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Six Teams to compete in NCAA III West Region Baseball Tournament.


McMurry University, the pre-determined site for the 2008 NCAA Division III
West Region Baseball Championships, was awarded a six-team tournament field
late Sunday night. The tournament will feature the No. 1 team in the nation
in Chapman University along with California State University-East Bay,
George Fox University, La Verne University, the hosts McMurry University,
and Trinity University.

All six teams are representatives of the west region, but a seventh west
region team, Linfield (Ore.), was shipped to the Central Region Tournament
site in Rock Island, Ill. The double elimination tournament begins Wednesday
at Noon.

The No. 1 seed Chapman will face La Verne at Noon at Walt Driggers Field.
George Fox will be the home team as the No. 2 seed against Trinity at 3:30
. and the hosts, McMurry, will serve as the home team as the No. 3 seed
against Cal State-East Bay beginning at 7 p.m.

Chapman finished the regular season with a 35-3 record and has been the No.
1 ranked team in the nation for all 11 weeks of the regular season by the poll. Chapman competes as an independent division III
team from Orange, Calif. The Panthers hold a combined 9-1 record this season
against other teams in the west region tournament with its only blemish
coming against McMurry Feb. 8 in a 5-2 loss.

Chapman¹s Mike Vass and Kurt Yacko lead the team offensively. Vass hit .395
with 11 homers and 42 RBI through the regular season and Yacko hit .356 with
10 home runs and 45 RBI. Yacko is the team¹s top reliving pitcher as well
with a 0.78 ERA and 12 saves in 20 appearances. Wayde Kitchens holds a 7-0
record on the mound with a microscopic 0.31 ERA in nine starts.

George Fox University (Newberg, Ore.) carries a 28-12 record into the
tournament as a member of the Northwest Conference. The Bruins enter as a
Pool C at-large selection. GFU finished second to Linfield (Ore.) in the
NWC, but the Bruins¹ strong in-region record and strength of schedule
propelled them to a No. 2 seed in the regional tournament.

The Bruins will be making their third-straight appearance in the NCAA
playoffs in 2008 and are led offensively by Ryan Fobert. Fobert hit .389 in
the regular season with two homers and 37 RBI. On the mound, GFU has four
starters with at least five wins, however, Mark Putney leads the staff with
a 6-1 record and a 2.77 ERA in 48.1 innings of work.

McMurry (Abilene, Texas), the No. 3 seed, carries one of the most powerful
offenses in NCAA Division III into the tournament. The team finished with a
29-17 record in the regular season and won its first American Southwest
Conference title since 2004 by defeating Concordia-Texas May 4.

Derek David, the nation¹s leader in home runs (26), RBI (73) and runs scored
(78) leads an offense that is No. 1 in the nation with 75 homers and hit
.347 as a team in the regular season. Cody Curry posted a 9-1 record on the
mound to lead McMurry¹s pitching staff and has a 3.88 ERA and 79 strikeouts
in 72 innings of work.

Cal State-East Bay (Hayward, Calif.), the tournament¹s No. 4 seed, finished
the regular season with a 26-14 record as a division III independent. The
Pioneers took two of three from GFU earlier in the season, were swept by
Chapman in a 3-game set, took two of three from La Verne, and also took two
of three from Linfield. CSEB¹s strong record against powerful in-region
teams earned the team the bid.

Lamonte Toney leads the CSEB with a .415 batting average through the regular
season and led the Pioneers with 10 homers and 39 RBI. On the mound, Cody
Hazen is the team¹s closer and had 10 saves in 17 appearances for the season
while starter Matt Vieira had a 9-2 record with a 3.75 ERA in the regular

Trinity University out of San Antonio enters as the No. 5 seed and an
automatic qualifier after the Tigers won the Southern Collegiate Athletic
Title April 27 with a win over Millsaps College. Trinity posted a 32-13
record in the regular season and had an impressive 10-3 record in road games
in 2008.

Evan Jones leads the Tiger offense with a .405 average, seven homers and a
team-high 63 RBI on the year. Kyle Felix also adds run production as he
finished with eight homers and 47 RBI for the regular season. Evan Bronson
(8-3) and Brian Oates (7-2) combined for 15 wins on the mound this season
and both hurlers kept their respective ERA¹s under 2.60 for the year.

La Verne University (La Verne, Calif.) won the automatic qualifier for the
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and had a 25-14-1
record on the season. The Leopards have eight players hitting above the .300
mark through the regular season and are hitting .327 as a team.

Scott Marcus leads the Leopard offense with a .375 average, 13 homers and 62
RBI for the year. La Verne¹s bullpen has proven to be its strength on the
mound as the top four pitchers are not regular starters. Jimmy Wilfong has a
2.05 ERA in 44 innings with only three starts in 20 appearances while Allen
Komori, Rich Johnson all have ERA¹s under 3.65 out of the pen.

Fans can buy daily ticket passes for $4 at the student price and $6 at the
adult price. No tournament passes will be sold but all tickets are good for
an entire day. Fans can also follow all the tournament action with live
stats, recaps, box scores, full statistics and photos on the tournament web

McMurry and Walt Driggers Field will be playing host to the regional
tournament for the fourth time. McMurry hosted the first round of the NCAA
Tournament in 1998, 2001 and 2004 prior to this season.

Please keep checking back I we will provide coverages of the Regionals that wil be taking place this week.

To follow the West Regional

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