Friday, April 23, 2010

LSC Roundup 4-23

Baseball News
Box Scores and Stats
Wildcats still No. 2 in region

For the second straight week, the ACU Wildcats are ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division II South Central Region baseball rankings, just behind top-ranked Central Missouri.

The Mules (34-5) have been the region's top-ranked team in both polls with ACU and defending regional champion Emporia State (Kan.) at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. St. Mary's moves into the top six at No. 4 this week, followed by No. 5 Southeastern Oklahoma State and No. 6 Incarnate Word.

Nebraska-Omaha is No. 7 in the poll with Texas-Permian Basin – which lost to ACU 8-3 on Tuesday in Abilene – checking in at No. 8.

The top six teams in the region on May 9 will be invited to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament. Three teams – the champions of the Lone Star Conference, Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association and Heartland Conference – will earn automatic bids to the tournament leaving three at-large bids available.

The Wildcats will close out the regular season this weekend with a four-game series against Tarleton State. Friday's doubleheader is set to start at 3:05 p.m. with Saturday's doubleheader also set for a 3:05 p.m. start. ACU will host the LSC Baseball Championship Tournament next week (May 1-4) at Crutcher Scott Field.

Softball News
Box Scores and Stats
Aggies lasso Bronchos late for split
UCO Splits With Aggies

Track & Field News
Top Times

Four track and field student-athletes were named Lone Star Conference Athletes of the Week honors for their performances last week, league officials announced today.

Track & Field Athletes of the Week
Amos Sang, Abilene Christian, Sr., Distance, Eldoret, Kenya/Kipkabus HS
Sang finished a strong ninth last Friday in the 5000 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., posting the best time in NCAA Division II at 13:50.77. ... Sang’s time is four seconds better than that of Adams State standout Reuben Mwei. ... Sang is now the top-ranked runner in Division II in both the 5000 meters and the 10,000 meters.

Tyler Fleet, Abilene Christian, So., Thrower, Tyler, Texas/Tyler Lee HS
Fleet won the hammer throw Saturday at the Michael Johnson Classic in Waco, putting up a mark of 181-11, which is the second-best mark in the league behind his top mark of 182-0.

Anais Belledant, Abilene Christian, Fr., Distance
Belledant finished 32nd in the women’s 1500 meters last Friday at the Mt. SAC Relays, posting a provisional qualifying time of 4:34.61, which is the 12th-best time in the nation. ... Belledant was second in the race among Division II runners, finishing behind Division II leader Jessica Pixler of Seattle Pacific.

No nominees.

Football News
QB Phillips takes role in stride
ADA — Josh Phillips has been a lot of things during his career at East Central University. Comfortable isn’t on the list.

As a freshman in 2006, Phillips started several games and was responsible for two of ECU’s three wins during Kurt Nichols’ first season as head coach. In 2007, he was a capable understudy to two-time Lone Star Conference North Offensive Player of the Year Marcus Johnson, and in 2008 he redshirted so he would have a year of elibility remaining after Johnson graduated.

Last fall, with Johnson still on campus but struggling to grasp returning head coach Tim McCarty’s offensive system, Phillips was a starter again, taking snaps in all 11 of the Tigers’ games and starting seven. Johnson, meanwhile, played eight games at wide receiver before replacing Phillips against Southeastern in the season finale and leading a miraculous comeback that came within a point of wiping out an early three-touchdown deficit and netting an unlikely first victory in an historic 0-11 season.

But through all the ups and downs and the changes in his role during his four years in Ada, Phillips has always been two things above all — a competitor and a good teammate.

As he enters the final days of his final spring at ECU, Phillips is once again the underdog in a race for a job that, four years ago, appeared to be his for as long as he wanted it. McCarty put Tyler Vanderzee, a 6-6 junior college transfer, at No. 1 on the depth chart coming into camp, leaving Phillips as an understudy once again.

Despite the odds against him heading into Saturday’s Orange and White Game, though, Phillips has remained positive and upbeat, both about his role on the team and his ability to lead the ECU offense.

“I know that I’ve done all I can do,” Phillips said earlier this week. “I go to practice every day, I work hard, and I do my job on the field. I do all I can do, but ultimately it’s up to the big guys to make the decision.

“I’ve been here for four years, and I don’t think anything is owed to me, but I think I’ve competed well enough to start,” he added. “It’s always tough to stay positive when you’re being shown the back of the bus, but you have to stay positive and look at the big picture. I think I’ve played well when I’ve gotten a chance. Whoever the starter is, you have to help him so the team can win, and I’ve always been a team guy.”

EDMOND (April 22) – A productive spring practice season will come to an end for Central Oklahoma at 6 p.m. Saturday when the Bronchos hold an intrasquad scrimmage at Wantland Stadium.

UCO practiced three times a week after opening spring drills on March 23 and made great progress, according to third-year head coach Tracy Holland.

“Our players have worked hard every day determined to get better,” Holland said. “I love the work ethic and attitude of this team. They have a great desire to improve and we took a lot of positive steps this spring.

“We didn’t have a lot of bodies and we’re extremely young in a lot of areas, but this is a talented group.”

The Bronchos are coming off a 4-7 season, playing seven of those 11 games on the road. UCO will have six home games in 2010, including the season-opener on Aug. 28 against Pittsburg State.

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