. His assistant Tim Kisner is in his second season with the Golden Eagles.

Series Record:

Dating back to 2007, these two teams have battled 28 times and John Brown lead the series 18-10.

How To Watch:

Stretch Internet USAO

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Baseball: Drovers Drop Series Finale To Saints

Our Lady of the Lake University Saints (1-2) defended home field as they knocked off the 3rd ranked USAO Drovers (2-1) 9-2 in the series finale.

The Drovers sent Senior starter Jean Muntaner to the mound who would struggle to find the zone. Muntaner went 3.1 innings, allowing 5 runs on 4 hits and 6 walks. With the loss Muntaner drops to 0-1 in the 2020 season. In relief the Drovers called on Ricardo Velez, Edgar Cuevas and Brock Henderson. Velez threw 2.1 innings allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits and would finish the night with 4 strikeouts. Cuevas threw 1.1 innings allowing 0 runs on 2 hits and 2 strikeouts. Henderson threw 1 inning and allowed 0 runs on 2 hits.

The Bats for USAO would be held in check as they would be held to 6 hits on the afternoon. The Drovers would be led by Ian Laureano, who went 2-4 with 2 singles. Colton Bensch went 2-4 with singles. Luis Pelayo went 1-3 with a single. Brandon Shumway went 1-2 with a double and an RBI.

The Drovers will get back to action on Saturday, February 1, when they face University of St. Mary (KS) and Wiley College (TX) in Marshall, Texas.

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Baseball: Drovers Sweep Doubleheader Over Saints

The 3rd ranked USAO Drovers (2-0) opened the 2020 season with a doubleheader sweep over Our Lady of the Lake University Saints (0-2).

Game 1: Drovers Use Late Runs to Secure Victory

The Drovers beat the Our Lady of the Lake University Saints 5-3 in the season opener, after scoring 3 runs in the final 2 innings.
The Drovers sent Sophomore Matt Merrill to the mound. Merrill went 5 innings for USAO, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with 9 strikeouts in his season opener. Merrill moves to 1-0 on the season with the win. In relief the Drovers called on Edgar Cuevas and Ricardo Velez. Cuevas threw 1 strong inning allowing 0 hits and 2 strikeouts. Velez would also have a great first outing as he also didn’t allow a hit and he would sit down 1 via the strikeout. Velez would shut the door on this and collect his first save on the season.
USAO’s offense would come together with 11 hits during the opener and be led by Luis Pelayo, 2-3 with 2 singles. Joey Pena went 2-4 with 2 singles. Brock Henderson went 2-4 with 2 singles and an RBI (1). Isaac Raab went 1-4 with a double. Ian Laureano went 1-4 with a single and an RBI (1). Cristian Laboy went 1-4 with a single. Sterling Valera went 1-3 with a double and an RBI (1). Colton Bensch went 1-2 with a single and an RBI (1).

Game 2: Drovers Cruise After Great All-Around Performance

The Drovers dominated in game two getting the win 12-2 against the Saints to close out the doubleheader.
Senior pitcher Colton Williams took the mound for USAO and would continue to pitch well in a Drover uniform. Williams tossed 5 innings, allowed 1 run on 3 hits and would finish his day with 3 strikeouts. With the win Williams starts the season 1-0 for the Drovers. Out of the bullpen for USAO were Justin Hasek and Clay Teel. Hasek threw 1 inning for the Drovers allowed 1 run on 1 hit and 1 strikeout. Teel also threw 1 inning allowing 0 runs and 0 hits.
The USAO offense put together a nice offense outing as they would finish the day with 15 hits and be led by Isaac Raab who went 3-5 with a single, double and homerun (1). Raab would also finish with 4 RBI’s for USAO. Cristian Laboy went 3-5 with 2 singles, a double and finish with 1 RBI. Joey Pena went 3-4 with 2 singles, a double and 1 RBI. Ian Laureano went 2-3 with 2 singles. Luis Pelayo went 1-5 with a single. Brock Henderson went 1-4 with a single. Sterling Valera went 1-4 with a single and an RBI. Colton Bensch went 1-4 with a single for the Drovers.
The USAO Drovers look to finish off the series sweep over Our Lady of the Lake University Saints on Saturday, January 25 at Missions Baseball Academy in San Antonio, Texas. First pitch for this contest is scheduled for 12:00 PM CT.

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Baseball: USAO Season Preview

*Follow @NAIABall on twitter for the best NAIA Baseball Coverage*

The Drovers come into 2020 after an impressive 2019 season where they went 49-12 and would add another trip to NAIA World Series to its resume. In the World Series the Drovers would come within one game of the championship game going 3-2 in the tournament. The Drovers have high hopes again as they come into the season ranked #3 in the country and ranked #1 in the Sooner Athletic Conference preseason polls.
The Drovers 2019 pitching staff ranked 1st in the NAIA in ERA with a 2.47 team ERA and also were top ranked in strike outs with 554 on the season. In the 2020 season they will be returning the big 3 on the mound. Colton Williams, Matt Merrill and Jean Muntaner. In 2019, Williams went 16-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his 108.2 innings pitched. Merrill went 11-3 with a 2.50 ERA in his 86.1 innings pitched for the Drovers and Muntaner went 13-1 on the season with a 2.86 ERA in his 94.1 innings pitched. The Drovers will also have returning from the 2019 season, Ricardo Velez who really emerged on the stage during the World Series where he was dominant for the Drovers. In that World Series Velez threw 9 innings, with 113 strikouts and allowed just 1 run. Adam Moraga should be a good piece for the Drovers this season. Last season Moraga went 7-4 with a 3.95 ERA for Pima CC in Tucson, Arizona.

Starting Pitcher Matt Merrill said “All our guys are locked in and ready to get out there. I wouldn’t be surprised if we brought back the World Series trophy this year.

The Drover offense will see some new faces this year and are coming off a 2019 season where they finished 4th in the NAIA in team batting average with .338 and 7th in Runs Batted In per Game with 8 runs per game. The Drovers will return the whole outfield from the 2019 season, in Ian Laureano, Luis Pelayo and Cristian Laboy. Laureano hit .364, with 45 RBI’s and 5 home runs including the walk-off to send the Drovers to the World Series. Pelayo will play a big piece in the USAO offense this season, as he hit .393 with 64 RBI’s and 8 home runs for the Drovers. Laboy hit 287 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI’s. The offense will be getting the addition of shortstop, Gus Wilson who played in 40 games for Galveston College where he hit .321 with 17 RBI’s on the season.

Starting outfielder Ian Laureano said “Just grateful that I can play another season under Coach Ross and excited for what the season is going to bring for us.

The Drovers season is set to begin on the road Friday, January 24 when they travel to Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. First pitch for this game is set for 1:00 PM CT. USAO will play its first home game on Saturday, February 1 against The University of Saint Mary.

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Player Spotlight: Tennessee Wesleyan Bryce Giles

Bryce Giles, 5-10, Senior Infielder is coming off an impressive 2019 campaign where he led the Tennessee Wesleyan Bulldogs to the NAIA World Series and would be crowned champions of the 2019 season. Giles was then named the most valuable player & Charles Berry Hustle award winner for the NAIA World Series.

During the 2019 season Giles would hit .387, with 9 home runs and 31 RBI’s. Giles really came alive during conference play, when he would hit 476 and connect on 3 home runs.

Question #1
Q: Explain the feeling of winning the NAIA World Series

A: “Being able to compete at the World Series was beyond words, but being the team to come out on top was such an amazing feeling with a great group of guys.”

Question #2
Q: What did it mean to you to win the most valuable player & Charles Berry Hustle award?

A: “Winning the MVP and the Hustle award meant a lot to me, but taking home the national championship trophy with the team meant more.”

Question #3
Q: What three traits define you?
A: “Hard working, leader, competitive”

Question #4
Q: What part of your game to do look to most improve on going into the 2020 season?

A: “I look to improve on my running game coming into this season. Looking to get into scoring position more to help out my guys produce, as well as produce more wins.”

Question #5

Q: Coming off an impressive season last year, what are you most excited for going into this season?

A: “I’m excited to come back and develop and grow with new teammates, looking forward to carrying on from last season!”

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Women’s Basketball: Drovers and Evangels Set To Battle in Chickasha

Coming into this marquee matchup both teams remain unbeaten in the Sooner Athletic Conference as the Mid-America Christian Evangels (7-2, 2-0 SAC) head down to Chickasha, Oklahoma to take on the USAO Drovers (7-3, 2-0 SAC). The standing currently stand with the Evangels in 3rd and the Drovers locked in at the 4th spot.

The Evangels offense averages 82 points per game coming into this contest but the eye catching stat is the rebounding ability. Mid-America comes into this game ranked 2nd in offensive rebounding with 19 rebounds per game. The Evangels also rank 4th in the country in total rebounds per game as they are grabbing 48 per game. The defense for Mid-America allows just 65 points per game as they are holding opponents to 38% shooting from the floor on the season.

The Drovers offense has put up 78 points per game and are ranked 16th in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 44% from the floor. The Defense for the Drovers has been the major key to the success to this team as they rank 2nd in blocked shots with 6 per game. The USAO defense has been very solid all year long as they have forced opponents to 33% from the floor to put them 9th in the country. Ball security has been another piece to the puzzle for the Drovers as they have been only turning the ball over 12 times compared the 19 they have been forcing per contest.

Friday’s matchup is set for a 6:00 p.m. CT tip at Drover Fieldhouse in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

What To Know About USAO:

The Drovers are led by Reyna Ammons, Milagros Carrera and Khady Sene. Ammons, (5-6 Senior) is currently leading the team in scoring with 19 points per game. She also leads the team in steals. Ammons is ranked 8th in the nation in steals with 4 per game. Carrera, (5-9 Freshman) is putting up 14 and has added 4 rebounds per game for the Drovers. The Freshman is shooting an impressive 50% from the floor that ranks her 26th in the country. Sene, (6-3 Senior) has had an impressive start to her Senior campaign as she is averaging 8 points per game and has been dominating the board with 10 rebounds per game. Sene has been a huge part to the USAO defense, picking up 3 blocks per contest.

Senior Guard Reyna Ammons said “Coming out we need to have the right mindset and come out strong to begin with, lately we been having flat starts. we need to continue to be solid on the defensive end but also on the offensive. We need to execute our plays and secure all rebounds on both ends of the court through all 5 players. Also, if everyone does the little things; communicating, being selfless, and hustling, we will be one hard team to beat tomorrow.

The Drovers are coached by Darrick Matthews, who is in his 5th year with USAO. Assistant coaches are Sirena Matthews and Olivia Chapman.

What To Know About Mid-America:

The Evangels are led by Alexis Shannon, Lexi Hernandez and Loralei Siliga. Shannon, (5-11 Senior) has been dominate so far in the season averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds for Mid-America. Shannon ranks 7th in the nation in points per game. Shannon has been In command down low and she has proven she can shoot it from behind the arc, shooting 14-30 on the year. Hernandez, (5-6 Junior) is currently averaging 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists per game for Mid-America. She also averaging 3 steals per game which ranks her 27th in the nation. Siliga, (5-11 Senior) has averaged 11 points and 7 rebound per game. Siliga ranks 7th with an impressive 62% field goal percentage from the floor so far this season.

Senior Forward Alexis Shannon said “We are excited for tomorrows game. It’s going to be two really good basketball teams going head to head. With similar records, I think both us and USAO are going to bring all we have on the court tomorrow. It should be a fun game to play in and to watch.

Mid-America is coached by Hannah Moeller, who is her 4th season with the Evangels. Assistant coaches are Kelsie Dutton and Logan Martin.

Series Record:

Dating back to 2006, these two teams have faced off 27 times and the Evangels own the series with a 15-12 record.

How To Watch:

Stretch Internet USAO

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Men’s Basketball: Drovers Host Unbeaten Evangels In Friday’s Showdown

The Mid-America Christian Evangels presently comes into this contest being one of the seven teams without a loss early in the 2019-20 season. The Evangels (10-0, 2-0 SAC) head to Chickasha, Oklahoma to take on the USAO Drovers (6-5, 1-1 SAC) in a early season showcase matchup. Mid-American currently sits at 2nd in the Sooner Athletic Conference and ranked 3rd in the nation. USAO presently sits at 8th in the conference standing.

The Evangels offense has been one of the better offense in the country as they are scoring 95 points per game and are ranked 5 in field goal percentage 52.7% on the season. The defense has also been very impressive as they are only allowing 72 points per game and ranked 6th in defensive field goal percent at 38% early in the season.

The Drovers offense is currently averaging 91 points per game and find majority of their points from behind the 3-point line as they are 4th in made 3’s per game with 12.3 per contest. The USAO offense has cashed in on a total of 123 three-pointers on the season to put them ranked 7th in the nation. The Drovers are allowing 86 points per contest and are looking to seek improvement on the defensive end.

Friday’s matchup is slated for a 7:45 p.m. CT tip at Drover Fieldhouse in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

What To Know About USAO:

The Drovers have been led by Stephon Hall, Colen Gaynor and Cameron Hines. Hall, (6-0 Sophomore) is averaging a solid 17 points per game which leads the team. Hall has been sharing the ball well averaging 5 assists per contest and 4 rebounds for the Drovers. Gaynor, (6-5 Junior) is currently averaging 15 points per game and 7 rebound to help out the Drovers. Gaynor looks to continue good play as he is coming off a really good performance against Bacone where he scored 24 points and picked up 5 rebounds. Hines (5-10 junior) is putting up 14 points per game for the Drovers and is currently shooting 43 % from behind the arc for USAO.

The Drovers are coached by Chris Francis, who is in his 5th year with USAO. Assistant coaches are Chisum Lane and James Davis.

What To Know About Mid-America:

The Evangels have been led by Cedric Wright, Ashford Golden and Terrance Jones. Wright the 6-7 Redshirt Senior has brought Havoc scoring 18 points points per game to lead the team. Wright has been big down low in the post as he leads his team in rebound with 6.4 per game. Golden the 6-6 Senior is scoring 15 points per game and is looking to continue his great play after a 26 point performance in his last outing. Golden was also named the Sooner Athletic Conference player of the week last week for the Evangels. Jones the 6-5 Junior has been a huge piece off the bench for Mid-America as he is averaging 12 points and adds 5 rebounds per contest to add to a team full of weapons.

Mid-America is coached by Josh Gamblin, who is in his 5th season for the Evangels. Assistant coaches are Anthony Nero, Bob Battisti and Cade Upshaw.

Redshirt Senior Forward Cedric Wright said “Thoughts coming into Friday’s game is . We know despite USAO record that they are still a really great team and that if we come out unprepared that this can be there start up . So we are locked in and ready to try are best to match there intensity and get a good win before the break against a really good ball club.”

Series Record:

Dating back to 2008, these two teams have battled 26 times and Mid-America lead the series 15-11.

How To Watch:

Stretch Internet USAO

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Baseball Preview: #9 USAO Set To Play #7 Oklahoma City In Premier Battle

No. 9 USAO Drovers vs. No. 7 Oklahoma City Stars
When: March 7&9, 2019
Where: Bill Smith Ballpark (7th), Jim Wade Stadium (9th)
Time: Thursday at 6 p.m.; Saturday at 1 & 3:30 p.m.
Series Record: Oklahoma City leads, 34-9 dating back to 2007.

Probable Starting Pitchers:

Thursday: USAO JR. Jean Mutaner (5-0, 1.00) vs OCU JR. Bryce Milligan (4-0, 0.00)

Saturday G1: USAO FR. Matt Merrill (4-0, 0.99) vs OCU JR. Jake Patterson (3-0, 3.96)

Saturday G2:USAO JR. Coleton Williams (4-0, 1.99) vs OCU JR. Brandon Goldston (3-1,3.67)

Just a little over a month into the season and already a key top 20 series, The 9th ranked USAO Drovers (18-2, 2-0 SAC) take on the 7th ranked Oklahoma City Stars (18-2, 3-0 SAC). This series last year brought a 2-2 split. Both teams opened up conference play this week by sweeping their opponents. The Drovers would sweep SAGU in a two game series and the Stars would grab 3 wins against Southwestern Christian.

What To Know About USAO:

The USAO Drovers come into this big series playing well, winning 11 of there last 12 games. The Drovers are coached by Head Coach Mike Ross and Tyle Hankins. Ross is in his 11th season with the Drovers and has qualified for two world series appearances. Hankins is in his first season with the Drovers as he has spent time with Northwestern Oklahoma State University as the hitting coach.

Head Coach Mike Ross said “Will be the best team have played this year. They are always one of the top teams in the NAIA and I’m excited for the series.

The Drovers all-around have picked up where they left off last season where they are coming off an impressive 46-8 finish. The Drovers are again led by SR. P.J.Garcia, who led the team in average last season with .410. This season Garcia is hitting .452 for the Drovers, with 6 doubles and 1 home run on the season. The Drovers have got very solid play out of the Oklahoma Sooner Transfer FR. Brock Henderson. He is currently hitting .485, with 5 doubles and has tacked on 7 RBI’s for the Drovers. JR. Luis Pelayo the transfer from Connors State, is presently hitting .418 with 7 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home run. JR. Ian Laureano is hitting .424 for the Drovers,with 4 doubles and 1 home run.

Drovers Shortstop P.J. Garcia said”It’s a series you look at when you get the schedule. It’s always good competition and a fun series. We both have been in the top of the conference for the last several years so it will be fun to see who comes out on top this year.”

The Drover pitching has dominated thus far through the season as they hold a team ERA of 1.61 and are holding opponents batting average to a .164 on the season. The Drovers pitching staff is led by FR. Matt Merrill, who is sitting at 4-0 with a 0.99 ERA for USAO. Merrill has thrown 27.1 innings and struck out 39 for the Drovers. Another reliable arm for the Drovers has been JR. Jean Mutaner. The lefty is sitting at 5-0 on the season with a solid 1.00 ERA. Mutaner has thrown 27 innings and has sat down 29 with the punch out. JR. Coleton Williams has started the year right, as he is 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA for the Drovers. Opponents are hitting .171 against Williams on the season.

What To Know About OCU:

The Oklahoma City Stars are also starting their season right where they left off, as they have won 10 of their last 11 games. The Stars are led by Head coach Denney Crabaugh and assistant coach Keith Lytle. Crabaugh has had a very successful journey at OCU and is currently in his 29th season with the Stars. Lytle is also in his 29th season with the Stars, and like Crabaugh has had a very successful career as the hitting coach for Oklahoma City.

Head Coach Denney Crabaugh said “Should be another hard-fought series like they have been the past few years”

The Stars offense is hitting a team average of .286, and they are led by FR. Noah Barks. Barks is currently hitting .391, with 5 doubles and has tacked on 7 RBI’s for OCU. JR. Tyler Williams is hitting .333 for the stars, as he has an impressive 5 home runs, 4 doubles and 29 RBI’s on the season. SR. Quinton Walbergh is currently hitting .365 for the Stars, with 5 doubles and 8 RBI’s.

The Oklahoma City pitching staff has been dominated by the JR. Bryce Milligan. He is dominating opponents as he is 4-0 on the season with a 0.00 ERA and struck out 41 in 34.2 innings for the Stars. Back on February 1st Milligan complete his first no-hitter of the season against Grand View (Iowa), where he threw 7 strong innings and would strikeout 8 for the Stars. JR. Brandon Goldston is another good arm for the Stars as he is 3-1 with a 3.67 ERA. Goldston has thrown 27 innings with 22 strikeouts. JR. Jake Patterson is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA, as he has thrown 25 innings for the Stars on the season. SR. Tyler Milligan is a good arm out of the pen for the stars, as he is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Milligan has thrown 5.2 innings and sat down 10 via the strikeout.

OCU pitcher Tyler Milligan said “Conference games are always important to win especially against another ranked team like USAO we always look forward to playing them should be a good weekend.”

Special Guest Pickers:

Cody From @NAIABall on twitter

Pick: Oklahoma City 2-1 series win

“Also featured as our NAIA Ball Big Series of the Week, I’m picking the Stars to win the opener on the road in Chickasha behind the arm of future All American SP Bryce Milligan 30+ IP, 0.00 ERA).

With the series heading to Oklahoma City for two games on Saturday, I’m predicting a hard fought split between two outstanding teams.

OCU wins the opener 2-1. But similar to last season, look for the Drovers to return the favor in May”

Robby Gutierrez from @NAIABall on twitter

Pick: USAO 2-1 series win

“The Drovers will have their hands full in game 1 with likely Bryce Milligan. He’s been lights out for Denney Crabaugh and the Stars this season. Tyler Williams bat will be an issue for USAO all series long. But the USAO pitching staff has been great this season. Ricardo Velez has a big time breaking ball that strikes a lot of guys out, combine that with Matt Merrill and Jean Mutaner and you’ve got a great series. Rudy Gonzalez is having a great year out of the pen and I expect that to continue vs a potent offense of OCU. On the offensive side I look for PJ Garcia and Luis Pelayo to carry the load. Garcia to get in and Pelayo to drive guys in. Daniel Lafarga and Alex Sanchez have been instrumental in putting the ball in the gaps and over the fence to help the Drovers score. All in all I believe we’re in for the best series so far this year.”

 

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Basketball: Drovers Drop Season Opener To Ravens

In the 2018-2019 season opener the Benedictine College Ravens topped the USAO Drovers by the score of 82-54. The Ravens coming off a 14-17 season where they finished 4th in the Heart of American Athletic Conference south division. The USAO Drovers are coming off a 21-11 season as they would finish as the 5th ranked team in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

Early in the first half the Ravens gained the lead and never looked back. The Ravens started the game in a 9-0 run before the Drovers Forward Marquise Williams scored the first two points of this season. The Drovers offense was held to just 27% from the field as they allowed 48% shooting percentage to the Ravens. Benedictine College offense was clicking as they would connect on 11 three-pointers and would shoot 37% from behind the 3 point line. The Drovers would hit 6 three-pointers and would shoot 22%. Points in the paint was a big factor in this contest as the Ravens would put together 36 in comparison to 16 from the Drovers.

The Drovers got a proficient first game from Greyden Steinmetz as he would tally 14 points off the bench on 5-8 shooting and would finish with 2 rebounds. Steinmetz is a SO. transfer from Redlands Junior College where he averaged 13.7 points a game. Geno Artison finished the game with 9 points on 3-12 shooting and 6 rebounds. Artison is a SR. transfer from the University of Tulsa. In his JR. year he averaged 11.1 minutes per game and played in 30 games for the Golden Hurricanes. Marquise Williams made his present known down low collecting 11 boards and 5 points. Williams is SR. transfer from Lincoln University where he averaged 9.1 points per game and 7.9 rebounds.

Benedictine College leading scorer was Thomas O’Connor as he finished with 19 points on 7-15 shooting and 3-7 from behind the arc. Adam Kutney finished the night with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Jaiden Bristol scored 12 point on 5-8 shooting with 10 rebound to complete the double-double.

The Drovers will battle the University of Southwest Mustangs on Monday November 5th, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. CT. Benedictine College next contest is against the Park University Pirates on Monday November 5th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. CT.

Sophomore Guard Greyden Steinmetz Said “Tough game, we’ll have to watch film and grow from it.

Senior Foward Marquise Williams Said “We didn’t perform no where near what we’re capable of I think a lot guys were just getting their first game jitters out the way even myself. It’s a quick turnaround on Monday we got a another game we have to regroup and come together and don’t let this first game define us. We have a good coaching staff & I enjoy playing for them they believe in my abilities & encourage me to stay confident & play my game something most players don’t get a chance to experience.

Week 14: My College Football Playoff Rankings

This week in college football was yet another wild weekend. Number one Alabama got beat by Auburn in the Iron Bowl. Number two Miami got beat by Pittsburgh. The rankings will shift a lot following both of those losses. Alabama will have a tough time getting into the playoffs following their loss.

1. Oklahoma (11-1)

This is a very good Oklahoma Sooners team who has bounced back following a loss to Iowa State. Since that loss, the Sooners are scoring 46 points per game. The Sooners are led by Heisman trophy favorite Baker Mayfield. He has thrown for 37 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. The leading rusher for the Sooners, is Rodney Anderson. He has rushed for 867 yards and tacked on 11 touchdowns. Oklahoma has had significant help from wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. He has 741 yards receiving and 7 touchdown catches. Tight end Mark Andrews has 848 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. The leader of this defense is Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. He has 64 tackles and 17 tackles for loss.

2. Clemson (11-1)

The Clemson Tigers, just like Oklahoma had to bounce back from a tough loss to Syracuse. Since that loss Clemson is averaging 39 points per game. This season Clemson is averaging 457 yards and giving up 290 yards per game. The Tigers quarterback, is Kelly Bryant. He has thrown for 10 touchdowns and rushed for 10 touchdowns. The leading rusher for Clemson is Travis Etienne. He has 679 yards and 11 touchdowns and is averaging 68 yards per game. On the defensive side, the leading tackler is Dorian O’Daniel. He has 90 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss.

3. Auburn (10-2)

The Auburn Tigers could be the first two lost team, to make the playoffs. The Tigers suffered a loss to Clemson and LSU. This Auburn team is averaging 37 points and giving up just 16 points per contest. Auburn is carried by their running attack, led by Kerryon Johnson. He has 1,276 yards and 17 touchdowns. The leading passer for the Tigers is Jarrett Stidham. He has thrown for 2,682 yards and 16 touchdowns. The leading tackler for the Tigers, is Deshaun Davis. He has 65 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss.

4. Wisconsin (12-0)

The Wisconsin Badgers finished off the perfect season at 12-0. The Badgers are scoring 35 points per game and allowing just 12 points per game. The leading rusher for the Badgers is Jonathan Taylor. He has 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season. The leading passer for Wisconsin is Alex Hornibrook. He has thrown for 2,157 yards and 21 touchdowns. T.J. Edwards lead this defense in tackles for a loss with 11. The leading tackler for the Badgers is, Ryan Connelly. He has 71 tackles and 10 tackles for loss.

Thanks to college football for this photo