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UBC 3, Concordia-Portland 0; UBC 2, Concordia-Portland 0 - Hardy pitches no-hitter

Brandon KayeFirst game (nine innings): Brandon Kaye pitched a complete-game shutout, held the Cavaliers to three hits. He struck out five, and walked three.

This game was close all the way, although the Thunderbirds out-hit the Cavaliers 10-3. The Thunderbirds left the bases loaded in the third inning, although they scored the first run of the game on an RBI single by CF Blake Carruthers. SS Sammie Starr was left at third base after hitting a double in the fifth inning, and RF Sean Pisarski was left at third after a single in the sixth inning. In the seventh inning, pinch-hitter Andrew Firth was robbed of a base hit by 2B Curt Cosby, who turned it into an inning-ending double play instead.

The Birds finally picked up a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, after helping out Kaye with an Starr-White-Foerster double play in the top of the inning. Mike Elias, pinch-hitting for 1B Bob Foerster, hit a single with one out, and was followed with another single by C Greg Densem.  Elias went to third on a fielder's choice by Kevin Nickel, pinch-hitting for LF Nick Senior. Senior immediately re-entered at first base, and Elias and Senior scored on a triple by 3B Keaton Briscoe.

Kaye was also helped by a big defensive play by Starr in the fourth inning. With runners at first and second due to two walks, C Tommy Whalen hit a line drive that was knocked down by Starr. The runner at second held because he thought the ball might be caught, and Starr picked the ball from the ground and threw to third to get the force out.

DH Nic Lendvoy was 2-3 for the game, Starr was 2-4, and Briscoe was 2-5. Starter Tyson Kisselburg got the loss for the Cavaliers, and 1B Andrew Reid got two of the three Cavalier hits.

Box score and play-by-play

Mark HardySecond game (seven innings): Mark Hardy faced only three batters beyond the minimum 21, and there weren't even very many close calls. He struck out six.

Hardy's achievement was the fourth no-hitter for the Thunderbirds, and the first since 2005.

The Thunderbirds' runs came on an RBI single by CF Blake Carruthers in the first inning, and an RBI single by 3B Keaton Briscoe in the fifth. Briscoe opened the game with a base on balls and scored on the hit by Carruthers. The second run was scored by Christian Jolley, the courtesy runner for C Bob Foerster, who reached on a single.

Cavaliers starter Dylan Smith went the distance, and allowed only five hits. Carruthers went 2-2. The other Thunderbird hit came from Nic Lendvoy.

Box score and play-by-play

Kaye is now 5-0, 2.24 ERA for the season, and leads the team with 52 1/3 innings pitched. Hardy is 4-2, 3.59 ERA. Briscoe leads the team in hitting with a .395 average.

Story from UBC Athletics site: Hardy's no-hitter, Kaye's shutout power T-Birds to sweep

2010 Photo Gallery
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2010 UBC baseball preview

T-Birds Baseball 2010: Numbers and Young Talent Create Depth

"The more the merrier" was the mantra for the T-Birds this fall, as a total of 46 players reported to the 2009 fall training camp. With so many players at their disposal this season, the coaching staff has all their bases covered.

"Depth should not be an issue for us," said Assistant Coach Cav Whitely. "At the end of the day, no matter what, we'll always have a guy who can step in for us without much of a talent drop on the field."

This will be vital for the T-Birds, who suffered through injuries to various key players over the course of last season and lost an unusual number to academic ineligibility as well. To help counter the latter problem this season, the coaching staff has hired an academic specialist. While there isn't much that can be done to prevent the bad luck of injuries, the depth of 46 players will help to mitigate the consequences.

"The beauty of having this many guys is that we can go on when someone gets hurt," said Whitely. "They can spend proper time in physio; they won't have to play through it, and they can get healthy before they get back on the field."

Read more: 2010 UBC baseball preview

Post-season honours for 2009

First, if you thought that the Thunderbirds played very well defensively this year, the numbers back you up. They had a fielding percentage of .979, which is the best in the NAIA. The second-place team was Point Loma Nazarene, with a percentage of .976. The Sea Lions defeated the sans-Mark Hardy Thunderbirds in the sectional tournament, and eventually finished second in the NAIA Baseball National Championship.

Mitch Grossell was honoured by the NAIA as a scholar-athlete.

Terry McKaig was named Coach of the Year for NAIA West Plus Lewis-Clark State.

The following players received Rawlings Gold Glove awards for  NAIA West Plus Lewis-Clark State:

1B - Scott Webster
2B - Alex White
SS - Sammie Starr
CF - Jon Syrnyk
P - Taylor King

Curiously, no Thunderbirds received national Gold Glove awards.

These players were selected to the NAIA West Plus Lewis-Clark State All-Star team:

OF - Jon Syrnyk
Pitcher - Mark Hardy
Pitcher - Eric Brown
Relief Pitcher - Shawn Hetherington

Syrnyk set a school record for stolen bases in a season, with 24 of them. Webster tied the school record for fielding percentage, 1.000. Ben Chan also had a fielding percentage of 1.000, but it's not clear yet whether he had enough chances to qualify for the record. (For what it's worth, DakStats thinks that he did.) The other Thunderbird who fielded 1.000 was Matt Chester, in 2007.

Azusa Pacific 15, UBC 12

The Thunderbirds led 8-1 after two innings, and trailed 11-8 after five. They took a 12-11 lead with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, led by a two-run home run by 1B Scott Webster. The Cougars tied it 12-12 in the top of the eighth on a home run by Virgil Chavira. The Birds had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the eighth, and they left them loaded. The Cougars didn't make the same mistake; they loaded the bases in the top of the ninth, and scored three runs on a double by C Ryan Delgado off the left-center field wall.

It still wasn't over. The Birds loaded the bases again with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but pinch-hitter Jordan Pandoff hit a hard line drive to first base that was snagged with a good defensive play, ending the season.

The Cougars got 19 hits off three Thunderbird pitchers. Dan Britton-Foster started, lasted four innings, and gave up six runs on nine hits. He was replaced by Jeff Hall, who had a really bad day. He recorded only one out, and was lit up for five runs on four hits. He walked two, and threw two wild pitches. Shawn Hetherington went the rest of the way. He allowed only one run over the first three innings that he pitched. He should have been out of the ninth inning with no further damage, but an error set up Delgado's double and three unearned runs. It was a valiant effort by Hetherington, who was pitching with bad back spasms.

Starr went 5-6, and hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. CF Jon Syrnyk, in his final game for the Thunderbirds, went 3-5 with four RBI. LF Nic Lendvoy was 3-4.

Some words from Coach McKaig: " Just trust me in the fact that these kids are a special special group.  We were on fumes (especially pitching) and they never stopped fighting.  Guys playing through injury, pitchers gutting it out while completely spent etc.  All the coaching staff could have asked for... These players left everything they had on that field tonight.

"An amazing season.  This group really over achieved and their commitment, heart, leadership really came through carrying us till the bitter end.

"Thanks for the support this season everyone.  It was a lot of fun.  We will reload and be ready to make another run next year."

Box score

Story from UBC Athletics site: T-Birds Lose Epic Battle to Cougars As Season Ends

UBC 6, Cal State San Marcos 0; UBC 2, Cal State San Marcos 1

Josh BrinkFirst game: Matt Bannister and Josh Brink combined to give the Thunderbirds their second straight shutout.

Bannister went five innings, allowed the only two hits the Cougars got. He was upstaged by Brink, who went the rest of the way, and put in a career-best performance. He allowed only one baserunner, on a walk. He had only one strikeout, but it was for the final out of the game. The Cougars never got a baserunner past second.

The Thunderbirds left the bases loaded in the first inning. They left them loaded in the second inning, too, but SS Sammie Starr first batted in DH Bob Foerster for the winning run. Foerster originally reached first on a walk, was bunted to second by C Ben Torrie, and went to third on a balk.

The Thunderbirds proceeded to score one run per inning for the next four innings. 3B Ryan Pilgrim doubled in the third, then came in when Torrie reached on an error. Starr scored in the fourth by reaching third on an error, and coming home when CF Jon Syrnyk reached on a fielder's choice. RF Mike Elias hit an RBI single in the fifth, and 1B Scott Webster hit a home run in the sixth. Pilgrim completed the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth.

Bannister was helped by two great defensive plays. In the first inning, there was a double play where Pilgrim got the first out by fielding a ground ball and stepping on third, then getting the throw to Webster in time. Syrnyk made a great catch in center field in the fourth inning.

Johnny Holtman got the loss for the Cougars. He allowed eight hits over seven innings, but walked six. 2B Alex White was 2-4 for the game, and he was the only Bird with multiple hits.

Box score

Story from UBC Athletics site: ‘Birds Shutout Cougars, Set Up Showdown For Automatic Birth in NAIA Championship

Jeff HallSecond game: Jeff Hall came through big time in his first start of the season; six shutout innings, only four hits, struck out five.

The Thunderbirds didn't get on the board until the fifth inning, when DH Bob Foerster hit an RBI single. The winning run came in the sixth, when SS Sammie Starr reached on a bunt single, and scored on an RBI single by CF Jon Syrnyk.

The Cougars got something going in the bottom of the sixth. (They were the home team for this one.) They had runners on first and third with one out, but Hall retired the next two batters. He was replaced in the next inning by Shawn Hetherington, who continued the Birds' stretch of defensive success. He allowed only two hits the rest of the way, and struck out four. The Cougars got their only run in the bottom of the eighth, on a double by  James Scott, and a single by Dane Ponciano. Mitch Grossell got a pinch-hit single in the top of the ninth, but the Birds were unable to convert it into an insurance run. However, Hetherington got the Cougars to go three up, three down in the bottom of the ninth to end the game and the tournament.

Chris Skaalen got the loss for the Cougars, Both teams had six hits, and no Thunderbirds had more than one hit.

Box score

Story from UBC Athletics site: T-Birds Crowned NAIA West Champs After Another Stellar Pitching Performance

Now, let's put all this into perspective. After losing an 11-inning thriller in the first round, the Birds won four straight to win the tournament, starting with the bottom-of-the-ninth thriller against College of Idaho. Then there were two straight shutouts, and a string of 26 scoreless innings. And, this all happened without the Thunderbirds' best starter, Mark Hardy.

With the six scoreless innings, Hall dropped his ERA to 0.66. (Today's win was his third of the season, and he has no losses.) Jayson Kuehn of Saint Xavier leads the NAIA with 0.30, and Hall hasn't pitched quite enough innings to be listed among the national leaders.

UBC 4, Oregon Tech 0

Dan Britton-FosterAs expressed by Coach McKaig, "Three words... Danny Britton-Foster (well, two words, one hyphenated, I guess)". Britton-Foster pitched a complete-game shutout, allowed only four hits, struck out two, and didn't walk a batter.

The Thunderbirds did not wait until the late innings to start hitting in this one. They opened the scoring, and got the only run they needed, in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by DH Bob Foerster. They added a run in the third on an RBI single by 3B Ryan Pilgrim and another in the fifth on an RBI double by 1B Scott Webster. Mitch Grossell, pinch-hiiting in the ninth inning, hit a home run over the right field fence.

Foerster was robbed of a hit in the eighth inning with a great diving catch by Trent Smith in the top of the eighth inning. The Thunderbirds answered with a great play by SS Sammie Starr on a ground ball hit by Lee Eklund in the bottom of the eighth.

Ryson Mauricio, who went 4-5 against UBC pitching the previous day, was held to one hit in four at-bats in this game. Frank Charlton got the loss. The Huslin' Owls head coach, Matt Miles, was ejected from the game in the ninth inning for protesting a close call at first. The Birds were coached by Cav Whitely in this game; Terry McKaig had to sit this one out because of his ejection from the previous game.

Webster and Pilgrim were 2-4 for the game.

Box score

Story by Lyndon Little in the Vancouver Sun: UBC T-Birds stay alive in tourney with two victories Tuesday


UBC 12, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 9

CF Jon Syrnyk had one of the best days in the history of the UBC program for a position player; 4-4 with three doubles, a triple, two runs scored, four RBI, a stolen base, a base on balle, and a sacrifice fly which batted in the winning run in the top of the ninth.

Mark Hardy started for the Thunderbirds. He pitched four scoreless innings, then got tagged for five runs in the fifh. He allowed six hits, struck out four. Jeff Hall pitched a scoreless sixth inning. Josh Brink gave up a run on three hits in the seventh. Ashton Florko had a rough eighth inning; three runs on three walks. Shawn Hetherington, in his first appearance as a Thunderbird, replaced Florko with only one out in the eighth, allowed only one hit the rest of the way, struck out two, and got his first win.

SS Sammie Starr was 3-5 with a double and an RBI. DH Scott Webster batted in the two insurance runs in the ninth.

Line score (no box score available):

UBC     2 1 2  2 0 1  1 0 3 - 12  11  0
CMS 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 3 0 - 9 10 4

A field of their own

Photo by Mark Van Manen, Vancouver SunArticle by Lyndon Little in the Vancouver Sun: A field of their own: New practice facility means UBC T-Birds are no longer homeless.

Quote from UBC Athletic Director Bob Philip: "We didn't get the final green light for the baseball facility until last March, but the ball park has come in on time and even a bit under budget. A lot of people stepped up to the plate to make this happen."

UBC 5, Corban 3; UBC 7, Corban 6 (10 innings)

First game:1B Scott Webster's two-run home run was the winning run. Corban got all their runs in the first inning off starter Mark Hardy. Hardy held the Warriors scoreless for the next five innings, and Andrew LaFleur pitched a scoreless seventh.

The Thunderbirds' other runs came on an RBI single by CF Jon Syrnyk, DH Fletcher Vynne scoring when 3B Bob Foerster hit into a double play, and an RBI double by Ben Torrie. Vynne was 3-3 with a double and two stolen bases. SS Daniel Flores was 2-3 with two RBI for the Warriors. Jordan Emery got a complete-game loss.

Second game:Fletcher Vynne batted in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the tenth.

Vynne's dramatic hit ended a game that was close all the way. The Thunderbirds took the early lead on a sacrifice fly by 3B Jordan Pandoff in the second inning. Thunderbirds starter Josh Brink was excellent in the early going, retiring 11 straight batters at one point. However, the Warriors manufactured runs on two consecutive squeeze plays in the fifth inning; 1B Kyle Taylor and CF Jamie McGraw got the RBI, but the one by Taylor was a fluke; a really bad bunt attempt went over Brink's head, and landed in front of the shortstop.

The Thunderbirds tied it at 2 in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double by SS Sean Everest. They took a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth when RF Mike Styrna and Everest bunted in runs, and CF Jon Syrnyk hit an RBI single.

The Warriors made it a one-run ball game with two runs in the seventh on an error by 3B Jordan Pandoff. The Thunderbirds got what appeared to be, at the time, an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by LF Matt Chester.

The Warriors weren't finished, however. They tied it in the top of the ninth with a two-RBI single by 2B Craig Spicer, giving Kurtis Schumacher a blown save. They then loaded the bases on Ashton Florko in the tenth, but Andrew LaFleur came in to get McGraw to fly out and end the inning.

In the bottom of the tenth, C Ben Torrie reached on a single with one out. He was replaced by courtesy runner Mike Elias, and he moved to second when Chester grounded out. He was batted in by Vynne.

By retiring the only batter he faced, LaFleur got the win. Daniel Flores, who moved from shortstop to the mound in the ninth inning, got the loss. Chester was 3-6 with a double for the Birds. Kyle Taylor was 2-3 for the Warriors.

UBC 9, College of Idaho 2; UBC 10, College of Idaho 4

First game: The Thunderbirds got a career-best performance from Eric Brown, who went eight innings, allowed six hits, struck our four, walked one, and hit one batter.

The Thunderbirds took an early 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI double by 1B Ryan Pilgrim and a sacrifice fly by RF Mike Styrna. The Coyotes tied it in the third with an RBI single by C Dane McGrady; the run was unearned. The Thunderbirds took the lead for good in the fourth with six runs, starting with an RBI single by C Ben Torrie. Coyote reliever Justin Marsh-Quinlan then walked in two runs. Marsh-Quinlan was replaced by Tim Bourner, who was greeted with a two-RBI single by DH Jordan Pandoff and an RBI single by LF Mike Elias.

Torrie went 3-5 for the game. Kurtis Schumacher came in in the ninth inning after Brown gave up a hit and a walk, and Schumacher retired all three batters that he faced. Starter Joey Zubizaretta got the loss for the Coyotes.

Second game: 1B Fletcher Vynne hit the first home run at Nat Bailey Stadium in his Thunderbird career. It went over the left field fence, there were two on base, and it got things going in an eight-run second inning for the Thunderbirds.

Another offensive highlight was was Mitch Grossell hitting a double in his first at-bat this season. Mike Elias was 2-3, and both of his hits came in that second inning. Craig Leebosh was 3-4.

Ashton Florko got his first win as a Thunderbird. He pitched the first two innings, allowed one hit, and struck out three of the nine batters he faced.

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