Drovers Advance to Fifth Consecutive NAIA Baseball National Championship - Opening Round
The No. 11 ranked University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma recently earned their third consecutive Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Championship, with a 4-3 win against No. 21 Oklahoma City University. With the win, USAO locked up a berth into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Baseball National Championship – Opening Round for the fifth consecutive season, sixth time total.
The Drovers have been victorious in 13 of their last 14 games overall. Following a regular-season, in which the Drovers claimed their third consecutive regular-season SAC Championship, they gave an epic performance to take down the Stars in the SAC Tournament Championship.
Following their win, it was announced that the Drovers hauled in numerous All-SAC awards.
Head Coach Mike Ross earned his fourth consecutive, and fifth total, SAC Coach of the Year award. Ross currently owns a 460-197 (.700) career win-loss record at USAO.
Colton Williams, Magnolia, Texas, collected his third consecutive SAC Pitcher of the Year award, following another undefeated season. Williams is the first player in NAIA history to go 33-0 in his career. The heavily-decorated pitcher was also the 2019 NAIA National Pitcher of the Year, 2019 NAIA All-American, two-time NAIA Pre-Season All-American, three-time First-Team All-SAC selection, 2020 SAC Male Athlete of the Year, and he has earned seven SAC Pitcher of the Week awards.
Brennan Brister, Burleson, Texas, and Cristian Laboy, Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, each earned SAC Gold Glove Awards for their tremendous defense in the field.
Four different Drovers brought home First-Team All-SAC selections. Williams became a three-time selection, while Laboy earned his second consecutive all-conference award. Ricardo Velez, Lajas, Puerto Rico, who was a five-time SAC Pitcher of the Week award winner this season, earned his first career All-SAC recognition. Joey Pena, Mustang, also collected his first career All-SAC selection after a stellar season behind the plate catching, as well as at the plate batting.
The Drovers now await the decision of where they will travel for the NAIA Baseball National Championship – Opening Round where they will likely be one-of-eight No. 1 seeds in the tournament. The NAIA Selection Show is scheduled for Thursday, May 13 at 4 p.m. The selection show will be streamed live on the NAIA Facebook page.
Visit www.usaoathletics.com for all game times when they are announced.