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Mason, OH: The Alice Lloyd College Eagles, under the guidance of veteran Coach Scott Cornett, traveled to Mason, Ohio, to participate in the NCCAA National Baseball World Series.  This would mark the first-ever national tournament appearance for the Eagles and the ten team field would battle at beautiful Prasco Park to determine a national champion.

Alice Lloyd earned their way to the big dance as they went undefeated in the Mideast Regional Tournament. This included upsetting heavily favored Bluefield College twice in route to being crowned champions of the Mideast Region.

At nationals, the Eagles would begin pool play on Wednesday. They were placed in a very formidable group with defending champion and top seeded powerhouse Oklahoma Baptist University (OK) as well as highly regarded championship contender Campbellsville University (KY). In addition, Bluefield College (VA) and Ecclesia College (AR) were also considered threats to advance to the championship.

Ronnie Saylor

The Eagles first opponent was the familiar Bluefield College Rams who received an at-large bid by virtue of their outstanding 31 win regular season. The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth when ALC first baseman Ronnie Saylor cracked a single. He was then driven in two batters later on a RBI single from catcher Hayden Martin.

Unfortunately, from that point, Bluefield pitching buckled down to shut the Eagles out. The Rams produced three runs in the bottom of the inning and then iced the contest by spreading four more runs over the final three innings to seal the deal.   Saylor led the way with 2 hits. Oklahoma Baptist Pitcher Daniel Ruiz earned the BC win as he tossed a 6 hitter and gave up 1 run. Levi Martin went seven innings and suffered the loss. He allowed 14 hits while striking out 6.

The second contest on Thursday was against 38 win tourney favorite, Oklahoma Baptist University. OBU blasted out of the gates with a ten run first inning and never looked back on their way to a 19-1 advantage. They were led by the two home runs and 5 RBI’s courtesy of Zane Gelphman. The damage was compounded by ace pitcher Blake Whitehead’s masterful performance as he allowed just two hits while striking out ten. Broderick Moore suffered the loss on the mound.

The third matchup on Friday was against 38 win Campbellsville University. Behind the impressive pitching of Eagle hurler Jake Weaver, ALC led the heavily favored Tigers 4-0 entering the sixth inning. Unfortunately, seven costly Eagles errors led to nine runs the rest of the way for CU and put the contest out of reach, 13-4.

Right fielder Garrett Gay had two of the Eagles six hits. Campbellsville pitcher Malik Evans allowed 6 hits and 4 earned runs to gain the decision. Weaver allowed 7 hits, but gave up just 1 earned run while striking out 4 Tigers in suffering the hard-luck defeat.

The final game of the tournament Friday afternoon was against 33 win Ecclesia College. EC was able to spread seven runs over six innings to win 9-3. Shortstop Alan Silva led the Eagles with 2 of their seven hits while center fielder Ryan Loggins blasted a two-run homer in the seventh inning. Ecclesia had 10 hits.

Pitcher Jacob Martinez earned the win with a 6 hit 8 strikeout performance. Logan Price allowed 8 hits and just 2 earned runs for ALC in suffering the defeat.

Once season was concluded, an appreciative Coach Cornett commended his clubs effort and grit. “We played very hard and were so excited to be there representing Alice Lloyd College. We demonstrated that we belonged here against the nation’s best clubs and did not play nervous. I felt we played not to make errors because we knew the importance of each game and it caused us to play a little faster than we needed to, but we have a very young club.”

 In discussing the overall experience, the Eagles mentor added, “I can say that in all of my years of baseball it was the best experience I have ever had. The entire tournament was first class all the way and the NCCAA did an exceptional job. From the community service project to the banquet to the outstanding facilities, everything was exceptional. If anyone is interested in watching a high quality college baseball tournament played in a first rate facility ran by an outstanding organization, the NCCAA World Series at Prasco Park is second to none. We hope to have the opportunity to experience it again.”

Oklahoma Baptist would go on to win the tournament and Campbellsville University finished as runner-up. Both teams were in the Eagles pool which only shows how difficult the draw was. For his fine pitching performance, Jake Weaver was selected to the prestigious 10 man NCCAA All-Tournament Team. The Eagles finished the season ranked 10th in the nation, their first top ten ranking since joining the NCCAA. 

2017 Awards

UPI Hank Burbridge Award



Toccoa Falls College


Tournament Most Outstanding Player



Oklahoma Baptist University


All-Tournament Team



Oklahoma Baptist University



Emmanuel College



Bethesda University



Alice Lloyd College



Campbellsville University



Southwestern Christian University



Oakland City University



Bluefield College



Ecclesia College



Hiwassee College