BURLINGTON, N.C. -- No. 9/14 Shenandoah University earned its first-ever USA South Conference baseball championship with a 7-4 win over Christopher Newport on Sunday afternoon at Burlington Athletic Stadium.
The Hornets (33-7) become one of the first two teams officially into the 2010 NCAA Tournament field with the win over CNU (23-14). After qualifying as a Pool C (at-large) team in 2009, Shenandoah earns the automatic berth to the 2010 tournament as the USA South champion.
The tournament field will be announced on Monday, May 17 with regional play beginning on May 19. SU was sent to the South Regional last season -- should the Hornets be assigned to that regional again this year, they will be making a trip to fellow USA South member Methodist as the Monarchs will host that regional from May 19-23.
Other possible regional sites that Shenandoah qualifies for under the NCAA 500-mile limit include Marietta, Ohio (Marietta), Union, N.J. (Kean), Auburn, N.Y. (SUNY-Cortland) and Willimantic, Conn. (Eastern Connecticut).
In Sunday's championship, senior Jake Yocum (6-0) pitched his way onto the all-tournament team winning his second game of the tournament and third of the week. On Monday, he earned a victory in relief over Eastern Mennonite before pitching the first 6 1/3 innings of Thursday's tournament opening victory over Averett.
Yocum went the first 6 1/3 Sunday as well, striking out three and giving up two unearned runs in the seventh. Sixty-five of the 100 pitches Yocum threw on Sunday went for strikes.
After Patrick Moore hit his only batter, skipper Kevin Anderson turned to closer Kyle Scallion with the bases loaded and one out.
Scallion prevented further damage by striking out Luke Saunders and getting Parker Neal to ground into an inning-ending fielder's choice.
Shenandoah took a lead it would not relinquish with a run on one hit and an error in the second. Scott Van Dusseldorp, reached on the miscue and scored when Cory Nelson drilled a double to right center.
The Hornets extended the lead with three in the third, two in the fifth and one more in the sixth.
Jon Holcomb, Nelson and Adam Delauter all finished with two hits apiece with the first two men driving in two runs each.
Yocum, Nelson, Jesse Henry, Greg Van Sickler and Kevin Brashears all grabbed spots on the all-tournament team with Brashears adding MVP honors to his MOP honor from the Salisbury Regional last season.
Stonewall relay team secures state berth
LURAY -- Stonewall Jackson's 1,600 relay squad clinched a state berth with a state qualifying time at the Wrangler Invitational on Saturday.
the relay team consists of Trevor Warner, Cole Shaffer, Dylan Shirley and Christian Frost.