TLU’s baseball team finishes as a national runnerup in Division III

Crushed emotionally last fall with death of a former teammate, some members of the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs faced a struggle just to get mentally ready to play this spring.

But with youthful resilience and a lineup stocked with talented pitchers, hitters and defensive wizards, they conjured up the greatest season in school history.

The Bulldogs, playing in the NCAA Division III World Series for the first time, finished as the national runnerup.

UT Tyler claimed the title Tuesday afternoon by sweeping TLU 8-1 and 9-6 in the D-III championship round.

Clearly, it was the Patriots’ day in Appleton, Wis.

They powered to one big inning in the opener (a five-run explosion in the fourth) and two more in the second game to sweep the Bulldogs in the best-of-three series.

In Game 2, Blake Maddox and Alex Bishop both smashed two-run homers for the Patriots.

Maddox’s blow highlighted a four-run fourth, and Bishop’s shot off the right field foul pole keyed a five-run seventh.

Trailing by five runs after seven, TLU didn’t fold, scoring twice in the eighth to pull within the eventual final score.

But Patriots reliever Alexander Masotto blanked the Bulldogs in the ninth to set the victory celebration in motion.

TLU senior Keaton Boysen, playing his last college game, went down swinging. He was 3 for 5 at the plate and scored a run.

Sophomore catcher Cameron Wilson produced two hits and two RBI. Seniors Riley Schaefer and Eric Rabinowitz each had a hit and two RBI.

Sedillo dominates in Game 1

Simon Sedillo pitched a complete game in leading UT Tyler’s 8-1 victory in the first game.

The Patriots scored two runs in the top of the first against All-American Nathan Malinovsky, who shut out Wooster, Ohio, on the first night of the tournament last Friday.

But after the first inning against UT Tyler, that was it for Malinovsky, who was pulled with an apparent throwing arm injury.

In the fourth, UT Tyler broke through against the Bulldogs’ bullpen, scoring five runs for a 7-1 lead.

Jared Pauley smashed a two-run double and Josh Burns added a two-run single to highlight the outburst.


UT Tyler 40-18
Texas Lutheran 42-12


From TLU pitcher Dylan Murrell

“Well, we fell short of being the national champions today, but that doesn’t change how much we accomplished this season. This team was something so special, (and) I would go to war with any of these men. These are memories we will never forget. It’s been a hell of a ride.”


The Bulldogs won 14 of their last 15 games leading into the championship round against UT Tyler. That stretch included a 4-0 sweep for the NCAA Spokane Regional title and a 4-1 run to win Pool B at the World Series..

Playing for a friend

The Bulldogs dedicated their season to former TLU star Keaton Bohrmann, who died last October in an automobile accident.

Bohrmann was a four-year player and a three-time, all-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference performer who played out his eligibility in 2016.

Henry Sanchez wins a title

UT Tyler second baseman Henry Sanchez, a junior from San Antonio, hit .476 in six games at the DIII World Series. Sanchez was 10 for 21 at the plate. The former standout at St. Anthony High School scored seven runs and had two RBI.

UT Tyler beats TLU 8-1 in Game 1 of national title series

Simon Sedillo pitched a complete game Tuesday in leading UT Tyler’s 8-1 victory over the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs in Game 1 of a best-of-3 series for the NCAA Division III baseball title.

Game 2 is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Tuesday. A third game, if necessary, would be played Wednesday. The tournament is taking place at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis.

The Patriots scored two runs in the top of the first against TLU starting pitcher Nathan Malinovsky, who left the game after the inning with an apparent throwing arm injury.

In the fourth, UT Tyler broke through against the Bulldogs’ bullpen, scoring five more times for a 7-1 lead. Jared Pauley smashed a two-run double and Josh Burns added a two-run single to highlight the outburst.

The Patriots played a near flawless game. While Sedillo pitched well, the defense also sparkled, turning three double plays. They also stroked 11 hits against three TLU pitchers.

Sedillo worked nine innings and gave up one earned run on six hits. He struck out five and walked none.

From here, it will be an uphill battle for a Texas Lutheran program seeking its first national title in baseball. But it’s not likely that the Bulldogs will go down without a fight.

After all, TLU bounced back from a Saturday night loss to Concordia to win three straight games en route to the Pool B championship.

In each of those games, the opponent scored first before the Bulldogs rebounded to win.


UT Tyler 39-18
Texas Lutheran 42-11

Texas Lutheran wins, moves into Division III national title series

Tyler Cauley belted a tie-breaking solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning Monday, leading Texas Lutheran University to a 5-4 victory over Concordia Chicago and a berth in the championship round of the NCAA Division III World Series.

Seeking the first national title in TLU baseball history, the Bulldogs will play the UT Tyler Patriots in a best-of-three series starting Tuesday.

A doubleheader is scheuled to get underway at 11 a.m. in Appleton, Wis. A third game, if necessary, would be played Wednesday.

Showing up last week as a first-time entry in the DIII World Series, the Seguin-based Bulldogs have made themselves right at home at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton.

They have won four out of five games since Friday night to win Pool B and earn the right to play for the championship.

After losing 8-3 to Concordia Saturday night, the Bulldogs claimed three straight wins in elimination games.

First, they downed Swarthmore, Pa., 3-2 in 13 innnings on Sunday afternoon. Next, they beat Concordia 9-7 in a game that started Sunday night and lasted until about 1 a.m. Monday.

Next, they won their biggest game of the year in dramatic fashion late Monday afternoon, with Cauley breaking a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth on a solo homer off reliever Cody Caballero.

In the ninth, Dylan Murrell enterered as TLU’s fourth pitcher of the day following Dylan Drgac, Cade Killingsworth and Drew Waller.

Joe Silva greeted Murrell with a single to open the inning.

From there, the junior righthander fired strikes and let his defense do the work, first on a fly ball out, and, finally, on a spectacular, game-ending double play.

Second baseman Ben Marvin ranged to his left and gloved a ground ball, spun and whipped a throw to Eric Rabinowitz.

Rabinowitz, a senior from Schertz Clemens, fired a rocket to first base to beat Mitch Wilson by a half step for the last out.


From TLU’s Tyler Cauley:

“Going into the at-bat I was kind of struggling throughout the day, barely missing balls and stuff. I talked to Riley Schaefer right before the (at) bat, and he said, ‘Just trust what you know, and see what pitch you can get right over the plate, and just let it fly.’ Right when I hit it, I knew it was gone.”


TLU athletics has not played for a team sport national championship in a one-on-one game setting since 1981, when the Bulldogs’ women’s volleyball team played for the AIAW-II national title. The volleyball team finished as the runnerup.


Texas Lutheran 42-10
Concordia Chicago 40-15

UT Tyler’s journey

The Patriots have won three of four to win Pool A and move into the championship series. They defeated Oswego State (N.Y.) 10-5 on Friday and Misericordia (Pa.) 7-3 on Saturday.

Trying to sweep through the top bracket, they stumbled Sunday and lost 6-1 to Randolph Macon (Va.) But in bouncing back on Monday, UT Tyler exploded for six runs in the fifth inning to beat Randolph Macon, 8-6.

A rematch for the title

UT Tyler and TLU met in Seguin in February, and the Patriots swept the three-game series. In the second game, the Patriots beat TLU ace Nathan Malinovsky, handing him his only loss of the season.

Starters for Tuesday’s game haven’t been announced, but Malinovsky (12-1) has had three days rest since he shut out Wooster, Ohio, 7-0, on Friday night.

Trailing by three runs, TLU came to life in the fifth inning on an RBI double from Eric Rabinowitz and a two-run single by Riley Schaefer. Scoring off Schaefer’s hit, Rabinowitz slid head first at home to tie the game, 3-3.

UT’s NCAA Regional includes an old rival — Texas A&M

The possibility of a playoff game — or games — between the rival Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies loomed Monday as the NCAA baseball tournament’s 64-team bracket was unveiled.

Texas will host a regional starting Friday that will include A&M, Indiana and Texas Southern University.

On opening night in the double-elimination format, No. 2 seed Indiana will play third-seeded A&M at 4 p.m. and top-seeded Texas will play No. 4 Texas Southern at 8.

If the Longhorns and Aggies both win — or, if they both lose — they would play Saturday.

The tournament games will be held in Austin on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and, if necessary, also Monday, at the UFCU Disch-Falk Field.

Other teams from the state that made the tournament include Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston and Dallas Baptist.

Texas Tech is the only other program in the state that will host on opening weekend.

The TCU Horned Frogs, who have played in the past four College World Series, were left out of the 64-team field after they made it to the Big 12 tournament title game and lost to Baylor.

Sam Houston State and Rice were among other notable programs missing from the national bracket.

Last year, the Bearkats made a surprise run to the NCAA Lubbock Regional title and advanced to play Florida State in the Tallahassee Super Regional.

This year, they won the Southland Conference regular-season title but failed to win the SLC tournament.

Rice, under outgoing coach Wayne Graham, posted a losing record in the regular season and failed to win the Conference USA tournament title for the automatic bid.

Thus, Rice had its streak of 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances snapped. It was the third-longest streak in the nation.

In Austin, fans will get to see NCAA tournament baseball live for the first time since the Longhorns hosted a Super Regional in 2014.

It’s the first time Texas has hosted on the first weekend of the tournament since 2011.

Tournament time in Texas

Regional openers are set for Friday

Texas — No. 13 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Austin and opens against Texas Southern

Texas Tech — No. 9 national seed, No. 1 regional seed, hosts in Lubbock and opens against New Mexico State

Baylor — No. 2 regional seed at Palo Alto, Calif., plays opening day against Cal State Fullerton

Texas A&M — No. 3 regional seed at Austin, opens with Indiana

Houston — No. 3 regional seed at Chapel Hill, N.C., opens with Purdue

Dallas Baptist — No. 3 regional seed at Fayetteville, Ark., opens with Southern Miss

Texas Southern — No. 4 regional seed at Austin, opens with Texas

TLU advances with two victories at the DIII World Series

The Texas Lutheran Bulldogs entered play at the NCAA Division III World Series on Sunday afternoon needing a victory simply to avoid elimination.

But after an amazing 11-hour stretch during which they won two games at Appleton, Wis., they moved into position to claim a berth in the championship series.

First, TLU beat Swarthmore, Pa., 3-2, in 13 innings.

Next, the Bulldogs took about a four and a half-hour breather before starting a second game Sunday night against the Concordia Chicago Cougars.

Finally, they knocked off the Cougars 9-7 in a game that ended at about 1 a.m. Monday.

TLU’s dramatics set up a day in which champions from both brackets will be decided Monday afternoon.

Randolph Macon, Va., is scheduled to take on UT Tyler at noon. TLU will meet Concordia Chicago for the third time in three days at about 3:30 p.m.

The winners of those two games will open the best-of-three national title series on Tuesday.

TLU remains in the championship discussion after surviving a shaky start, hitting their way into a 9-6 lead and then hanging on at the end for the victory.

Concordia hung three runs on the board for a 3-0 lead in the first inning against TLU starter Zach Perry.

But after Clint Johns relieved in the second and started throwing strikes consistently, the Bulldogs battled into the lead.

They led 6-4 and 6-5 before Concordia came back to tie it 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth.

In the top of the ninth, TLU exploded for three more and then held on in the last inning for the win.

Concordia, in its last at bat, scored once to make it a two-run game against Drew Waller.

But with runners at first and second base and two out, Waller got Keegan Tyrell to ground sharply toward third.

Thomas Varner made a diving stop, came up firing and beat the runner with his throw by half a step.

Keaton Boysen produced three hits and scored twice for TLU. All-American Riley Schaefer had two hits and three RBI.

Varner, Matthew Lemon and Spencer Brandt all slapped two hits apiece.


Texas Lutheran 41-10
Concordia Chicago 40-14

Texas, Texas Tech to host in NCAA baseball first round

Texas and Texas Tech have been named as a hosts for the first round of the NCAA playoffs.

The announcement came Sunday night from the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.

The 16 regional sites, with host institutions and records, are as follows:

Athens, Georgia – Georgia (37-19)
Austin, Texas – Texas (37-20)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina – North Carolina (38-18)
Clemson, South Carolina – Clemson (45-14)
Corvallis, Oregon – Oregon St. (44-10-1)
Conway, South Carolina – Coastal Carolina (42-17)
DeLand, Florida – Stetson (45-11)
Fayetteville, Arkansas – Arkansas (39-18)
Gainesville, Florida – Florida (42-17)
Greenville, North Carolina – East Carolina (43-16)
Minneapolis, Minnesota ­– Minnesota (41-13)
Lubbock, Texas – Texas Tech (39-17)
Oxford, Mississippi – Ole Miss (46-15)
Raleigh, North Carolina – NC State (40-16)
Stanford, California – Stanford (44-10)
Tallahassee, Florida – Florida St. (43-17)

By being awarded a regional, all 16 host institutions have also been selected to the 64-team championship field.

Each regional field features four teams, playing in a double-elimination format.

All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 1 to Monday, June 4 (if necessary).

The remaining at-large teams, top 16 national seeds, first-round regional pairings and site assignments will be announced Monday at 11 a.m.

A one-hour program will be shown live on ESPNU.

The committee will set the entire 64-team bracket through both the super regionals and the first round of the College World Series and will not reseed the field after play begins.

TLU outlasts Swarthmore, 3-2, in 13-inning thriller

Drama led the way at the NCAA Division III World Series on Sunday afternoon.

But exhaustion wasn’t far behind.

In the end, the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs celebrated a 3-2 victory in 13 innings over Swarthmore, Pa., in Appleton, Wis.

Riley Schaefer ripped an RBI single in the top of the 13th to give the Bulldogs the lead.

Drew Waller came out of the bullpen to get the final two outs in the bottom half, as TLU advanced to play Concordia Chicago tonight in the national semifinals.

TLU will need to beat Concordia twice to advance to the championship round.

Finding a rhythm at the plate

Schaefer earned redemption in the 13th when he singled to left field, driving in Andrew Whitten from third with the winning run.

In the 11th inning, he laced a one-out single into the gap in right center, but in trying to stretch it into a double, he was thrown out.

Schaefer collected three hits in seven at bats Sunday.

Coming into the game, TLU’s batting average leader was zero for seven in the World Series.

After breaking out against Swarthmore, he’s now hitting .420 in 50 games this season.

Playing a role off the bench

Andrew Whitten entered the game in the fifth inning as a pinch hitter for Matthew Lemon.

In extra innings, he helped win the game for TLU with his defensive savvy, his throwing arm and his bat.

His dramatics started when Swarthmore’s Matt Palmer hit a ball off the left field wall to lead off the bottom of the 12th.

Whitten played the carom, turned and threw a one-hopper to second base to get Palmer for the first out.

In the top of the 13th, he led off with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt.

Whitten scored the winning run on Schaefer’s single off Swarthore reliever Jack Corkery.


Texas Lutheran 40-10
Swarthmore, Pa. 38-11

Concordia Chicago hands TLU its first World Series loss

Concordia Chicago scored the first six runs of the game, and Keaton Conner and Mike Formella combined on a four-hitter Saturday night in defeating the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs 8-3 at the NCAA Division III World Series.

The Cougars produced one run in the first inning, another in the second and four in the third to take charge at 6-0. The Bulldogs rallied to within 6-3 but couldn’t get any closer.

When TLU scored a run in the third and two in the fifth, Concordia tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh to put the game out of reach.

Bryan VanDuser, Joe Silva, Andrew Massey and Kevin Coppin each had two hits for the Cougars, who snapped the Bulldogs’ 11-game winning streak. Silva and Coppin each had a couple of RBI.

Conner (5-2) earned the victory by working six innings on the mound for the Cougars. He gave up three runs on three hits in outdueling TLU starter Dylan Drgac.

Drgac (11-2) suffered a tough outing, yielding six runs on five hits in two and 2/3 innings.

The tournament is being played at Appleton (Wis.)


Concordia Chicago 40-13
Texas Lutheran 39-10

In the aftermath

It was a pivotal game for both teams in the tournament.

With the win, Concordia Chicago ran its record to 2-0, needing only one victory to win Pool B and advance to the championship series.

The loss drops TLU to 1-1 and into the losers’ bracket, from which it must win three games to reach the championship series.

TLU is scheduled to play Swarthmore (Pa.) on Sunday at 1:15 p.m. in an elimination game.

If TLU can win, it would play Concordia again on Sunday night.

Two wins on Sunday for TLU would force another matchup against Concordia on Monday for the Pool B title and the right to play in the championship series.

Charlotte wins 10-4 to end UTSA’s season

Todd Elwood stroked two hits and produced three RBI Saturday as the Charlotte 49ers beat UTSA, 10-4, at the Conference USA tournament.

The setback ended the season for the Roadrunners.

Charlotte put the game away with five runs in the seventh inning.

Drew Ober capped the rally with a two-run double.

Trent Bowles hit a grand slam to give the Roadrunners a 4-2 lead in the third.


UTSA 32-24
Charlotte 33-24

TLU sizzles in DIII World Series debut, defeating Wooster, 7-0

Tyler Cauley slammed a three-run homer in the first inning Friday night, propelling the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs to a 7-0 victory over the College of Wooster (Ohio) at the NCAA Division III World Series.

In TLU’s first ever D-III World Series game, Cauley produced three hits in four at bats for five RBIs to back the pitching of Nathan Malinovsky, who went the distance and shut down the explosive Fighting Scots on four hits.

The Bulldogs started fast, scoring three runs in the first, one in the second and two in the third.

In the process, they knocked out starter Chandler Dippman after four innings and forced the Fighting Scots to use five pitchers on the night. In all, the Bulldogs raked Wooster pitching for 14 hits.

Malinovsky, a junior from New Braunfels, pitched a masterpiece against one of the best offenses in the nation. He struck out nine and walked three in improving his record to 12-1. Dippman took the loss and fell to 8-1.

“Obviously, Nate was pretty awesome tonight,” TLU coach Greg Burnett said in comments posted on the school’s website. “He didn’t walk many guys, and that was important against (Wooster), who puts up a bunch of runs.

“Tyler’s home run in the first inning was big because like a lot of teams we had jitters, and that allowed us to settle down.”


Texas Lutheran 39-9
Wooster 40-9

Friday’s scores

UT Tyler 10, Oswego (New York) 5
Misericordia 4, Randolph Macon 2
Concordia Chicago 9 Swarthmore 4
Texas Lutheran 7, Wooster (Ohio) 0

Saturday’s schedule

Oswego State vs. Randolph Macon, 10 a.m.
UT Tyler vs. Misericordia, 1:15 p.m.
Swarthmore vs. Wooster, 4:30 p.m.
TLU vs. Concordia-Chicago, 7:45 p.m.