Spalding University Golden Eagles are the 2012 USCAA Small College World Series Champions

Spalding University Golden Eagles are the  2012 USCAA Small College World Series Champions

SPRINGFIELD, IL. – Spalding University are 2012 USCAA Baseball National Champions.  For the second straight year, the prevailing loser’s bracket team has come from behind to win three games on Championship day.  Spalding University began the day with a comeback versus #3 Rochester College.  Down 3-1 going in to the sixth inning, Spalding rallied for two runs to tie the game.  They went on to win in nine innings, after a wild pitch. 

The Championship game between Spalding and Apprentice continued to be as close as Wednesdays’ matchups. After two days of late-game heroics, the Apprentice School entered the championship with three wins by a margin of only a run, one of which was against Spalding the previous day where they came back from 8-4 in the final inning.
All-American pitchers Tyler Brown and Taylor Reilly who pitched Monday and Tuesday respectively came out just as strong as the previous outing, and were too much for the Builders.  In the two Championship games, the Builders combined for only 11 hits and three runs.  Spalding went on to win 5-1 and 5-2 in the championship games at Robin Roberts Stadium. 

Still, Reilly and Brown were not the lone stars.  The tournament MVP was Spalding second baseman Bryan Clemmons.  Over the course of the four day series, Clemmons was 10 for 17 from the plate, scored eight runs, five RBI, and was perfect in the field, not making an error in 25 attempts.

In game one, the Builders scored first in the third inning as with two outs, Trevin Wilson singled and went to second in a Chris Aldridge single to center.  Devorn Lake followe d with a single to right field to plate Wilson for a 1-0 lead. Spalding answered with a run in the seventh to tie on a two-out triple from Kyle Just who scored Derek Ferch who had walked.  In the ninth, the Golden Eagles scored four times to take the 5-1 win.

In game two, Spalding put a pair of runs on the board in the first and fifth to take a 4-0 lead before the Builders scored a run in the fifth on a two-out solo home run from All-American Chris Scarola.  Each team put up a run in the sixth as tournament MVP Bryan Clemmons drove in Eric Johnson with a sacrifice fly.  Apprentice immediately answered to bring the margin to 5-2.  Spalding would not give up another run, however, as Tyler Brown went the distance to shut down the Builders in the ninth inning.

In response to Spalding’s first baseball National Championship, head coach Mike Stawski said, “Our coaches didn’t do anything different {during the series}.  The players deserve all the recognition.  They worked hard and came to play.”  Stawski leads the Golden Eagles to a National Championship in only his third season.  During their championship season, Spalding finishes 32-11-1.

Following the game, the USCAA announced the 2012 All-Tournament Team, listed below:

  • Daniel Lutz – Senior, Pitcher | The Apprentice School
  • Travis Franklin – Senior, DH | The Apprentice School
  • Brayden Gomes – OF | Clark State CC
  • Mike Karas – So, 2B | Penn State Beaver
  • Eric Ramirez – Jr, OF | Rochester College
  • Andrew Snider – Sr, OF | Southern Virginia University
  • Taylor Reilly – Sr, P | Spalding University
  • Tyler Brown – So, P | Spalding University
  • Zane Wheatley – Jr, 1B | Spalding University

MVP – Bryan Clemmons – Sr., 2B | Spalding University