Cronk Inducted into Belton, Pitt State Hall of Fame

June 16, 2014

Kansas City, MO – It has been an eventful summer for Avila University head baseball coach Daryl Cronk, who was inducted into the Belton High School Athletics Hall of Fame earlier this month. Cronk was also notified that he will be a part of the 2014 Pittsburgh State Athletics Hall of Fame class, which will be formally inducted on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

Cronk, a 1994 graduate of Belton High School, was a First Team All-Conference/District selection in his senior year, and was also selected as the Belton High School Team MVP that season. Cronk was also on the Academic Honor Roll at Belton all four years.

Cronk said that he was honored and surprised of his induction into the Belton Hall of Fame, and that it was extremely special to go in with Coach (Gary) Burns.

“It is very humbling, and I am honored to go into the Belton High School Hall of Fame, especially with one of my baseball heroes, Coach Gary Burns,” said Cronk.

The induction ceremony was held on May 31st at Belton High School. Cronk, along with 9 others, made up the 2014 Belton High School Athletics Hall of Fame class.

Cronk joins Avila cross country/track coach Dave Denny, who is also a member of the Belton Hall of Fame.

2014 Belton HOF Inductees

Jim Shea                       Josh Bozarth


Fred Harris                   Kristen Armilio Niemeyer


Robin Hickland            Gary Burns


Katie Biondo                Daryl Cronk


Dave Craft                    Merle Clark

Former Eagle Moving up the Ranks for Cardinals

May 30, 2014

Palm Beach, FL – Former All-American and Avila University baseball standout Chris Thomas recently got the call to move up to High-A ball and play for the Palm Beach Cardinals, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals farm system.

Thomas, a 2012 NAIA All-American pitcher at Avila, has appeared in 4 games for the Cardinals since his call up on May 15, tossing six innings while allowing just 2 hits and striking out nine. In his first appearance for Palm Beach on May 16, Thomas dominated the Tampa Yankees in his three innings of work, striking out five and walking just one. The Cardinals wound up falling to the Yankees, 7-6, in 18 innings.

Thomas, a Liberty native, earned his first career victory for the Cardinals on May 20, working a perfect 11th inning against the Brevard County Manatees. The victory snapped a 5-game losing streak for the Cardinals. Three days later, Thomas picked up his first save for Palm Beach, working a perfect ninth.

Before being called up by Palm Beach, Thomas was pitching for the Peoria Chiefs. In 16 games for the Chiefs, he tossed 17 2/3 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 13 hits while striking out 26 and walking just five. Thomas also had 6 saves for the Chiefs.

Since being drafted in 2012, Thomas has put up some staggering career numbers in the minor leagues. He has appeared in 45 games with a record of 6-0 with 11 saves. His career ERA is a miniscule 1.40, and he has accumulated 80 strikeouts in just 58 innings pitched.

His success in the minor leagues should come as a surprise to nobody considering the success that he had at Avila. In his two years with the Eagles, Thomas appeared in 25 games, amassing 159 1/3 innings with an ERA of just 1.69. Thomas finished with a 17-6 record for the Eagles, including 194 strikeouts to just 39 walks.

To keep up with Thomas as he progresses through the minor league ranks, click HERE.

Eagles Start Well, Tumble in Conference Play

May 13, 2014

Kansas City, MO - After appearing in the NAIA National Tournament the last two seasons, the Avila University baseball team’s 2014 season was a different story. The team finished 16-24 overall, and 6-20 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, after winning the conference title in 2010 and a share of it 2012.

The Eagles started this season 9-3 including two wins against then 16th-ranked Texas Wesleyan.  Pitcher Brian McNulty also pitched one of his three shutouts in the first game of the season. Outfielder Anthony Biondo also hit for the cycle in a 17-14 victory over NCAA Division II Rockhurst.

The Eagles then suffered seven straight losses once conference play began. Third baseman Ryan Ford only played in eight games this season, after being deemed academically ineligible. The freshman hit .481 with four doubles, one triple and 11 runs batted in on the season.

The pitching staff posted an overall earned run average of 5.32 compared to 3.20 by their opponents. A team batting average of .241 also did not help the Eagles to produce runs. Avila only scored a total of 139 runs on the season, which was its lowest in at least 10 years.

Avila also only had three seniors on the team, and a bullpen that could never quite shut the door on opponents in close games. Pitchers Xavier Boerger and Cody Lewis were the team’s best two pitchers. Boerger pitched 15 innings with an earned run average of 3.00, while Lewis threw 61.2 innings posting an earned run average of 3.79.

Lewis was also named an all-HAAC honorable mention, and to the conference gold glove team after moving from catcher to pitcher during the season.  Catcher Kyle Ford also earned all-HAAC honorable mention honors after throwing out over 40 percent of would be base stealers on the year. Shortstop Stephen Montisano also earned a gold glove, and batted .297 with six doubles and one triple.

The team lost 10 games by no more than three runs, including four games by one run. Overall, it was not the season Cronk had envisioned. Avila will look to reboot next season as the team only loses three seniors.

Three Eagles Earn All-HAAC Honors

May 5, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Avila baseball players Kyle Ford and Cody Lewis both earned Honorable Mention honors in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, while Lewis and Eagle shortstop Stephen Montisano were both named to the Rawlings Gold Glove team.

Lewis, a junior pitcher from San Diego, California, finished the season with a 4-6 overall record and a solid 3.79 ERA in 61 2/3 innings pitched. Lewis, who is a former catcher, also finished the season with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 20 chances, helping him earn the Rawlings Gold Glove Award as a pitcher.

Montisano joins Lewis on the Rawlings Gold Glove Award team because of his spectacular glove at the shortstop position. He committed just 8 errors in 160 chances on the season, good for a .956 fielding percentage. Montisano also helped to turn 28 double plays on the season, and made countless highlight-quality plays all season.

Senior catcher Kyle Ford takes home All-HAAC honorable mention honors in his final collegiate season after batting at a .234 clip with 4 homers, 5 doubles, 17 RBIs, and 27 walks. Ford was also great behind the plate defensively for the Eagles in 2014, finishing with just 5 errors in 172 chances, good for a .971 fielding percentage. Ford also controlled the oppositions running game, throwing out over 40 percent of would-be base stealers in 2014.

Eagles Split Series on Senior Weekend

April 28, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University baseball team honored its seniors and then closed out its season with a four game split with Baker University over the weekend.

The Eagles and Wildcats split their double header on Saturday, with Avila falling 3-1 in the first game, but coming back and taking game two, 3-2. Senior Brian McNulty earned the victory for the Eagles, throwing a complete game. Both teams also split their games on Monday afternoon, with Baker winning 7-1 in the first game, and Avila taking game two, 1-0, behind a big game at the plate from senior Kyle Ford and junior pitcher Jake Slocum, who threw his first career shutout.

The series was initially supposed to end on Sunday, but heavy rain and thunderstorms caused the games to be pushed back to Monday. After a 45 minute rain delay, the decision was made to push the games back.

Game 1

Prior to the games on Saturday, Avila honored their three seniors; Brian McNulty, Kyle Ford, and Quinn Barrett. Each player was given a special photo collage poster on the field. Each player was escorted onto the field by their parents, and each set of parents were also presented with a gift. Avila senior Quinn Barrett was unable to pitch over the weekend due to injury.

Cody Lewis pitched well in the first game of the series, but Avila’s bats were silenced as the Eagles fell to Baker, 3-1. Lewis gave up 3 runs on 7 hits over 6 innings while striking out 3 in the loss.

Senior catcher Kyle Ford started the game off well by throwing out a would-be base stealer, and he also doubled in his first at bat in the bottom of the first inning. Ford also walked later in the game.

With the Eagles trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Alex Quiros hit a ball into the gap to bring home AJ Oviedo to cut the deficit to 3-1, but that was as close as Avila would get.

Game 2

Senior Brian McNulty picked up the win in his final start for the Eagles, tossing a complete game. McNulty gave up 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 4 and walking just 1 in the victory, his fifth of the season.

Anthony Zicarelli led the way for the Eagles on offense, finishing 2-3 with a double and 3 RBIs. With Avila trailing 1-0, Zicarelli drove a 2-out double down the right field line to give Avila a 2-1 lead. Then in the sixth inning, Zicarelli broke a 2-2 tie with a brilliant bunt with runners on 1st and 3rd to bring home Kyle Simmons, giving Avila a 3-2 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Baker led off the inning with a single, but McNulty induced a ground ball on the next play for the first out. During the play, Avila first baseman AJ Oviedo was injured when he jumped to catch a throw coming from second base. As Oviedo came down, he collided with the base runner. During the collision, he dislocated his left knee cap. The Avila training staff tended to him on the field for about 10 minutes before carting him off.

After the injury, McNulty struck out the next batter, and then induced a ground out to third, sealing the victory for the Eagles.

Game 3

Avila was unable to get the bats going in the first game of their final double header of the season on Monday, falling 7-1 to Baker. The Eagles only amassed 4 hits in the game while Baker broke out for 7 runs on 9 hits.

Xavier Boerger got the start for Avila, tossing 4 1/3 innings and giving up 3 runs (2 ER). He left with Avila trailing 3-0, but a 4-run Baker seventh ended any hopes of an Avila comeback.

Avila pitcher Cody Lewis earned the start at DH for the Eagles in the game. Lewis was a catcher for the Eagles during the 2013 season, but became a full time starting pitcher for Avila this season. He finished the game with a hit in two at bats. Pitcher Brian McNulty also got an at bat for the Eagles, nearly legging out a ground ball to the second baseman in the bottom of the seventh.

Game 4

Jake Slocum toed the slab for the Eagles in the final game of the series, and he dazzled on the mound, spinning his first complete game shutout of his career.

Slocum struck out six and walked none over seven innings of work, scattering just 4 singles.

Kyle Ford finished his career with a 2-3 performance, including a line drive base hit in the bottom of the sixth inning in his final at bat for the Eagles. Ford also threw out two would-be base stealers in the game to help out Slocum, who faced just one over the minimum.

Avila’s lone run in the game came when DH Cody Lewis reached on a Baker error in the bottom of the fourth inning. Pinch runner Josh Aguilar scored from second base on the error.

Avila finished their season with a 16-24 record.

Weather Postpones Baseball until Monday

April 27, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Severe thunderstorms and rain caused the baseball games between Baker and Avila University to be postponed from Sunday afternoon to Monday at 2 p.m.

The games were initially supposed to be played at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, but the threat of rain caused the teams to push game time up to noon to try and beat the storms, but Mother Nature would not cooperate.

Rain began falling shortly after a loud crash of Thunder, and it never stopped. Though both teams know their fate in the HAAC Tournament, all conference games must be played, so the games will be made up at 2 p.m. on Monday at the Zarda Multisport Complex on the campus of Avila University.

Avila to Honor Ford, McNulty and Barrett on Saturday

April 24, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University baseball team will be celebrating the careers of seniors Kyle Ford, Brian McNulty and Quinn Barrett on Saturday prior to their double header with Baker at 1 p.m.

The senior day celebration will begin at 12:45 p.m. on the baseball field as Ford, McNulty, and Barrett will each be recognized for their accomplishments at Avila. Each senior will also receive a special gift from the university and head coach Daryl Cronk for their service to the baseball program and the university as student-athletes.

Quinn Barrett

Barrett was a part of the Avila Baseball teams that went to the NAIA National Tournament in 2012 and 2013. Over those two seasons, he appeared in 12 games on the mound, including 2 starts. He finished with a 1-1 record in 27 2/3 innings pitched combined in those two seasons with 11 strikeouts.

Barrett has been a regular starter for the Eagles this season, toeing the rubber 8 times. He has accumulated a 3-4 record with 40 1/3 innings pitched on the season with a 4.91 ERA. He threw at least six innings in 4 of his 8 starts, including a career high 6 2/3 against Graceland on 3/19.

His best start of the season came against Texas Wesleyan where he threw six solid innings, giving up 1 unearned run while scattering 4 hits en route to a 2-1 Avila victory.

Kyle Ford

Ford came to Avila after playing two seasons at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. He has been a mainstay behind the plate for the Eagles for the past two seasons, playing in 80 games for Avila.

Ford has been an extremely reliable catcher for Avila over the past two seasons, committing just 9 errors in more than 400 chances, good for a .978 fielding percentage. Ford has earned a reputation throughout the HAAC as a pickoff specialist, and he picked off multiple runners in a game twice this season.

Ford has also been solid at the plate over his two seasons with the Eagles, smacking 14 doubles, a triple and 4 home runs while driving in 35 runs in his career. Ford has 57 career hits for Avila, and collected a career-high 4 hits in a game against Grand View on May 9, 2013.

Brian McNulty

McNulty came to Avila after playing two seasons for Glendale Community College in Glendale, Ariz. The 6’6 lefty spent most of his junior campaign coming out of the Avila bullpen, but did start 3 games for the Eagles, including a complete game victory over Briar Cliff on March 17, 2013. Overall, McNulty appeared in 13 games during the 2013 season, tossing 30 innings and earning 2 saves for the Eagles.

McNulty has been used mainly as a starter in his senior season, but due to a few injuries, he has also been used out of the bullpen in key situations for the Eagles. He leads Avila with 13 appearances this season, including 9 starts. He leads the team with 64 innings pitched on the season, and has accumulated 39 strikeouts. In his career, McNulty has thrown 94 innings for the Eagles, striking out 52 and amassing a 6-10 overall record.

McNulty has tossed three complete game shutouts this season, with his first coming in Avila’s opening game at Texas Wesleyan. He also threw a 9-inning shutout against the University of Saint Mary on 3/10 and a brilliant 4-hitter at Benedictine last weekend where he struck out 9.

All three seniors were instrumental in the team's success over the past few years, and head coach Daryl Cronk said each player holds a special place in his heart.

"It is tough to send our seniors out without another conference tournament berth, but that comes at no fault to these guys," said Cronk. "These three have been great leaders and ambassadors for our program, and it is hard to see them go. I wish them the best of luck moving forward."

After the seniors are honored on the field on Saturday, the Eagles will host Baker for the final home series of the season beginning at 1 p.m. The Eagles will also play Baker at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the final games of the season.

Eagles Drop Two at Benedictine

April 19, 2014

Atchison, Kan. – The Avila University baseball team dropped the final two games of their four game weekend series at Benedictine on Saturday, falling by scores of 3-2 and 7-2.

Avila could never get a lead in the first game, and would up losing on a walk off single in the bottom of the seventh inning.  The Eagles held an early 2-0 lead in game two, but were unable to score any more runs in the game, and ultimately fell 7-2.

Box Scores

Avila - 2 Benedictine - 3

Avila - 2 Benedictine - 7

Avila Splits With Benedictine

April 17, 2014

Atchison, KS – The Avila University baseball team split their double header with the Benedictine Ravens on Thursday afternoon, falling 2-1 in game one, and winning game two, 2-0.

Game 1

Kyle Simmons drove in the only run of the game for the Eagles in game one, and Cody Lewis earned the tough luck loss by giving up 2 runs over six strong innings.

Avila had multiple chances to score, but was unable to capitalize on nine Benedictine walks, leaving nine runners on base and getting just one hit with runners in scoring position.

Stephen Montisano had 2 of Avila’s 3 hits in the game, and Simmons had the other.

Despite eight walks from Benedictine starter Eli Egger, he earned the win for the Ravens by tossing 5 2/3 innings and striking out two and scattering two hits.

Game 2

Brian McNulty tossed his second shutout of the season for the Avila Eagles on Thursday in game two, striking out nine Ravens while scattering just 4 hits over seven innings.

The Eagles only had 3 hits in the game, but they were very timely. Kyle Simmons and Drew Lutzke got the job done on offense for Avila in the top of the fifth inning.  Simmons drove in Anthony Biondo for the first run of the game, and then Lutzke drove in Simmons to give Avila a 2-0 lead.

Two runs were more than enough for McNulty, who picked up his third win of the season for the Eagles. His 9 strikeouts were a season and career high, and he now has a team high 39 strikeouts on the season.

Avila will finish up their four game series with Benedictine on Saturday with a double header beginning at 1 p.m.

Avila Avoids Sweep with Big Victory over Bobcats

April 12, 2014

Peru, NE – The Avila University baseball team dropped the first three games of their 4-game series at Peru St., but avoided the sweep with an 8-2 victory on Saturday afternoon.

The Eagles (13-19, 3-15) lost the first three games of the series to the Bobcats (25-13, 13-7) by the scores of 10-2, 9-0, and 11-0, but were able to get a big 8-2 victory in game four.

A.J. Oviedo led the Eagles offensively, collecting 3 hits, 3 RBIs, and scoring 2 runs, while Avila starter Cody Lewis took care of business on the mound, tossing a complete game and striking out 4 in the victory.

To see the box scores and play by play of all four games, click below:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Baseball Adjusts Schedule at Peru St.

April 10, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University baseball team was scheduled to play at Peru State on Saturday and Sunday, but due to the threat of severe weather, the series has been moved up to Friday and Saturday.

The teams will play a double header on Friday beginning at 2 p.m., and then another double header on Saturday that will begin at 1 p.m.

You can follow the games live at the following link: Live Stats

Biondo’s Exta Inning Walk-Off Lifts Eagles to Split

April 5, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Anthony Biondo drove in Stephen Montisano in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the Avila Eagles baseball team earn a walk-off victory in the second game of a double header Saturday afternoon against the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers, 2-1.

The Eagles (12-16, 2-12) earned the split on Saturday after losing the first game of the day, 8-2. The Pioneers (19-10, 12-4) won the first two games of the series on Friday, defeating the Eagles, 5-2 and 10-4.

Cody Lewis went the distance for the Eagles in the final game Saturday, tossing eight strong innings and scattering seven hits in the victory.

Avila took an early 1-0 lead in both games on Saturday, but a couple mistakes on defense did the Eagles in in the first game of the day, leading to a 6-run sixth inning for the Pioneers, ultimately giving them an 8-2 victory.

The defense stepped up in the final game for the Eagles. Montisano and second baseman Ben Koerner turned a nasty double play in the top of the seventh inning to get Lewis out of trouble, and a nice catch by right fielder Kyle Simmons ended another Pioneer threat in the top of the eighth.

Montisano led off the bottom of the eighth for the Eagles with a single, and then Alex Quiros laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move him to second base.  Biondo drove in Montisano with a single up the middle, and the Eagles earned the victory.

Avila University honored former head baseball coach Jim Huber, Sr. before the game by inducting him into the Avila Athletics Hall of Fame.

The Eagles will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to take on Northwestern in a double header set to begin at 1 p.m.

Series Recap

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Avila to Induct Jim Huber, Sr. into Hall of Fame

April 3, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila Athletic Department and the Avila University Alumni Association will be inducting former Eagle baseball coach Jim Huber, Sr. into the Avila Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 5 before the start of the baseball team’s double header with MidAmerica Nazarene.

Coach Huber said that being inducted into the Avila Athletics Hall of Fame is a great honor, but not one he earned on his own.

“It means more to me to join some of the people who are already in the Hall of Fame,” he said. “It’s not an award strictly for me, but for others who have put in the work to get there.”

Before the start of the game, Coach Huber will be honored on the field during a special induction ceremony.  Huber will receive a special Avila Athletics Hall of Fame plaque from Avila Director of Athletics Brandon Johnson, and then he and his grandson, Alec, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.

Coach Huber, who coached at Avila from 1993-2004, will also have the opportunity to speak to the current Avila baseball team before the game, per his request. 

Current Avila head baseball coach Daryl Cronk said that having Coach Huber back on campus and speaking to his players is an honor for him, his players, and the university as a whole.

“To have Avila’s winningest coach back on this campus and addressing my players is great,” Cronk said. “Jim cared about his players more than anything, and to see him back teaching young men again will be fun. I know everyone, from the members of my staff to the whole university; appreciate everything that Coach accomplished at Avila.”

In Huber’s career at Avila, he became the winningest coach in the program’s history, and the winningest coach of any sport in Avila’s history. His teams surpassed the 40-win mark on four different occasions in his career at Avila, including a 50-win season in 1999. The Eagles won the MCAC Championship in 1999, and Huber won the MCAC Coach of the Year award, as well as the Regional Coach of the Year award, and his team finished 2nd overall at regionals.

Huber also led the Eagles to HAAC Championships in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, winning the title outright in 2003 and sharing it in 2004.

Avila Wins First Conference Game in Split with CMU

March 30, 2014

Fayette, MO – The Avila University baseball team earned their first HAAC win of the season on Saturday afternoon in a split with Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo. Avila won the first game with a come from behind victory, 3-2, but lost the second game, 7-4.

Avila went down 1-0 after one inning in the first game, but single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings gave the Eagles a 3-1 lead, and that was more than enough for Avila starter Cody Lewis.

Lewis went the distance for the Eagles, tossing 7 strong innings, giving up 2 runs while scattering 8 hits and walking none.

Anthony Biondo, Stephen Montisano, and Anthony Zicarelli each collected 2 hits for the Eagles, and Avila got RBIs from Kyle Ford, Eric Smith, and Ben Koerner in the victory.

In the second game, Kyle Simmons and A.J. Oviedo each drove in two runs for the Eagles, but it was not enough as Avila fell, 7-4.

Central Methodist took a 2-0 lead with 2 runs in the bottom of the second inning, and led 3-1 before Avila took their first lead of the game with 3 runs in the top of the sixth inning, taking a 4-3 lead.

The score remained 4-3 until the bottom of the eighth inning when Central Methodist put 4 runs on the board, giving them a comfortable 7-4 lead. Avila was unable to bounce back in the ninth inning, and wound up dropping the game.

Brian McNulty took the loss for the Eagles, giving up 7 runs, but only 3 were earned. Two errors proved costly for the Eagles, leading to 4 unearned Central Methodist runs.

Avila Baseball Drops Double Header at Culver-Stockton

March 27, 2014

Canton, MO – The Avila University baseball team remained winless in Heart of America Athletic Conference play after dropping both games of their double header to Culver-Stockton, 8-2 and 7-2.

The Eagles (10-12, 0-8) committed 8 errors in the first game, and 2 more in game two, leading to 6 unearned runs on the day for the Wildcats. Avila also walked 14 Culver-Stockton batters on the day, including 13 in game two.

Avila starter Quinn Barrett threw well in the first game for the Eagles, tossing six innings and giving up 4 earned runs, but poor defense led to 4 unearned runs for the Wildcats.

Despite the poor defense, the Eagles trailed just 1-0 heading into the top of the fifth and Avila center fielder Anthony Biondo tied the game for the Eagles with a solo homerun.

The Wildcats answered with 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth on 4 Avila errors to retake a 3-1 lead, and then blew the game open with 5 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, aided by 2 more Avila errors.

Biondo added an RBI triple in the top of the sixth for the Eagles, but it was not enough. Biondo finished the game 3-3 with a homerun, a triple, and 2 RBIs.

Game two did not go much better for the Eagles as they found themselves trailing 2-0 after 2 innings without surrendering a hit. Avila starter Jake Slocum walked 4 in the first two innings, and 2 Avila errors helped to lead to the two Wildcat runs.

The game remained 2-0 through 4 innings, but in the bottom of the fifth, Culver-Stockton plated a pair of runs to make the score 4-0. Avila answered with 2 runs in the top of the seventh inning on a bases loaded walk from Ben Koerner and an RBI single from Alex Quiros, but culver scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to regain a 4-run lead, 6-2.

The Wildcats tacked on another insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, and Avila was unable to start a rally in the ninth inning, dropping the Eagles to 0-8 in HAAC play.

Avila will look to get back to their winning ways on Saturday when they travel to Central Methodist University for a double header that is set to begin at 1 p.m.

Avila Baseball Adjusts Schedule Due to Weather

March 24, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The double header between Avila University and Culver-Stockton in Canton, Mo. has been moved from Tuesday, March 25th to Wednesday, March 26th due to cold weather and possible snow.

The forecast in Canton is calling for temperatures in the mid-30s on Tuesday with the possibility of morning snow, but temperatures are supposed to rise to the mid-50s by Wednesday afternoon.

The double header is set to begin at 1 p.m. with the second game set to begin about 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

Montisano Leads Eagles to Victory over Bulldogs, 9-8

March 18, 2014

Kansas City, MOStephen Montisano went 5 for 6, including a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to help give the Avila University baseball team a 9-8 victory over the McPherson Bulldogs on Monday.

Anthony Biondo and AJ Oviedo each added 3 hits for the Eagles, helping Avila (10-5, 0-2) to outhit McPherson, 16 to 5.

Brian McNulty pitched a scoreless ninth for Avila, picking up his third victory of the season.

The Bulldogs (5-13, 2-2) started the game off by scoring 2 runs in the top of the first inning off of Avila starter Eric Smith, but Avila answered with 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Drew Lutzke extended the Avila lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly to left field.

McPherson reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth inning by scoring 4 runs with two outs.  Smith got the first two outs, but then walked two batters, hit a batter with a pitch, gave up a 2-run single, and issued another walk before being removed for Brendan Roberts.  Roberts issued a walk and a hit by pitch before retiring Jose Nossa to end the inning.

The Bulldogs added two more runs in the fifth to build an 8-5 lead, and the score remained the same until the bottom of the eighth inning.  Avila scored 3 runs on 4 hits in the bottom of the eighth inning, including a beautifully executed suicide squeeze by Alex Quiros that scored Montisano to tie the game at 8 apiece.

McNulty threw a scoreless top of the ninth, setting Avila up for the walk-off win.  Anthony Ziccarelli was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the ninth, and then stole second base. Ben Koerner was intentionally walked, and Kyle Simmons flied out to center for the second out of the inning, bringing up Montisano.  With a 1-1 count, Ziccarelli and Koerner executed a double steal, and on the very next pitch, Montisano ripped a single into the 6-hole, driving in Ziccarelli to win the game.

The Eagles will return to action on Wednesday when they host Graceland University in a Heart of America Athletic Conference double header.  First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at the Zarda Family Sports Complex at Avila University.

Eagles Take Two from Trojans

March 12, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Pitching was key for the Avila University baseball team as they swept yesterday’s double header against the Hannibal-LaGrange University Trojans.  The Eagles won the first game, 1-0, behind Cody Lewis’s complete game shutout, and they won game two, 5-4, getting six solid innings from senior Quinn Barrett, and a solid one-inning save from Alex Quiros.

Game 1

Avila (9-3, 0-0) and Hannibal-LaGrange (5-13-1, 1-2) were scoreless through the first six and a half innings in the first game on Tuesday, with both starting pitchers pitching with great efficiency.

Trojans starter Charles Rapp needed just 51 pitches to get through the first five innings before being relieved by Matt Jones in the sixth inning. Avila starter Cody Lewis needed just 55 pitches to get through the first five innings, and finished the game with just 81 pitches in seven shutout innings.

Neither starting pitcher issued a walk in the game, and they combined to give up just 7 hits in 12 innings pitched while striking out 6.

The Eagles finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh inning, loading the bases with two out for left fielder Josh Aguilar.  Aguilar hit a squibber down the third base line for the game winning, 2-out RBI infield single. Aguilar finished the game 2-3 with two singles and an RBI.

With the victory, Lewis earned his first career complete game, and his first career shutout while striking out a career high 3 batters. Lewis also ranks 10th in the nation in walks allowed with 1 in 17 total innings pitched.  

Game 2

Runs were not as tough to come by in the second game, as Avila held a 5-1 advantage after three innings.

Avila starter Quinn Barrett gave up an unearned run in the first inning, but then settled in to throw four straight scoreless innings heading into the sixth inning.

The Eagles answered with a 2-run second inning and a 3-run third inning to give Avila a 4-run advantage. Aguilar drove in the first two runs for the Eagles with a 2-RBI single in the second inning, and RBI doubles by Kyle Simmons and Quiros capped off the 3-run third inning.

The score remained 5-1 until the sixth inning when Barrett walked two batters and hit another with a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Curtis Stout hit a sacrifice fly to left to drive in a run, and then Harry Bennett hit a bases clearing triple for the Trojans to cut the Avila lead to 5-4. Barrett would get the next two hitters to fly out, ending the threat.

Quiros came in and shut the door in the seventh inning, earning his first save of the season. He also finished the game 2-3 with a double and 2 RBIs.

The Eagles will get three days off before traveling to Marshall, Mo. on Saturday to open conference play with a double header against Missouri Valley College. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.

McNulty, Montisano Lead Eagles to Victory

March 10, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Brian McNulty dazzled on the mound, and shortstop Stephen Montisano provided the power on offense as the Avila Eagles defeated the University of Saint Mary Spires on Monday, 1-0.

McNulty tossed a complete game shutout for the Eagles (7-3, 0-0), scattering six hits while striking out eight and walking none to earn the victory.  He needed just 96 pitches to earn the 9-inning shutout.

Junior shortstop Stephen Montisano provided all the offense McNulty would need when he blasted a solo homerun deep over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Montisano finished the day 3-4 with 2 singles and a homerun.

Avila head coach Daryl Cronk said that Montisano’s home run was one of the best he has ever seen.

“Stephen hit one of the farthest balls at our field that I have ever seen, hands down,” said Cronk.

With the victory, McNulty improved to 2-2 on the season, lowering his season ERA to 2.81.  McNulty also earned the save on Sunday in Avila’s 3-2 victory over Mount Mercy University, retiring the Mustangs in order to lock down the win for the Eagles.

The Eagles return to action on Tuesday afternoon with a home double header against Hannibal-LaGrange University beginning at 1 p.m. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the upper 60s with a few clouds.

Avila Defeats Mount Mercy, 3-2

March 9, 2014

Kansas City, MO – Drew Lutzke played hero for the Avila University baseball team on Sunday afternoon in Avila’s 3-2 victory over the Mount Mercy University Mustangs.

Lutzke drove in two runs on a 2-out single in the bottom of the fifth inning with Avila trailing 2-1 to give the Eagles the 3-2 lead.

Avila (6-3, 0-0) got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning when Kyle Ford drove a ball deep over the left field fence and onto the softball field, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

The Mustangs answered with a 2-out, 2-run home run off of Avila starter Jake Slocum in the top of the third inning to put Mount Mercy on top, 2-1.  Slocum came out later in the inning due to a blister on his throwing hand.

Freshman pitcher Zack Sargert came on in relief of Slocum to throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win for the Eagles, his first collegiate victory. Senior Brian McNulty came on in the seventh and retired the Mustangs in order to earn his first save of the season.

The Eagles will return to action on Monday when they host the University of St. Mary in a single nine inning game beginning at 3 p.m. at the Zarda Multisport Complex.

Baseball Adjust Schedule, Adds 3 Home Games

March 7, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila University baseball team has added a single seven inning game against Mount Mercy College on Sunday, March 9th at the Zarda Multisport Complex at Avila University.

The Eagles have also moved their scheduled road double header on Tuesday, March 11th with Hannibal-LaGrange University to Avila University due to field conditions.

Sunday's game will be played immediately following Mount Mercy’s game with Graceland University that is set to begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday.

Graceland and Mount Mercy will be playing a 3-game series at Avila University on Saturday due to bad field conditions at each school. The two teams will play a double header on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. and they will finish the series on Sunday with a single game beginning at noon.

The March 11th games have been moved to Avila University because of bad field conditions at Hannibal-LaGrange.  Game times have been set for the double header at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Avila will be the home team.

To see an updated schedule for the Avila University baseball team, click here.

Weekend Baseball Games Postponed Due to Weather

February 27, 2014

Kansas City, MO – The Avila baseball games scheduled for this weekend have been postponed due to cold weather and the threat of rain, snow, and sleet throughout the entire weekend.

The Eagles were set to play Tabor on Saturday and Grand View on Sunday, but with the amount of travel for each of the visiting teams, the games were unable to be played this weekend.

No make-up date has been announced for these games, but we will inform you of those dates when they are announced.

Avila is scheduled to return to action on March 11 for a double header at Hannibal-LaGrange University beginning at 2 p.m.

Eagles Split their First Day in Topeka

February 21, 2014

Topeka, KS – The Avila University baseball team split their doubleheader on Friday in Topeka, Kan.

The Eagles lost their first game of the day by a score of 6-4 to Northwestern, but used a 7-run first to pull away and defeat the University of Winnipeg 12-8 in their second game of the day.

Kyle and Ryan Ford each had big days for the Eagles, who are now 4-2 on the season.

Game 1

The Eagles got off to a quick start in their game against Northwestern. Stephen Montisano reached base with 2 outs in the first inning, and Kyle Ford (left) drove him in with a 2-run home run to give Avila the early 2-0 lead.

Avila starter Brian McNulty got off to a shaky start as he allowed the Red Raiders to plate 3 runs in the bottom half of the first.

The Eagles tied the game at 3 apiece when Kyle Simmons hit a sac fly to score Ben Koerner in the top of the third inning, but the Red Raiders answered in the bottom half with a solo homerun from Mitch Pescheon.

The score remained tied until the top of the sixth when Kyle Ford scored on a Ryan Ford double to tie the game at 4.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh. McNulty retired the first two batters he faced, but a single and a Cody Groskreutz 2-run home run proved to be the difference.

Game 2

The Eagles jumped out to a fast start when they scored 7 times in the first inning on just 3 hits. Kyle Ford hit a 3-run home run to get Avila started.

The big first inning was more than enough for Avila starter Quinn Barrett, who gave up 1 run over four innings, scattering 3 hits and striking out 1.

The Eagles added another 3 runs in the second inning on a Ryan Ford 2-run triple and a Drew Lutzke sac fly.

Winnipeg scored at least one run in each of the final four innings, including 4 runs in the sixth, but it was not enough as the Eagles held on for the 12-8 victory.

Avila will finish their trip to Topeka with another doubleheader on Saturday at 1 and 3:30 p.m. The Eagles will play Winnipeg in the first game, and then take on Mount Marty in game two.

Avila Defeats Rockhurst in Slugfest, 17-14

February 19, 2014

Kansas City, MOAnthony Biondo hit for the cycle and Stephen Montisano added 5 RBIs as the Avila University Eagles outslugged the Rockhurst University Hawks on Tuesday afternoon, 17-14.

The Eagles (3-1, 0-0) used a 5-run fourth and a 7-run eighth inning to power past the Hawks (0-1, 0-0), a NCAA Division II opponent.

All but one Avila starter scored at least one run in the game, and the Eagles had six starters record at least 2 hits in the win.

The offense was led by Biondo, who set a career a career high in 10 different categories, including RBIs (5), hits (4), and total bases (10) while hitting for his first career cycle.

Rockhurst jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, but the Eagles answered in the bottom of the second when Ryan Ford led off the inning with a walk, and was driven in by a Biondo (left) double, cutting the Avila deficit to 3-1. Rockhurst answered in the top of the third inning by plating a run, but then the Eagles cut the Hawk lead to 4-3 with two runs in the bottom half of the third inning.

The Eagles trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning, but they broke loose for 5 runs on 5 hits to build an 8-5 lead after four innings.  All five of the Avila runs came with two outs.

Rockhurst answered by scoring nine runs over the next four innings to claim a 14-10 lead over the Eagles heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Eagles exploded for 7 runs on 5 hits to retake the lead for good.  With the bases loaded and one out, Montisano cleared the bases with a triple down the right field line to cut the Rockhurst lead to 14-13. Kyle Ford then drew a walk, and then Ryan Ford slapped a single into center, scoring both Montisano and K. Ford to give the Eagles the lead.  On the next pitch, Biondo completed the cycle by crushing a 2-run home run over the left field fence, giving Avila a comfortable 17-14 lead.

Marcus Roberg, who entered the game in the eighth inning, finished off the ninth by retiring the Hawks in order, and earned his first win of the season.

The Eagles will travel to Topeka, Kan. on Friday and Saturday to play four games over two days at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.  Avila is scheduled to play at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday and at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Bettis Family Sports Complex is located at 2900 SE Croco Rd., Topeka, Kan., 66605.

Avila Will Host Rockhurst in a Single 9-Inning Game on Tuesday

February 17, 2014

Kansas City, MO - In the wake of losing a total of 4 games over the weekend due to snow, the Avila University Eagles baseball team and Rockhurst University have agreed to play a single 9-inning game beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Avila University.

The Eagles, who have not played a game since defeating No. 20 Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, Tex., last Sunday, spent nearly 700 combined hours last week trying to clear off five inches of snow from the playing field, but were unable to clear the field in time for their scheduled series with Grand View on Saturday and Sunday.

The lack of warmer weather has also cancelled today's games with Ashford University that were scheduled for 12 and 2:30 p.m.

Rockhurst, who is yet to play a game, had to cancel their alumni baseball game over the weekend due to poor playing conditions due to the snow and cold weather.

Sunday's Baseball Games Postponed Due to Snow on the Field

February 15, 2014

Kansas City, MO - The baseball games scheduled for Sunday against Grand View have been canceled due to snow on the field.

Avila head baseball coach Daryl Cronk said the team spent most of the last three days trying to get the field ready, but the amount of snow proved too much, and the weather did not help.

" We gave it our best effort," said Cronk. "We have put in almost 600 man hours since Thursday. The guys did amazing but we came up short. The only part of the field that remains snow covered is right field and most of center field, but that is still too much of a risk to play on Sunday."

Avila is scheduled to host Ashford University on Monday if the snow is off by that time. First pitch is set for noon.

Saturday’s Baseball Games Postponed Due to Snow

February 14, 2014

Kansas City, Mo. – The baseball games scheduled for Saturday against Grand View have been postponed due to snow and will not be made up.

The games scheduled for Sunday will still take place. Sunday’s doubleheader will mark the team’s 2014 season opener. The games are scheduled for 12 and 2:30 p.m.

If anything else changes in the coming days, we will post that information as soon as possible.

Eagles Open Season with a Series Win Over #20 Texas Wesleyan

February 10, 2014

Fort Worth, TX – The Avila University baseball team opened its season this past weekend by winning their series against the 20th ranked Texas Wesleyan Rams. 

The Eagles and Rams split their double-header on Saturday, with the Eagles winning game one, 1-0, and the Rams taking the second game by a score of 2-1.

Avila won the rubber match on Sunday, beating the Rams by a final score of 11-1.

Game 1: Avila 1 Rams 0, F (8 innings)

Senior left-handed pitcher Brian McNulty was flawless and sophomore Kyle Simmons drove in the only run of the game in the eighth inning to help the Eagles defeat the Rams, 1-0 in extra innings.

McNulty earned the win by tossing seven scoreless innings while striking out five and Simmons hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run in the top of the eighth inning. 

Simmons’ sac-fly was set up by a leadoff double by sophomore Ben Koerner in the eighth.  Then junior Anthony Zicarelli moved Koerner to third with a sacrifice bunt, and Simmons did the rest.

Ryan Ford earned the save for the Eagles by striking out two Rams and inducing a pop fly to end the game.

Game 2: Avila 1 Rams 2, F

Despite a solid effort by junior starting pitcher Cody Lewis, the Eagles dropped the second game of the series to the Rams by a score of 2-1.

Lewis was outdueled by Rams starter Sam Martin, who tossed a complete game one-hitter. The lone Avila hit came from the bat of sophomore Anthony Biondo.

Game 3: Avila 11 Rams 1, F (9-inning contest)

The Eagles got the bats going early and often in the rubber match, scoring 11 runs on 15 hits in lieu of an 11-1 victory over the Rams.

Zicarelli and Simmons started the game with back-to-back singles, and Ryan Ford got the Eagles on the board with a 2-run double to put Avila up early.

That was more than enough for Avila senior starting pitcher Quinn Barrett, who scattered four hits over six innings, allowing just one unearned run in the win.

Avila broke the game wide open in the top of the seventh inning, scoring six runs on six hits while building the lead to 9-1.  The Eagles would tack on two more insurance runs in the ninth.

Eight of the nine starters for Avila recorded at least one hit, and Zicarelli and Ford each recorded three hits for the Eagles.

Baseball Series with Texas Wesleyan Rescheduled

February 6, 2014

The schedule for this weekend’s doubleheader series at Texas Wesleyan University, which was scheduled to begin tomorrow, has been moved to Saturday and Sunday.

The series was originally set for four games, but has been shortened to three games. The Eagles will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m., and a single nine inning game at 12 p.m. on Sunday.  

All the games will be played at LaGrave Field. All three games will have live stats, which can be followed by clicking here.

Eagles Hope Speed and Pressure Will Lead to Wins in 2014

January 29, 2014

Kansas City, MO - Avila University baseball coach Daryl Cronk has a mantra he intends to stick to for the 2014 Eagles season. It contains just one word, repeated twice.

“My mindset this year is pressure, pressure, pressure,” Cronk said, who is starting his third season at the helm of the Eagles. “If we can pressure opponents into making some mistakes I think we can really take advantage of that.”

While Cronk has the youngest and most inexperienced team he’s had since taking over the program in 2012, he believes the Eagles can keep the pressure on opponents because of a talent he thinks his players have in abundance – speed.

“The thing about all these young guys is they’re all fast,” he said. “By far, it’s the fastest team I’ve coached.”

The only experienced player returning from last year’s team that finished 30-22 and won three games in the NAIA national tournament is Kyle Ford, a senior catcher from Las Vegas who batted .500 during the fall exhibition season. Cronk said he expects his starting lineup to consist of two freshmen, three sophomores and two juniors.

The pitching staff also will need some rebuilding; Cronk lost three of his top five arms from last season.

“It puts our backs against the wall a bit,” Cronk said. “But the guys have responded well. They’re going to have to grow up fast.”

Some of the expected leading contributors include Stephen Montisano, a junior shortstop from Blue Springs, Mo., who transferred from Longview Community College. Others include Anthony Zicarelli, a junior outfielder from Kansas City, Mo., and Anthony Biondo a sophomore outfielder from Belton, Mo., who Cronk said “has big-time power potential.”

On the mound, Cronk will look to Brian McNulty, a senior left-hander from Glendale, Ariz., and the only returning all-Heart of America Athletic Conference player on the Eagles’ roster. McNulty will move from a reliever role to the starting rotation. Quinn Barrett, a senior right-hander from Abilene, Kan., also will be counted on and Cody Lewis, a senior from San Diego, will make the rare move from catcher to pitcher.

All, Cronk said, will be looked upon to use their speed to create opportunities both offensively and defensively.

“I preach to the guys that every single you hit you have to be thinking double,” Cronk said. “You can’t take anything for granted. We have to be that team to do that. We have to try not to look ahead and play every game the best we can. If we do that I think we’ll be successful.

“I promise it’ll be interesting, and it’ll be fun.”

The Eagles open their season Feb. 7 in Fort Worth, Texas with four games in two days against a ranked Texas Wesleyan team and should be a good early test. The home opener is Feb. 15 against Grand View (Iowa), a team the Eagles beat twice last season in the national tournament.

 Eagles Baseball Team Poised to Build on Recent Successes

February 15, 2013

Kansas City, MO - The Avila University baseball team has set a high bar the past several seasons, having qualified for the NAIA national tournament two of the past three seasons and winning the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season last spring. Despite the loss of a pair of top-notch pitchers, Eagles coach Daryl Cronk said he thinks his 2013 squad has the potential to raise that bar even higher.

“It looks really good,” said Cronk, who’s in his second season as head coach. “We had 10 all-conference players last spring, and we return five. Of course, it’s always tough when you have to replace Chris Thomas and Jason Paul, both of whom went 12-2 last season. But, I think we’ve actually bolstered our pitching this year.”

A big reason for Cronk’s optimism in the Eagles’ pitching is the acquisition of Aaron Baker, a hard-throwing right-hander who transferred from perennial NCAA Division II powerhouse Central Missouri. Baker, a 6-foot-3 senior from Belton, Mo., was listed among the top 100 players to watch by Collegiate Baseball magazine. Cronk said he thinks Baker will be a legitimate All-America candidate.

Baker and the rest of the Eagles’ pitching staff should find plenty of run support with the return of five all-HAAC players from last season. First baseman Cameron Luitwieler, a senior from Lahabra, Calif., led the team in hitting (.375), home runs and RBIs.

Tanner McCall, a senior from Anaheim, Calif., was all-conference at third base last spring, but this season is being moved to his natural position of second base. Matt Ricketts, a second-team all-conference pick in the outfield from Lenexa, Kan., is moving from right field to center field.

“Matt has good range and a cannon for an arm,” Cronk said.

The Eagles also return an all-conference player in left field, senior A.J. Herrera from San Diego. Cronk said the team also most likely would’ve had a returning all-conference pick at shortstop, but Brian Sagun, a senior from San Diego, was injured much of the season. Now healthy, Sagun will bat second in the order for the Eagles this spring.

Baker also will have plenty of help in the starting rotation and coming out of the bullpen. Jake Johnson, a senior right-hander from Reno, Nev., will move from the pen to the rotation. Tim Roberts, a junior from Lemoore, Calif., and Brian McNulty, a 6-foot-6 junior from Glendale, Ariz., will provide two strong left arms out of the bullpen. Mike Meza, a junior out of California, adds another strong right arm and Jake Slocum, a right-handed transfer from Longview Community College, could be the Eagles’ closer.

Kyle Ford, a junior from Reno, Nev. and Feather River Junior College in California, will probably start at catcher. Ford’s younger brother, Ryan, J.R. Atterbury, Jason Leone and Jordan Byrd also will be looked upon to help out in the field or at designated hitter. And, a pair of freshmen, Alex Quiros, who could back Kyle Ford up at catcher, and left-handed pitcher Caleb Curry also will be counted on for significant contributions.

While Cronk said he’d match his team favorably against any other in the conference, he expected especially tough challenges from the likes of MidAmerica Nazarene, Peru State and Evangel.

“But, we don’t overlook anybody,” he said. “We know it’s a dogfight every conference game. “We expect another good season, and I expect us to compete for another title.”

Former Eagles Pitcher Promoted in Cardinals System

August 2, 2012

Kansas City, MO - Former Avila University pitcher Chris Thomas is wasting no time moving his way toward the big leagues.

Thomas, a 6-foot-2 right-hander from Liberty, Mo. who finished his collegiate eligibility at Avila last spring, was promoted Aug. 1 from the St. Louis Cardinals’ rookie league team to its A club in Batavia, N.Y. The team plays in the N.Y. Penn League.

With this promotion, Thomas basically leap-frogged one entire level in the minor leagues and is ever closer to his dream of one day playing in the majors.

Thomas, Avila’s pitcher of the year each of the last two seasons, pitched in 12 games with the Gulf Coast Cardinals, located in Jupiter, Fla. He posted an earned-run average of 0.68, giving up one earned run with four saves, 15 strikeouts and five walks.

“He texted me today,” said Eagles head baseball coach Daryl Cronk, “and he was extremely excited. He put up some incredible numbers in the rookie league.”

Thomas went 12-2 in 14 starts for the Eagles and posted an impressive ERA of 1.53, striking out 121 batters while walking only 21 as the team rolled to the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular-season championship and second NAIA tournament appearance in the last three years.

Primarily a power hurler, Thomas throws a fastball that consistently clocks north of 90 mph. Scouts from the Cardinals’ organization took note of that velocity during a private tryout back in May and quickly signed Thomas to a contract.

“There’s really no way to describe what that felt like,” Thomas said back then. “Everything you work for all those years … to have it finally all come together was a great feeling.”

It appears that it’s still coming together for Thomas.

Former Eagles Hurler Takes Big Step Toward the Big Time

June 21, 2012

chrisKansas City, MO –Chris Thomas, a 6-foot-2 right-handed pitcher who just capped his collegiate career by leading Avila University to a Heart of America Athletic Conference title and NAIA tournament appearance, recently took a major step toward realizing his dream of one day playing baseball in the major leagues.

Thomas, a Liberty, Mo. product, was signed by the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals and assigned to one of their rookie clubs in the Gulf Coast League in Jupiter, Fla.

In fact, Thomas actually made his professional pitching debut for the GLC Cardinals June 19 against the GLC Astros, working one inning and retiring all three batters he faced, earning the team’s first win of the season.

“I hadn’t thrown in about a month, since the last game I pitched for Avila,” Thomas said over the phone from Florida. “It was just getting my rhythm back. It’s going pretty well.”

Things have been going well for Thomas since last spring, when he went 12-2 in 14 starts for the Eagles and posting a very impressive earned-run average of 1.53. He struck out 121 batters while walking only 21.

Perhaps most impressively, he threw a fastball that consistently clocked north of 90 mph.

“Major league scouts are always looking for that kind of raw talent,” said Avila baseball coach Daryl Cronk. “He has to keep developing his change-up and slider. But, I think chances are real good for Chris.

“He worked hard for this, and he deserves it.”

chris pitchingThomas’ talents began attracting major league scouts early last spring. Cronk, who played a couple of seasons in the minor leagues and once scouted for the Tampa Bay Rays, contacted some scouts he knew and interest started trickling in.

“I played in the Independent League and knew what it took to play at the professional level,” Cronk said. “Knowing what I had in Chris, I wanted him to have that chance.”

Thomas and Cronk were “cautiously optimistic” that Thomas would get selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. That didn’t happen, but a few days later, Thomas received a call from a pair of scouts from the Cardinals, who scheduled a day to come to the Avila baseball field and watch Thomas pitch.

A few days after that, the Cardinals offered Thomas a contract.

“There’s really no way to describe what that felt like,” Thomas said. “Everything you work for all those years … to have it finally all come together was a great feeling.

“I just hopped on a plane and got down (to Florida). I didn’t sign my contract until I got here.”

Thomas, who transferred to Avila after two seasons at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, Mo., said his two years with the Eagles were instrumental in getting him to this point.

“This last year was my favorite season of my college career,” he said of the Eagles’ 41-16 season which saw them win the regular-season HAAC championship and advance to the NAIA tournament for the second time in the last three years. “The coaches were great, helped me a lot. Coach Cronk did a great job. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve had and worked hard for us. I give him a lot of credit for helping me get here.”

Cronk said, “I just wanted this for him, but it’s good for our program, too. It helps with our recruiting. Now, we can tell recruits we’ve had a kid go on to affiliated ball, that these opportunities exist here.”

Thomas Named NAIA First Team All-American

June 4, 2012

Kansas City, MO - The postseason honors continued to role in for the Eagles this week as Chris Thomas was named to the NAIA 2012 First Team All American squad while Corwin Patis was named to the 2012 Daktronics - NAIA Baseball Scholar-Athlete list.

Thomas transferred to Avila prior to his junior year after pitching at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City, Missouri. He finished the 2011 season with a record of 5-4 and an ERA of 1.93 with 71 strikeouts and was named HAAC Pitcher of the Year. This season, Thomas improved in nearly every statistical category, ranking in the top five in the nation in wins, hits allowed per nine innings, opponent batting average, and ERA. Thomas also ranked in the top ten in total runs allowed, strikeouts, and total runs allowed. Thomas was joined by Ben Alison (Honorable Mention All American) of MidAmerica Nazarene University as the only HAAC athlete's to be named NAIA Baseball All American's list.

View the NAIA Baseball All American List

Chris Thomas | Senior | Liberty, MO | Pitcher

2011 | Junior
2012 | Senior
Innings Pitched
Complete Games
Runs Allowed
Hits Allowed


Senior second baseman Corwin Patis was one of 259 athletes to be named to the 2012 Daktronics - NAIA Baseball Scholar-Athlete list. Patis, a kinesiology major from Olympia, Washington wraps up his two year career at Avila having played in a 102 contests with a 0.296 batting average. He collected 91 hits and 45 RBI in his Avila career and was named to the Second Team All HAAC Squad this year.

In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor. View the NAIA Scholar-Athlete List

Corwin Patis (2)

Eagles Pick Up Two Wins to Advance to Semifinals

May 11, 2012

Cleveland, Tenn. – After losing their opening game in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round to Bacone College (Okla.) 1-5, the Eagles bounced back winning both contests on Friday to advance to the semifinals of the Cleveland bracket.

The Eagles started the day off knowing that a loss would see their season end and defeated the second seeded Freed-Hardman University (Tenn.) 5-4. The Lions, who were ranked 20th in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll, saw their season come to an end as Chris Thomas (12-2) threw a complete game giving up three earned runs off six hits while striking out 12 batters.

After taking an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second, the Lions came charging back and tied the game in the top of the eighth at 4-4 courtesy of a Robert Prieto RBI double that scored shortstop Kyle Dearing.

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Thomas gave up a lead-off double to start the ninth inning. The senior from Liberty, MO then showed the quality that’s seen him ranked in the top five in the NAIA in wins as he struck out the next three batters to keep the score tied as the teams headed into the bottom of the ninth.

Corwin Patis led off the inning and was walked by FHU pitcher Daniel Wallace. After a missed catch and a wild pitch, Patis advanced to third base with no outs and scored the game winning run off a wild pitch from Wallace that saw the Eagles claim a 5-4 victory.

Wallace (0-6) picked up the loss for the Lions who finished the season with a record of 36-23. Patis, a senior from Olympia, Washington was the only Eagle to register multiple hits as he went 2-for-3 while scoring 2 runs. Matt Ricketts (0-for-3), Shane Colbert (1-for-4), Cameron Luitwieler (0-for-4) and AJ Herrera (1-for-1) provided an RBI each for the Eagles as they advanced to face Bacone College in a rematch that would see the losers’ season come to an end.

After two scoreless innings, Bacone took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third as the Eagles committed three errors in the inning. Tanner McCall then scored a run for the Eagles in the top of the fifth from a Corwin Patis RBI cutting the deficit to one run.

The Eagles tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the seventh, and once again, it was Corwin Patis who provided the RBI, this time scoring pinch runner Chase Jackson off a single to shallow center. The Eagles wasted no time as they took a lead they would never surrender in the top of the eighth as Cameron Luitwieler scored the game winning run off a Tanner McCall double to deep left.

James Chapman (8-4), who started on the mound for the Eagles, pitched what may have undoubtedly been the greatest game of his Avila career as he threw a complete game and finished strong striking out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth and forced the final batter to pop out to first to keep the Eagles season alive. The senior from Rohnert Park, California gave up just four hits and struck out five as he picked up his eighth win of the year.

Jesse Fish (3-4) took the loss for Bacone as they finished their season with a record of 29-25.

Head coach Daryl Cronk had the following to say on his teams’ back against the wall performance: “James was absolutely locked in like I’ve never seen. He’s pitched extremely well his last few outings, and I’m so happy for him and this team as a whole. They just keep on believing. Tanner McCall had a clutch hit in game two and that’s basically been our story all year, good pitching and timely hitting. I couldn’t be more proud of my guys.”

The Eagles advance to face bracket hosts and number one seeded Lee University in a semifinal matchup that will see the losers’ season end. The Flames were ranked 2nd in the latest edition of the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll and enter the losers bracket after falling to Missouri Baptist 5-4 Friday afternoon. The winner will face Missouri Baptist in the finals of the bracket Saturday night at 6:00PM (Central Time). The Eagles would need to defeat Missouri Baptist twice to claim the bracket as the Spartans are yet to lose in the double elimination tournament. View the tournament bracket

Tomorrow’s game against Lee University can be followed online through live stats or radio broadcast courtesy of the Lee University Sports Information Department.

Avila vs. Freed-Hardeman Box Score | Avila vs. Bacone Box Score

Eagles to Face Bacone College In Opening Round Game One

May 6, 2012

Kansas City, MO - The Eagles will be headed to Cleveland, Tennessee for the opening round of the NAIA national tournament and will face Bacone College (28-23, 14-10) at 12:00PM on the campus of Lee University. The Cleveland region consists of the following five teams seeded one through five:

#1 Lee University (50-8-1) - Ranked 2nd in the NAIA

#2 Freed Hardeman University (36-21) - Ranked 20th in the NAIA

#3 Missouri Baptist University (36-15) - Ranked 21st in the NAIA

#4 Avila University (x-x) - Receiving votes in NAIA Top 25 Poll

#5 Bacone College (28-23) - Not ranked

With a win in their opening game against Bacone, the Eagles would face number one seed an hosts Lee University Thursday at 7:00PM. A loss would see them face the loser of the Missouri Baptist v Freed Hardeman game Friday at 12:00PM. Click here to see the full bracket.

Ten Eagles Receive All HAAC Honors, Cronk Named HAAC Coach of the Year

May 5, 2012

Kansas City, MO - After claiming the HAAC regular season title, the Eagles had ten players named to various All HAAC squads, including four first team members, five second team members, and one honorable mention. On top of these honors, Chris Thomas was named HAAC Pitcher of the Year for the second straight year while head coach Daryl Cronk was named HAAC Coach of the Year in his first year at the helm for the Eagles.

Breakdowns of each award winner can be found below:

Chris Thomas - 1st Team All HAAC, HAAC Pitcher of the Year

The Liberty, Missouri native received HAAC Pitcher of the Year honors for the second year in a row. The senior led the conference in ERA (1.38), strike outs (109), runs allowed (16), and wins (11) and was a unanimous first team All HAAC selection. He ranks in the top 10 in the NAIA in the following statistical categories:

• 11 Wins – 2nd in the NAIA
• 16 Runs Allowed – 3rd in the NAIA
• 1.38 ERA – 5th in the NAIA
• 0.168 Opponents Batting Average – 5th in the NAIA
• 13 Total Earned Runs Allowed – 6th in the NAIA
• 109 Strikeouts – 9th in the NAIA

Shane Colbert - 1st Team All HAAC

The senior hailing from Bonney Lake, Washington finished the regular season with a 0.366 batting average and led the team in runs with 41 on the year. He had multiple hit games in 19 games and finished 8th in the conference in slugging percentage (0.537).

Nick Field - 1st Team All HAAC

The senior catcher from West Covina, California started every game for the Eagles and ranked third on the team in batting average (0.344), hits (55), triples (2), and ranked second on the program in on base percentage (0.478). Field is also second on the team in put-outs with 283 on the year.

Jason Paul - 1st Team All HAAC

Paul, an Anaheim, California native led the Eagles in games pitched with 15 and was second in the NAIA in wins with 11. He is currently 15-5 and has pitched 139 innings in his career as an Eagle. His 3.47 ERA ranks ninth in the conference while his 84 strikeouts ranks 3rd in the HAAC.

Cameron Luitwieler - 2nd Team All HAAC

The junior transfer from Fullerton College featured at first base for the Eagles in 52 contests. The Lahabra, California native led the Eagles in batting average (0.382), hits (60), doubles (14), home runs (4), and RBI (43) while his 383 putouts led the HAAC. Luitwieler has committed just one error on the year and was named HAAC Player of the Week for the week of April 9th.

Corwin Patis - 2nd Team All HAAC

Patis, a Green River Community College transfer featured in every Eagle contest this year and 6th on the team with a 0.325 batting average. In his two years at Avila, the senior has 86 hits, scored 63 runs, and hit an impressive 27 doubles.

Tanner McCall - 2nd Team All HAAC

The junior from Anaheim, California provided the sac fly that not only claimed the HAAC conference title for the Eagles, but also secured their place in the NAIA National Tournament. McCall collected 46 hits and 39 RBI on the year while his 10 stolen bases ranked four on the team.

Matt Ricketts - 2nd Team All HAAC

The Lenexa, Kansas native improved in nearly every statistical category this season. The junior featured in 20 more games, scored 34 more runs, collected 37 more hits, and has 18 more RBI. Ricketts' most impressive trait has been his ability to read pitches as he leads the Eagles in walks with 33 on the year, five more than any other Eagle.

Jake Johnson - 2nd Team All HAAC

Johnson, a junior from Reno, Nevada acted as the Eagles go to player in a pinch. He led all Eagles in appearances with 17 on year and had the third lowest ERA (3.35). Johnson had a 3-1 record on the year with one save and held opposing batters to a 0.262 batting average while giving up just 8 multi-base hits.

AJ Herrera - HAAC Honorable Mention

The junior outfielder from San Diego, California featured in 36 games for the Eagles and finished the year with a 0.306 batting average. In 111 at bats, Herrera collected 34 hits and 18 RBI. AJ also finished the year with 20 runs scored ranking 7th on the squad.

Daryl Cronk - HAAC Coach of the Year

Cronk led the Eagles to a piece of their second regular season title in the last three seasons and third total in program history. In his first year at the helm, the Eagles rank among the national leaders in opponent batting average (0.242), ERA (3.66), and batting average (0.316).

Eagles Bow Out of HAAC Tournament, Prepare for National Tournament

May 5, 2012

St. Joseph, MO - The Eagles HAAC tournament came to an end Friday after they suffered losses at the hands of Peur State (1-2 Loss) in game one and Central Methodist (3-10 Loss) in game two. The Eagles will now turn their sights to the NAIA National Tournament opening round. The entire field of national qualifiers will be announced by the NAIA office at 4PM Sunday (May 6), while opening round matchups will be announced at 6PM. These announcements can be found by clicking here.

Eagles Claim HAAC Regular Season Title

April 30, 2012

Kansas City, MO – A Tanner McCall sac fly in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out sent the Eagle bench in to pandemonium. McCall, a junior transfer from Anaheim, California scored fellow west coast native Shane Colbert (Bonney Lake, Washington) to secure a 2-1 win over Baker University (23-30, 11-15) and the Eagles second HAAC Championship in the last three years.

After going 2-2 on the road at Peru State College and Benedictine College earlier this month, the Eagles closed out their regular season schedule with a four game sweep of Baker University at home to claim the conference title.

The Eagles took game one of the series with a comfortable 5-2 win courtesy of a four run fifth inning. Both Corwin Patis (2-for-3, 1 Run) and Nick Field (2-for-2, RBI, 2 Walks) collected two hits to led the Eagles at the plate. Senior pitcher Chris Thomas (10-2) was once again lights out throwing a complete game win giving up two runs off three hits while striking out eight. Chris Cummings (8-4) picked up the loss for Baker lasting five innings giving up five runs off five hits.

Senior pitcher Jason Paul was the star for the Eagles in game two as they finished on the winning side of a 1-0 contest. Anthony Zicarelli scored the game’s only run off a Steven Stewart error in the bottom of the third as both Paul and Baker’s Nathan Wheelock kept batters off balance all game long. Paul (11-1) gave up just two hits and struck out five in a complete game effort.

Rain throughout the morning on Sunday allowed the teams to only get one game in that afternoon, and once again the Eagles ended up on the right side of a one run victory. The Eagles took an early 2-0 led in the bottom of the second and were able to weather a late charge from the Wildcats that included a play at the plate to end the game. Senior Tyler Herring fielded a shallow center hit and threw Baker’s Bryan Kindle out at the plate to end the game as the Eagles took the 2-1 win. Matt Ricketts led the Eagles at the plate going 1-for-3 while scoring a run and collecting a RBI. James Chapman (7-3) continued the streak of complete game pitching for the Eagles as he lasted all seven innings scattering five hits while striking out two.

The final game of the series took place Monday afternoon with the Eagles knowing a win would see them crowned conference champs while a loss would see the title go to MidAmerica Nazarene. After both teams exchanged runs in the first, a pitchers battle ensued as Avila’s Nathan Bacon and Baker’s Zach Durr kept both teams at bay through the first five innings.

In the sixth, both teams turned to their bullpens with Avila going and game two winner Jason Paul while Baker turned to game three pitcher Jimmy Gricol. Paul was perfect in the final two innings as he struck out two while not allowing a hit. Gricol was unable to keep pace with Paul as he loaded the bases in the seventh inning to allow McCall’s game winning sac fly.

Paul took the win for the Eagles while Bacon (5-2) lasted five innings giving up one run off three hits and struck out three.

With the win, the Eagles (37-12, 19-7) received the number one seed in the Western Division for the HAAC Tournament and will face Graceland University (23-24, 13-13), the number three seed in the Eastern Division. The Eagles also will receive an automatic berth in the NAIA National Championship. The opening round will be played May 10-14 on the campus of Oklahoma City University and will feature a five-team double elimination tournament. The 46 qualifiers for the National Championship Opening Round tournaments will be announced by the NAIA on May 6.

Game One Box Socre | Game Two Box Score | Game Three Box Score | Game Four Box Score

Eagles Rank 15th in the Country after Going 3-1 against MNU

April 11, 2012

Kansas City, MO – The Eagles climbed four spots in the NAIA Top 25 poll and are now ranked 15th in the country. The Eagles went 5-1 against teams receiving votes in the poll last week as they swept a doubleheader against Doane College and won three games in a four game series against MidAmerica Nazarene. View the NAIA Top 25 Poll

To add to the honors for the Eagles, Cameron Luitwieler was named this week’s HAAC Player of the Week. Luitwieler, a Junior from La Harba, California went 6-for-15 at the plate (.400) while hitting seven RBI and scoring six runs in the Eagles six games last week. He also had two homeruns. Luitwieler is the second Eagle of the year to receive HAAC  honors as Chris Thomas was named HAAC Pitcher of the Week for the  week of March 12th. Cameron is hitting .375 at the plate on the year and ranks  second on the team in RBI (30) and runs scored (28).

MidAmerica Series Summary

Game One | Box Score

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The Eagles erased a 1-3 deficit with a four run sixth inning. Jordan Byrd (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and Tanner McCall (2-for-4, 1 RBI) combined for four of the Eagles seven hits. Chris Thomas (8-1) picked up the win as he threw a complete game giving up three runs off five hits. Thomas struck out nine while walking three. Thomas currently ranks second in the nation in wins (8) and total runs allowed (9). His ERA of 1.22 also ranks fourth in the NAIA while he leads the HAAC in strikeouts with 76.


Game Two | Box Score

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The Eagles erupted on offense and scored a season high 16 runs. Tanner McCall (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Shane Colbert (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 Runs), Cameron Luitwieler (2-for-5, 3 RBI, 2 Runs), AJ Herrera (3-for-3, 1 RBI, 4 Runs), and Jordan Byrd (3-for-4, 4 RBI, 2 Runs) all had multi-hit games for the Eagles. Jason Paul (8-1) picked up the win for the Eagles giving up one run off of two hits in six innings of work. Paul walked just one batter while striking out six.


Game Three | Box Score

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After taking an early 2-0 led, MidAmerica saw its production at the plate pick up as they scored in all but two innings. Kyle Olson kept the Eagles at bay offensively for the Pioneers as he struck out ten. Corwin Patis (2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 Run) led an Eagles offense that saw just four players collect hits. James Chapman (5-2) picked up the loss as he last just three and two-thirds giving up six runs off nine hits. The loss snapped a nine game winning streak for the Eagles.


Game Four | Box Score

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For the third consecutive game, the Eagles took the lead in the bottom of the first courtesy of hits from Matt Ricketts, Shane Colbert, and Cameron Luitwieler. Avila spread the hitting around as seven batters collected hits while five (Ricketts, Colbert, Luitwiler, Herring, Gonzalez) Eagles had an RBI. Nathan Bacon (5-1) picked up the win for the Eagles as he lasted five and a third giving up two runs off five hits and striking out four.

Eagles Ranked 19th in NAIA after Two Big Wins Against Doane

April 4, 2012

Crete, Neb. – The Eagles (26-5, 8-2) have finally cracked the NAIA Top 25 Poll as they jumped up to the No. 19 spot in the April 3rd edition of the rankings. The Eagles are currently riding a seven game win streak and will be returning home this weekend to face MidAmerica Nazarene (24-7, 8-2) after going 8-1 on a nine game road trip. The Eagles are currently 15-2 when playing at home. View the Entire Top 25 Poll

The Eagles picked up two wins yesterday in Crete, Nebraska as they defeated Doane College (19-12), a fellow top 25 poll member, 4-3 and 5-4 to move to 26-5 on the year. With their 5-4 win in game two, the Eagles have now tied their 2011 wins total of 26. Game 1 Box | Game 2 Box

Game one opened up as a pitcher’s duel as both teams were held scoreless through the first four innings. The Eagles did all their damage in the top of the fifth with two outs as Nick Field and Cameron Luitwieler both had 2 RBI singles. Matt Ricketts, Corwin Patis, Anthony Zicarelli, and Tanner McCall all scored runs for the Eagles.

Doane was able to cut the lead to just one after scoring two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, but Steven Johsnon came on and pitched a scoreless seventh giving up one hit as he picked up his fifth save of the year.

Nick Field (2-3, 2 RBI), Cameron Luitwiler (1-2, 2 RBI) and Corwin Patis (2-3, 1 run) led the way offensively for the Eagles while Dylan Flott (2-3, 1 RBI) was one of only four Doane hitters to register a hit in the contest.

James Chapman (5-1) picked up the win for the Eagles as he lasted 5 innings giving up two earned runs on four hits and striking out three. Jake Johnson came on in relief in the sixth and gave up one run off one hit. Myles Arehart (0-2) picked up the loss for Doane, as he lasted four and two-thirds giving up four runs off four hits while striking out five.

Game two saw Doane jump out to an early 1-0 lead off an Alex Arkfeld RBI double in the bottom of the second. The Eagles came soaring back and took the lead in the top of the fourth as they scored three runs off relief pitcher Brandon Stennis. RBI’s in the fourth were provided by Anthony Herrera (single), Corwin Patis (Sac fly) and Tyler Herring (Single).

Steven Johnson again came on to close, and after giving up one unearned run and putting the tying runner on third with two outs, came up big as he struck out Arkfeld swinging on three straight pitches. The save was Johnson’s second of the day and sixth of the season.

Luitwieler (1-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI) and Tanner  McCall (2-4, 1 RBI) led the Eagles at the plate while Nathan Bacon (4-1) picked up his fourth win of the year. Bacon lasted five innings giving up three earned runs off six hits. Jake Johnson and Steven Johnson combined to give up just two hits in the final two innings for an Eagle bullpen that came up big when called upon.

The Eagles will have just two days rest before they take on MidAmerica Nazarene in a four game series with doubleheaders on both Friday and Saturday. First pitch for both days is scheduled for 1PM. The Pioneers currently sit in second place in the HAAC standings are receiving votes in the Top 25 Poll.

Eagles Pick Up Two Wins at CMU, Move into First Place In HAAC

April 1, 2012

Fayette, MO – Avila aces Jason Paul and Chris Thomas were lights out for the Eagles as they picked up two crucial road victories defeating Central Methodist (8-14, 3-7) 9-0 and 1-0. The Eagles are now 8-2 in conference play and sit atop the conference standings with a 24-5 overall record.

Game one saw the Eagles jump out to an early 4-0 led courtesy of Anthony Herrera 2 RBI double to left center and a Hector Gonzalez 2 RBI single to right field. The Eagles would go on to score two runs in the fifth and three in the seventh to pick up the 9-0 victory.

The Eagles did the majority of the damage towards the bottom of the batting order as Cameron Luitwieler (Batting Fifth) went 2-2 with two runs, two RBI, and two walks; Anthony Herrera (Batting Sixth) went 2-4 with one run and four RBI; and Hector Gonzalez (Batting Seventh) went 2-4 with three RBI.

Chris Thomas (7-1) pitched his fifth complete game of the year throwing 93 pitches, 70 of which were strikes. Thomas gave up just two hits while striking out nine and currently ranks first in the nation in ERA (1.04) and total runs allowed (6). His seven wins on the year ranks seventh in the NAIA while his 67 strikeouts ranks 15th.

Rhett Quinlan (2-3) picked up the loss for Central Methodist lasting six innings and giving up six runs off of ten hits.

Runs were much harder to come by in game two as the game went into extra innings with the score tied at 0-0. In the top of the eight, Shane Colbert reached base on balls and both Luitwieler and Herrera reached on bunts that loaded the bases with no outs. Corwin Patis delivered what would be the game winning run as his Sac fly scored Colbert to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Jason Paul (7-1) pitched all eight innings for the Eagles, and struck out two batters in the bottom of the eighth to secure the win and brought his wins total to seven on the year, matching Thomas from game one and also ranking seventh in the NAIA. Paul gave up just four hits in the contest and struck out ten batters while walking just one.

Drew Greiwe pitched a scoreless seven innings for Central Methodist scattering seven hits. Ryan Revoir (0-3) picked up the loss in relief for CMU.

The Eagles will complete their eight game road trip Tuesday as they head to Crete, Nebraska to take on Doane College (19-9). Doane are currently receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Poll and sit atop their conference poll (Great Plains Athletic Conference). The Eagles will play a doubleheader with the first pitch scheduled for 1:00pm. Game 1 Box | Game 2 Box

Avila Ranks 2nd in HAAC Rankings and Receives Votes In National Poll

 March 28, 2012

Kansas City, MO – In this week’s conference rankings, the Eagles were slotted in the number two spot behind MidAmerica Nazarene and received 21 votes in the NAIA National Top 25 Poll. The Eagles are currently 22-5 on the year and 6-2 in conference play. View HAAC Poll | View NAIA Top 25 Poll

The Eagles have two upcoming matchups with programs in the Top 25 Poll, a double header April 3 at Doane College (RV) and four games at home against MidAmerica Nazarene (RV), two on April 6 and two on April 7.

The Eagles most recently swept a two game series against Culver-Stockton(8-15, 3-3) in Canton,MO defeating the Wildcats 4-3 in Game one and 11-4 in Game two.

In game one, the two teams traded runs through the first three innings, and went into the sixth tied 3-3. In the top of the sixth, Cameron Luitwieler led the Eagles of with a double to right field. Tanner McCall drove in Luitwieler on a 3-1 single to right field to give the Eagles a 4-3 led they would not surrender.

Nick Field (2-3, 1 RBI), Matt Ricketts (2-2, 2 Runs), and Shane Colbert (1-4, 2 RBI) led the Eagles offensively while James Chapman (4-1) pitched a complete game giving up six hits, striking out two while walking only one batter.

Scott Marshall (0-3) picked up the loss for Culver-Stockton while Catcher Jose Salas led the Wildcats at the plate going 3 for 3 with two RBI.

In game two, the Eagles came flying out of the gates as they scored nine runs in the first and followed with two runs in the second to quickly take control with an 11-0 lead. The Wildcats were only able to chip at the Eagles led in the remaining five innings as the Eagles took the 11-4 victory.

Matt Ricketts (2-3), Brian Sagun (2-4), Shane Colbert (2-3), and Tim Gilday (2-3) all registered two hits for the Eagles while Gilday and Corwin Patis both had two RBI each. Nathan Bacon (3-1) picked up his third win of the year as he pitched all seven-innings scattering 12 hits with one strikeout.

Spencer McKeown (1-1) picked up his first loss of the year for the WIldcats facing just six batters and giving up six runs off of three hits. James Lafuente came out of the bullpen for Culver-Stockton and pitched five innings giving up just one hit.

The Eagles will continue their road trip as they head to Fayette, MO to take on Central Methodist University (8-12, 3-5) in a HAAC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00PM.

Game 1 Box Game 2 Box

Thomas Named HAAC Pitcher of the Week

March 19, 2012

Kansas City, MO - Avila's Chris Thomas, one of the top pitchers in the conference, continued to improve on an outstanding senior season by picking up his sixth victory of the season in a 7-0 victory over Missouri Valley. As a result, he was named HAAC Pitcher of the week this morning, and will represent the conference in this weeks NAIA Pitcher of the Week voting. The results of the NAIA Pitcher of the Week award will be released Tuesday afternoon. Game 1 Box | Game 2 Box

A native of Liberty, Mo, Thomas tossed a three-hit shutout, his third of the season, in only his sixth outing of the season. After Thomas picked up the 7-0 win in Game One for the Eagles, Jason Paul gave up just five hits and two runs in seven innings of work as the Eagles took Game Two 7-2. He struckout seven batters while walking just one.

Cameron Luitwieler led the Eagles at the plate going 4 for 6 at the plate with 4 RBI and was hit by a pitch on two occasions. Matt Ricketts went 2 for 3 from the plate and scored three runs in Game One while AJ Herrera went 3 for 4 in the DH spot for the Eagles in Game 2 with 2 RBI.

The Eagles will continue with HAAC conference play with a home double-header against Graceland University (9-12, 1-1) this Wednesday, March 21. The Yellowjackets split a home double-header against HAAC newcomers Peru State this past weekend winning game one 6-2 and losing game two 1-9. First pitches are scheduled for 1 and 3 PM.

Purple Take Game 3 of Avila Fall World Series, Sweep Black in Best of Five

Fall 2011

Kansas City, MO – The Purple team completed the sweep of the Black squad Monday afternoon winning the best of five series 3-0. Unlike the previous two games, game 3 was full of lead changed and the offense erupted for both sides.

Black was led at the plate by Brian Sagun, who went 3-4 for including two doubles. Shane Colbert, Cameron Luitwieler, and AJ Herrera all collected RBI's for the black team, and Cody Lewis and Steven Johnson also registered hits.

Purple was led by the trio of Nick Field, Brock Pisacco, and Jordan Byrd who all had multiple hits and RBI doubles. Jason Leone and Josh Sword also had a pair of singles.

Undoubtedly, the biggest play of the game came from Matt Ricketts who hit a grand slam over the left center field gap that went for days.

Jason Paul and James Chapman started on the mound for their respective squads and both were able to put together decent outings despite winds blowing straight out to left field.

Coach Cronk summed up the three game series saying “I was very pleased with the way both teams played and I am definitely getting some good evaluations going into the winter. I had a lot of questions that I needed answers to and I feel that we will be better off going into the last stretch run of the fall semester.”


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