OKLAHOMA CITY - 5/14/2010 - The No. 18 Union (Tenn.) University baseball team will begin play in the 2010 NAIA National Championship Opening Round in Oklahoma City. Union will be the second-seed in the five-team double-elimination tournament that begins on Tuesday, May 18. No. 6 Oklahoma City University is the top seed. Union plays third-seed Jamestown (N.D.) on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma City University hosts the NAIA Championship Opening-Round Group 5 Tournament with a berth in the NAIA World Series at stake starting Tuesday at Jim Wade Stadium.
Sixth-ranked OCU, 18th-ranked Union (Tenn.), Jamestown (N.D.), Grand View (Iowa) and Northwestern (Iowa) make up the field in the double-elimination tournament.
The No. 1 seed Stars (46-14) boast of first-team all-Sooner Athletic Conference catcher Chad Carman, third baseman Steve Vitale and pitcher Dustin Williams. OCU comes off winning the SAC Tournament championship.
OCU leads the NAIA in hits (708), doubles (171), runs (611), RBIs (570), slugging percentage (.655) and fielding percentage (.975). The Stars play 6 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of the Grand View-Northwestern game.
Second seed Union has outfielder Corey Rudolph, who has hit .436 with eight homers, 59 RBIs and 22 stolen bases, and pitcher Carl Harken, who went 9-2 with a 3.28 earned run average and 72 strikeouts in 79.2 innings. Union (41-15) advanced to the TranSouth Athletic Conference Tournament title game. Union meets Jamestown at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Third seed Jamestown (39-11) captured the Dakota Athletic Conference regular-season title. Outfielder Erik Church paces Jamestown with a .478 average, 11 homers, 60 RBIs and 22 steals, while pitcher Alex Kreis has a 6-0 record, 3.45 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 57.1 innings.
Fourth seed Grand View (29-18) picked up the Midwest Collegiate Conference Tournament crown. Outfielder Cory Burnes hits .328 with four homers and 30 RBIs, and Jared Meggison has gone 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 64.2 innings.
Fifth seed Northwestern set its single-season record with 381 runs scored en route to the Great Plains Athletic Conference Tournament crown. All-GPAC selection Brad Payne leads the Red Raiders with a .475 average, six homers, 46 RBIs and 16 thefts while adding a 6-2 record, 3.60 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 40 innings and five saves.
The nine opening-round tournament winners and host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) will make up the field for the NAIA World Series on May 28-June 4 in Lewiston, Idaho.
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