Former TU Night Hawk Takes Ride of a Lifetime
June 20, 2013
Crawford, Texas - Thomas University Alumni and former Night Hawk baseball player, retired Army Staff Sergeant Mike Morabito, took the ride of a lifetime when he was invited to participate in the 3rd Annual Bush Center Warrior 100K alongside former President George W. Bush this past May 23rd – 25th in Waco, Texas.
Held each spring at the extensive trail system of the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, the event features service men and women wounded in the global war on terror riding alongside the former president for a 100 kilometer mountain bike ride. Part of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, the W100K highlights the bravery and sacrifice of warriors and recognizes organizations that support America’s heroes.
“Riding with the president we went to war for, you can’t say much more than that”, said Morabito. “There aren’t any words that can describe what we feel as warriors who did what we did and have the president that you went to war for invite you to ride mountain bikes with him”.
Morabito, like many others, looked at the world we live in differently after the horrible events on the morning of September 11, 2001. After playing a couple of seasons of minor league baseball, he enlisted in 2003 knowing that it was time to follow his heart and serve his country.
The native of Miami, Fla. served 10 years and left with numerous commendations including the Purple Heart, Army Commendation w/ “V” Device for Valor during Combat Operations in Ramadi, Iraq, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Iraq Campaign Medal among others. Morabito comes from a long line of military service. His dad is a Vietnam Veteran and his brother Joe, whom he rode side by side with in the W100K as a Warrior guest, is a Veteran of the US Navy.
Morabito served in Korea and then Iraq during peak war time. He was injured during a routine security detail in Iraq when his seven-ton Marine truck was hit on its left side by an Iraqi Police officer in a marked IP vehicle whose bomb detonated, severely injuring all 19 soldiers on board. His spinal cord was compressed and he suffered second and third degree burns to his hands and face. In total he underwent three knee surgeries and a nose surgery as a result of the road side bombing.
As a Night Hawk he put together one of the most prolific careers in the program’s history. Morabito set single season marks in runs scored (61) and on-base percentage (.556), while finishing second in program history for batting average (.478), slugging percentage (.904) and in a two way tie for home runs (15). He currently holds the career mark for runs (150) and sits in a three-way tie for home runs (21). Morabito is one of only three Night Hawk baseball players to ever receive NAIA All-America honors, being named to the Second Team in 2001.
Morabito holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and is not the only Thomas alumnus in his household, marrying his college sweetheart, the former Karen Pike, who as a TU softball player was named an NAIA All-American in 2001. The couple, along with their two daughters, recently moved to Tallahassee, Fla. so that he can finish his Master’s Degree at Florida State University.
Kitlas Named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes
May 29, 2013
Thomas University junior outfielder Chris Kitlas was honored by the NAIA this afternoon, being named to the 2013 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete list.
A total of 266 baseball players across the country were recognized and Kitlas was one of only seven Sun Conference baseball student athletes to be named. Nominated by each institution's head coach, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have achieved junior academic status to qualify.
For complete list click HERE.
White Named to 2013 TSC Gold Glove Team
May 7, 2013
Thomas University senior baseball player Brett White was named to the 2013 Sun Conference Baseball Gold Glove Team on Monday evening by the TSC Sports Information office.
White earned the conference's Gold Glove honor at third base with a .941 fielding percentage at the hot corner. The native of Citronelle, AL assisted on 109 putouts and made 68 of his own with 29 double plays. Click HERE for the complete TSC Gold Glove Team.
Kitlas Named Academic All Conference
May 1, 2013
Thomas University junior outfielder Chris Kitlas was named to the Academic All Sun Conference Team on Monday evening at the TSC Awards Banquet in Fort Myers, FL.
To qualify for the honor a student athlete must have been enrolled for two full semesters or more and must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
#8 Eagles Fly Away with TU Tournament Hopes, Sweep Double Header
April 25, 2013
The NAIA #8 Embry Riddle University Eagles (39-12, 22-4) flew away with TU's Sun Conference Tournament hopes, sweeping the Night Hawks, 2-1 & 3-2, in a double header on Thursday afternoon at Varnedoe Stadium.
On Sunday TU completed a road sweep of than #19 St. Thomas University, leaving them two home wins from a TSC tournament bid. This afternoon their hopes were dashed with a fly ball to the left field warning track in bottom of the eleventh inning of game two. ERU broke a 2-2 tie in the top half of the inning and completed the sweep after scoring three run unanswered runs, coming back from a 2-0 deficit after six innings of play. Earlier in the day, Riddle scored two first inning runs and limited TU to only three hits in the 2-1 game one win.
TU battled hard with their backs to the wall in the three game set against the reigning TSC Champs but fell short of extending their season. The Night Hawks end the year at 23-26 and 12-14 in TSC play.
NAIA #8 ERU Takes Game One of Crucial TSC Series
April 24, 2013
NAIA #8 Embry Riddle University (38-12, 21-4) took game one, 6-3, of a crucial Sun Conference three game series over Thomas (23-24, 12-12) on Wednesday evening at Varnedoe Stadium.
After the teams exchanged single runs in the opening inning, Riddle added three in the second and one in the fourth to open up a 5-1 advantage. TU made it a two run ball game with two runs in the seventh. Riddle added an insurance run in the eighth to make it a 6-3 game and than shut down the Night Hawks bats in the final two frames. Sophomore starting pitcher Neal Hunter (4-4) took the loss.
Thomas must pick up a win in tomorrow's double header to keep their season alive as they hunt for the sixth and final spot in the Sun Conference Baseball Tournament to be played April 30 - May 4 at the City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, FL. First pitch tomorrow is set for 12PM.
TU Sweeps NAIA #19 Bobcats, Stays Alive in Hunt for TSC Tournament Spot
April 21, 2013
TU (23-23, 12-11) swept the NAIA #19 St. Thomas University Bobcats (32-18, 17-10) with a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon in Miami Gardens, FL. The sweep keeps the Night Hawks alive and in the hunt for the sixth and final spot in the Sun Conference Tournament.
In a game that was resumed in the fourth inning on Sunday morning, after a Saturday rain out, the Night Hawks came from behind with three fourth innings runs to take a 3-2 lead that STU would not be able to overcome. Catcher Tom Baker (0-2, RBI, BB) drew a two out bases loaded walk to drive in the eventual game winning run for TU. Freshman relief pitcher Evan Morgan (1-4) started the resumed game and tossed six innings of shutout ball, scattering five hits, for the win.
The series sweep sets up a critical home series against NAIA #8 Embry Riddle University, who has already secured the regular season TSC crown, on Wednesday and Thursday. TU and ERU were scheduled to play earlier in the season but rain washed away the three game set. Game one will be on Wednesday at 5PM.
Baseball Takes Another From NAIA #19 STU, Game 2 Rained Out
April 20, 2013
Baseball (22-23, 11-11) took another game from NAIA #19 St. Thomas University (32-17, 17-9) on Saturday afternoon in Miami Gardens, FL. Game three of the series was postponed due to rain.
TU out lasted STU 10-8 in a sluggers affair that saw both teams combine for 31 hits. A four run sixth inning proved to be the difference in the game pushing the Night Hawks to a temporary 9-2 lead. St. Thomas scored six runs in the game's last four frames to make things tight. Junior shortstop Justin Delgado (2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR) gave TU breathing room with a solo home run in the ninth. Senior third baseman Brett White (2-5, 3 R, RBI, HR) contributed with a solo home run in the third and scored three runs in the game. Sophomore first baseman Brent Slaughter (3-5, R, 3 RBI) drove in three runs with base hits in the fifth and sixth innings. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (5-4) tossed seven innings for the victory and junior closer John Gainey picked up his tenth save of the year.
With game three postponed after three innings, due to rain. The two teams will be back at it on Sunday morning at 11AM, resuming the game in the top of the fourth.
Night Hawks Pick up Big Sun Conference Win
April 19, 2013
The Night Hawks (21-23, 10-11) picked up a big Sun Conference win, edging St. Thomas University (32-16, 17-8) 7-6 on Friday night in Miami Gardens, FL.
Junior catcher Andrew Crane (1-4, 3 RBI, 3B) broke open a 4-3 game with a three run triple in the top of the eighth, to give TU a 7-3 lead. STU responded with three in the bottom half of the inning to once again make it a one run game. Junior closer John Gainey collected two outs in the eighth, stranding two St. Thomas runners, and tossed a hitless ninth for his ninth save of the year. Senior starting pitcher Trent Stoker (3-5) picked up his third win of the year with a 7.1 innings of work, allowing six runs (four earned) on ten hits.
TU and STU will wrap up their series tomorrow with a double header beginning at 12PM.
NCAA D2 Valdosta State Downs Thomas
April 16, 2013
NCAA D2 Valdosta State University (22-14) downed Thomas baseball (20-23), 13-6, on Tuesday evening in Valdosta, GA.
VSU jumped out to a 5-0 lead with runs in three of the first four innings. TU made it a two run game with a three run top of the fifth, sophomore first baseman Brent Slaughter (1-5, 2 RBI) drove in two runs with a two out base hit. The Blazers put the game away with five runs in the bottom half of the inning, adding two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. Sophomore center fielder Corey Conway (2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR) drove in two runs and hit a solo home run in the seventh. Freshman starting pitcher Evan Morgan (0-4) took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits in four innings of work.
The Night Hawks will open their final Sun Conference stretch on Friday at 6PM, when they open a three game series against NAIA #19 St. Thomas University.
TU Splits Critical Sun Conference Double Header
April 13, 2013
TU (20-22, 9-11) split, 6-3 & 2-4, a critical Sun Conference double header with Warner University (20-30, 6-18) on Saturday afternoon in Lake Wales, FL.
The Night Hawks evened the weekend series with a 6-3 come from behind win in game one of the twin bill. TU, down 2-0, scored two runs in the fourth to tie the game at two and added another run in the next inning to take a one run lead. Warner tied the game at three with a solo home run in the bottom half of the seventh. Thomas scored three runs on three hits in their half of the ninth to take a 6-3 lead and junior closer John Gainey tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth for his eighth save of the year. Senior Trent Stoker (2-5) picked up his second win of the year with eight innings of work, allowing three earned runs on seven hits. Junior second baseman Hugh Russell Lee (2-4, R, 2 RBI) and sophomore first baseman Josh Bruijn (1-4, 2 RBI, SAC) each drove in two runs.
WU scored two in the eighth inning of game two to break a 2-2 tie and the Night Hawks stranded two in the ninth, dropping the weekend series two games to three. Freshman relief pitcher Kyle Riley (3-4) surrendered two earned runs in the eighth for the loss.
After dropping two of three, Thomas sits in the seventh spot of the Sun Conference standings heading into it's final two TSC series of the year. Six teams will make the baseball conference tournament in May. The Night Hawks will first face Valdosta State University in a non conference match up on Tuesday at 5PM in Valdosta, GA. TU will open their final Sun Conference stretch on Friday, when they open a three game series against NAIA #19 St. Thomas University.
Warner Upends Night Hawks in Sun Conference Baseball
April 12, 2013
Warner University (19-29, 5-17) upended the Night Hawks (19-21, 8-10), 9-6, in Sun Conference Baseball on Friday afternoon in Lake Wales, FL.
TU tied the game at three in the top of the third but gave the lead right back to Warner in the bottom half of the inning, falling behind 4-3. WU put the game away with four runs in the next inning and Thomas scored three late runs but would be unable to mount a come back. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (4-4) took the loss.
Thomas and Warner will square off tomorrow in a crucial double header, beginning at 12PM, with major conferencer tournamant implications for the Night Hawks.
AUM Downs TU in Non Conference Action
April 9, 2013
Auburn University - Montgomery (25-15) downed TU (18-19), 7-6, on Tuesday afternoon in non conference action played in Ozark, AL.
Thomas led 6-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh when AUM knocked in three runs to take a 7-6 lead. TU was held scoreless in the last two frames and fell for the second game in a row. Five different Night Hawks drove in runs and junior catcher Andrew Crane (3-4, RBI) had three hits. Freshman relief pitcher Kris Lee (1-1) took the loss out of the pen, surrendering three earned runs on two hits while walking two in one inning of work.
The Night Hawks will next open a critical three game Sun Conference set on Friday at 3PM against Warner University in Lake Wales, FL.
Georgia Gwinnett Takes Series Finale
April 7, 2013
Georgia Gwinnett College (25-15) took the three game series finale with a 10-4 victory over the TU Night Hawks (19-19) on Sunday afternoon at Varnedoe Stadium.
TU led 4-1 after four and seemed in position for a sweep of the three game set. GGC would go on to score two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh to take a 7-4 advantage. They would tack on a single run in the eighth and two more in the ninth. Gwinnett took advantage of sloppy play by the Night Hawks, comiting five errors on the day. Freshman relief pitcher Kyle Riley (3-3) took the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on two hits in two innings of work. Junior second baseman Hugh Russell Lee (1-2, 2 RBI) drove in two runs.
TU will step away from conference action on Tuesday at 4PM when they travel to Ozark, AL for a single game against Auburn University - Montgomery.
Thomas Tops GGC
April 6, 2013
Thomas (19-18) topped Georgia Gwinnett College (24-15), 8-3, on Saturday evening at Varnedoe Stadium.
GGC took a 2-0 advantage into the bottom of the fourth before TU scored three to take a one run lead.Gwinnett tied the game in the top of the sixth but the Night Hawks responded and put the game away with five runs in their half of the inning. Junior second baseman Hugh Russell Lee (1-4, R, 2 RBI) drove in two runs. Senior starting pitcher Trent Stoker (1-5) picked up his first win of the year after tossing eight innings and surrendering three runs on seven hits.
The three game set will conclude tomorrow at 1PM.
Night Hawks Hold Off Georgia Gwinnett
April 5, 2013
The Night Hawks (18-18) held off Georgia Gwinnett College (24-14) for a 5-4 Friday night victory at Varnedoe Stadium.
TU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after junior catcher Andrew Crane (1-3, 2 RBI) drove in two runs on a base hit up the middle. Thomas would tack on two more runs to extend their lead to four. GGC made it a two run game with two runs in the top half of the third. Sophomore right fielder Brandon Singer (2-4, RBI, 3B) got a run back for TU in the fifth with a run scoring triple to make it a 5-2 game. Gwinnett made things tight with two runs in the top of the sixth but the Night Hawks bullpen shut the door to preserve win. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (4-3) went seven innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits for the win.
Thomas and Georgia Gwinnett will continue their three game series tomorrow afternoon at 4PM.
Baseball Game Postponed
April 3, 2013
Rain in the South Georgia area forced the postponement of a Wednesday evening game against Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA.
The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday April 16th at 5PM in Valdosta, GA.
SEU Sweeps TU, Takes Sun Conference Weekend Series
March 30, 2013
Southeastern University (21-19, 9-9) swept a double header away from TU (17-18, 8-9) on Saturday afternoon in Lakeland, FL, taking the three game Sun Conference weekend series.
Thomas gave up a 5-1 lead after 5 1/2 innings, allowing seven SEU runs over the next 2 1/2 innings to fall 8-5 in game one of the double header. Senior starting pitcher Trent Stoker (0-5) took the loss after surrendering six runs (three earned) on only three hits over 5.2 innings of work. Junior second baseman Hugh Russell Lee (2-4, 4 RBI, 2 2B) drove in four runs.
SEU pitching limited TU hitters to only one hit over the first four innings en route to a 9-2 game two win and series sweep. Sophomore starting pitcher Neal Hunter (4-3)was the losing pitcher after yielding four earned runs on six hits in five innings. Baseball has now dropped five games in a row, their second longest losing streak since dropping six in a row in early March.
TU will step out of TSC play on Wednesday to face NCAA D2 Valdosta State University in a single game beginning at 5PM in Valdosta, GA.
Baseball Knocked Off by Southeastern in TSC Action
March 29, 2013
Baseball (17-16, 8-7) was knocked off, 8-4, by Southeastern University (19-19, 7-9) in Friday night Sun Conference action.
After taking a 2-0 first inning lead, TU allowed eight unanswered runs by SEU to fall behind 8-2 after eight innings. Thomas rallied in the ninth, scoring two runs but left the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (3-3) allowed eight runs (six earned) on fourteen hits in the losing effort.
The series continues tomorrow with a double header beginning at 12PM.
Spring Hill Sweeps Thomas
March 26, 2013
Spring Hill College (12-19) swept Thomas (17-15) in a baseball double header on Tuesday afternoon in Mobile, AL.
TU fell 4-3 in an eight inning game one affair. The Night Hawks led 3-2 before SHC tied the game at three in the bottom half of the fourth. Senior third baseman Brett White (1-3, R, RBI, HR) had given TU a one run lead with a solo home run in the third. Junior relief pitcher John Gainey (3-1) took the loss out of the pen.
SHC limited Thomas to only three hits in a 3-1 game two victory. Freshman starting pitcher Evan Morgan (0-3) dropped his third game of the year after allowing three earned runs on five hits in four innings of work.
The Night Hawks will be back on the road this coming Friday when they return to Sun Conference action. TU will face Southeastern University in a single game on Friday beginning at 7PM. The teams will wrap up the series with a double header on Saturday.
Final Game of Series Postponed
March 23, 2013
Severe thunder storms in the Thomasville area on Saturday afternoon, forced the postponement of the final game in a three game Sun Conference series between TU and Northwood University.
A re schedule date for the series finale was not announced. Thomas will be back in action on Tuesday at 3PM when they travel to Mobile, AL for a double header against Spring Hill College.
Night Hawks Sweep Important TSC Double Header
March 22, 2013
The Night Hawks (17-15, 8-6) swept an important Sun Conference double header against Northwood University (23-13-1, 7-7) on Friday afternoon at Varnedoe Stadium.
Starting pitcher Neal Hunter (4-2) dominated the NU line up, helping lead TU to a 11-1 game one victory. The sophomore went all the way, scattering eight hits and allowing one earned run on seven strike outs. Thomas broke open a 2-0 game in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs and adding five more in the their half of the fifth. Senior third baseman Brett White (4-5, R, 2 RBI), sophomore right fielder Brandon Singer (2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B) and sophomore center fielder Corey Conway (0-2, R, 2 RBI) each drove in two runs.
Pinch runner Louis Colaiacomo scored the walk off run in the bottom of the ninth in game two, on an error by Northwood for a 7-6 Night Hawk win. NU took a 3-0 lead after two innings. TU replied with two runs in the third, making it a one run game. Northwood once again extended their lead to three with two runs in the fifth and and added another in the sixth. Thomas scored a run in the sixth and junior left fielder Chris Kitlas (2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR) tied the game at six with a two run home run to left field. Freshman relief pitcher Kyle Riley (3-3) rebounded from back to back rough appearances, to pitch three scoreless innings for the win.
TU and Northwood will wrap up the series tomorrow with a single game beginning at 11AM. First pitch was originally scheduled for 12PM but was moved ahead with the hopes of avoiding a weather front that is expected in the Thomasville area tomorrow afternoon.
TU and Spring Hill Split Mid Week Double Dip
March 19, 2013
TU (15-13) and Spring Hill College (10-16) split a mid week double dip, 1-8 & 5-4, on Tuesday afternoon at Varnedoe Stadium.
SHC limited the Night Hawks to only two hits in the game one and scored eight unanswered runs after TU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Sophomore right fielder Brandon Singer (1-1, R, RBI, HR, 2 BB) drove in the only Night Hawk run with a solo home run in the first. Freshman Evan Morgan (0-2) dropped his second game of the year.
Four Spring Hill runs in the fifth inning of game two, made things look as if the game was heading in the same direction as game one. TU got a run back in the bottom half of the inning to make it a three run game. Unable to close the deficit further, Thomas entered the bottom of the seventh down by three and seemingly facing a sweep. The Night Hawks rallied to tie the game on two hits and a Spring Hill error, sending the game into extra innings. After the teams exchanged zero's, TU loaded the bases with one out in the eleventh setting up sophomore first baseman Brent Slaughter (1-3, RBI) with the chance to win the game. Slaughter would reach on a fielder's choice and Singer (2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB) would come around from second on a SHC throwing error for the walk off win. Freshman relief pitcher Zach Deas (2-0) tossed three scoreless innings out of the pen for the win.
The Night Hawks return to TSC action on Friday at 4PM when they welcome Northwood University for the opener of a three game series.
Thomas Splits TSC Double Header, Drops Series
March 16, 2013
Thomas baseball (14-12, 6-6) split a Saturday afternoon Sun Conference double header, 5-6 & 10-1, with the University of South Carolina - Beaufort (12-12, 5-7), dropping the three game home weekend series.
In game one, it was once again the ninth inning that hurt TU. Leading 5-3, Thomas surrendered a one out base hit to make it a one run ball game. A sacrifice fly to center would than tie the game at five and push the affair into extra innings. USCB took the lead in the tenth with a lead off solo home run to left and sealed the victory by killing a TU rally in the bottom half of the inning, stranding the game tying run at second. Sophomore center fielder Corey Conway (3-6, 2B, 3 RBI) drove in three runs for the Night Hawks. Freshman relief pitcher Kyle Riley (2-3) took the loss.
TU avoided the series sweep by hammering out 15 hits in game two, leading Thomas to a 10-1 win. Seven different Night Hawks drove in a run. Conway (4-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B) had four hits and finished the day with seven hits. Sophomore starting pitcher Neal Hunter (3-2) tossed a complete game for the win. Hunter allowed one earned run on seven hits.
The Night Hawks will take a break from TSC play with a mid week double header against Spring Hill College on Tuesday at Varnedoe Stadium. First pitch is set for 3PM.
Baseball Falls in Sun Conference Action
March 15, 2013
Baseball (13-11, 5-5) fell to University of South Carolina - Beaufort (11-11, 4-6), 6-3, on Friday evening at Varnedoe Stadium in the opener of a critical three game Sun Conference series.
Three runs in the ninth by USCB broke open a tied game and sent TU to their fifth loss in a row. South Carolina-Beaufort scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth for a three run lead. Thomas tied the game with a three run fifth. Freshman relief pitcher Kyle Riley (2-2) gave up three unearned runs in the ninth for the loss. TU committed four errors in the game.
The series continues with a double header tomorrow at 12PM.
Lourdes Sinks Night Hawks
March 9, 2013
Lourdes University (6-9) sunk the Night Hawks (13-10) 5-2 in the final game of the Warner Invite in Lake Wales, FL.
TU took a first inning lead before LU scored three in the second and single runs in the third and fourth to take a 5-1 lead. Thomas got a run back in the sixth to make it a three run game. In the ninth, TU got the tying run to the plate with no outs after consecutive base hits but the Lourdes closer was able to shut down the Night Hawk rally with an infield fly ball and two strike outs. Senior starting pitcher Joey Vitello (0-1) took the loss. Freshman catcher Jake Phillips (2-3) had two hits in the game. TU finishes the 2013 Invitational with one win and four losses.
Thomas will return to Sun Conference play with a pivotal three game series at Varnedoe Stadium against the University of South Carolina - Beaufort beginning on Friday. First pitch for the single game is set for 4PM.
TU Drops Two at Warner Invite
March 8, 2013
TU (13-9) dropped two games this afternoon at the Warner Invitational in Lakes Wales, FL.
Bellevue University (10-4) edged the Night Hawks 5-4 in the first game of the day. The teams exchanged single runs in the first and they once again exchanged runs in the fourth with each scoring three times. BU scored the eventual winning run in the fifth and held off a seventh inning TU rally to win the game. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (3-2) went all the way in the losing effort, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits.
In game two, Sienna Heights University (1-6) led 5-1 after two innings and would not look back. TU made it a three run ball game in the fourth but was shut down the rest of the way, dropping their third in a row. Senior starting pitcher Trent Stoker (0-4) dropped his fourth game of the year, surrendering five runs (three earned) in six innings of work. Stoker struck 8 in the game and has struck out 47 batters in 42 innings of work this season.
The Night Hawks will wrap up their play in the Warner Invite tomorrow morning at 9:30am against an opponent that will be announced at the conclusion of this evenings ball games.
Thomas Baseball Splits in Day One of Warner Invitational
March 7, 2013
Thomas Baseball (13-7) split a pair of games in day one of the Warner Invitational this afternoon in Lake Wales, FL.
In game one TU dominated from start to finish, busting out to a 2-0 lead in the first and bashing out 17 hits total hits in a 11-2 pounding of Bethel College (2-7). Thomas put the game away with a five run third inning and tacked on three more in the fourth, rounding out the scoring with a run in the fifth. Sophomore starting pitcher Neal Hunter (2-2) went all the wy, tossing a two hitter while striking out six. Sophomore centerfielder Corey Conway (2-4, R, 3 RBI) and junior catcher Andrew Crane (3-4, 3 RBI) each drove in three runs.
Lourdes University (4-7) over came an early one run Night Hawk lead by scoring three in the fourth and five in the fifth to take a commanding 8-1 lead after 4 1/2 innings. TU made a come back by scoring two in the fifth and four in the sixth but could not plate the game tying run, falling 8-7. The big hit for the Night Hawks came off the bat of senior second baseman Brett White (3-4, R, 3B, 3 RBI) who tripled with the bases loaded in the sixth to clear the bases and pull Thomas within two. White would score on a base hit by sophomore designated hitter Austin Corbitt (2-4, 2 RBI) to make it a one run game. In the bottom of the seventh the Night Hawks stranded two runners, leaving the tying run at second. Freshman starting pitcher Evan Morgan (0-1) took the loss after allowing eight run (three earned) on nine hits over five innings of work.
The Warner Invitational continues tomorrow. Thomas will face Bellevue University at 9:30am and round out day two with a match up against Sienna Heights University at 1:30pm.
Night Hawks and Gyrenes, Split TSC Twin Bill
March 2, 2013
The Thomas University Night Hawks (12-6, 5-4) and the Ave Maria University Gyrenes (18-5, 8-1) split a Sun Conference twin bill on Saturday afternoon in Ave Maria, FL.
In game one, junior starting pitcher Kuris Gens tossed seven innings of shutout ball, leading TU to a 4-2 win and evening up the series at one. Gens limited AMU to six hits while striking out six. Thomas broke a scoreless tie with two runs in their half of the fifth and added two insurance runs in the top of the eighth. Ave Maria scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a two run game. Junior relief pitcher John Gainey killed the eighth inning rally for AMU, setting down the only batter he faced and stranding two Gyrenes. In the bottom of the ninth, Gainey set down the side in order for his sixth save of the year. Sophomore Brandon Singer (2-2, RBI) had two hits and drove in a run.
Ave Maria took the series with their second 3-0 blanking of the Night Hawks in game two. Sophomore starting pitcher Neal Hunter (1-3) took the loss. TU was held to three hits in the game.
Thomas will next take their annual Florida spring break trip to the Warner Invitational. TU will open play on Thursday facing Bethel College at 12:30pm and Lourdes University at 4:30pm.
Ave Maria Defeats TU
March 1, 2013
TU (11-5, 4-3) fell to Ave Maria University (17-4, 7-0) in a Sun Conference match up on Friday afternoon in Ave Maria, FL.
AMU limited the Night Hawks to only five hits in the 3-0 series opening victory. Thomas committed two errors leading to two unearned runs. Senior starting pitcher Trent Stoker (0-3) had a solid evening on the mound but once again picked up a loss and remains winless in the early going. Stoker went all eight innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out ten. He leads the starting rotation with an ERA 2.57.
The three game set concludes with a double header beginning Saturday at 11AM.
Weekend Series Postponed
February 23, 2013
A three game Sun conference series between TU Baseball and NAIA #7 Embry Riddle University was postponed on Saturday due to heavy rain in the Thomasville area.
The storm brought constant rain to the area for over 15 hours, amounting to nearly four inches of rain. A re schedule date will be announced at a later time.
Schedule Change for Weekend Series Against NAIA #7 Embry Riddle University
February 21, 2013
The schedule for the upcoming three game series against NAIA #7 Embry Riddle University has been changed due to forecasted rain storms in the Thomasville area on Friday and Saturday.
Tomorrow the teams will face off in a double header beginning at 1PM, with the series scheduled to conclude on Saturday with a single game beginning at noon.
TU Sweeps EWC
February 19, 2013
TU (11-4) swept Edward Waters College (5-11), 6-5 & 6-1, in a Tuesday afternoon double header in Jacksonville, FL.
EWC led 5-4 in the top of the seventh inning of game one but Thomas, as it has done may times this season, found some timely hitting to take the lead with two runs on only one hit. Sophomore designated hitter Austin Corbitt (3-4, 3RBI), batting with runners on second & third, drove in two runs on a two out single to shallow center. Junior relief pitcher John Gainey (3-0) picked up his third win out of the pen with two scoreless innings of work. Gainey has not surrendered a run this season and has only allowed two hits in 10.1 innings of work.
In game two, TU broke a one run tie with two runs in the sixth and added three more runs in the seventh. Freshman relief pitcher Kyle Riley (2-0) tossed two hitless innings out of the pen for his second win of the year. Sophomore Louis Colaiacomo (1-2, 2 RBI) drove in two runs.
The Night Hawks return to Sun Conference play this Friday when they welcome NAIA #7 Embry Riddle University for the opener of a three game series. First pitch is set for 3PM.
Thomas Baseball Splits TSC Double Header
February 16, 2013
Thomas Baseball (9-4, 4-2) split a Saturday afternoon Sun Conference double header, 9-6 & 3-7, against the visiting Webber International University Warriors (6-6, 4-2) at Varnedoe Stadium.
Down 6-2 after 5 1/2 innings in game one, TU made it a one run game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the eighth Thomas tied the game and then took the lead on a three home run by senior second baseman Brett White (1-5, R, 3 RBI, HR). The home run was the second of the game for the Night Hawks after junior shortstop Justin Delgado (1-2, 2R, RBI, HR) drove a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence in the home half of the third for the first TU home run of the season. Freshman relief pitcher Kyle Riley (1-0) picked up the win. Junior closer John Gainey collected his fifth save of the year.
In game two, Webber stormed out to a 6-2 lead after three innings. Thomas added a run in the sixth but would be unable to mount any further comeback. The Night Hawks committed four errors leading to four unearned runs. Sophomore starting pitcher Neal Hunter (1-1) allowed seven runs (three earned) on eight hits for the loss.
TU will next travel to Jacksonville, FL for a non conference double header against Edward Waters College on Tuesday February 19 beginning at 1PM.
Night Hawks Fall to WIU
February 15, 2013
The Night Hawks (8-3, 3-1) fell 2-0 to the visiting Webber International University Warriors (5-5, 3-1) in a Sun Conference match up on Friday afternoon at Varnedoe Stadium.
WIU took a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning of a scoreless game and added an insurance run in the ninth. Webber limited TU to only five hits in the game. Senior starting pitcher Trent Stoker (0-2) dropped his second game of the year in a complete game effort.
Thomas and Webber will conclude the series with a double header tomorrow beginning at 12pm.
Tuesday Double Header Rescheduled
February 11, 2013
A Tuesday afternoon home double header against Spring Hill College has been postponed due to the threat of rain storms in the Thomasville area.
The double header has been rescheduled for Tuesday March 19 at Varnedoe Stadium. First pitch is set for 3PM.
TU Baseball Sweeps Lions, Opens TSC Play 3-0
February 9, 2013
Baseball (8-2) swept, 4-2 & 10-7, the Florida Memorial University Lions (1-7) in a Saturday afternoon double header at Varnedoe Stadium, opening Sun Conference play at 3-0.
Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (2-1) provided TU with yet another quality start on the mound, allowing two earned runs over eight innings while striking out five. Sophomore center fielder Corey Conway (1-5, 2 RBI) drove in two runs with a two out single in the fourth to open up the scoring. Junior relief pitcher John Gainey closed out the ninth for his third save.
TU completed the sweep with a thirteen hit - ten run performance in game two. Down 7-4 the Night Hawks took advantage of three Lion errors to score six in their half of the seventh to take the lead. Senior second baseman Brett White (4-5, R, 2 RBI) collected four hits. Sophomore Neal Hunter (1-0) provided quality relief out of the pen for the win.
Thomas will be back at home on Tuesday when they welcome the Spring Hill College Badgers for a non conference double header beginning at 2PM.
Another Walk Off Win for TU in TSC Opener
February 8, 2013
TU (6-2) won their first ever Sun Conference game with a 4-3 eleven inning thriller, their fourth walk off win of the year, over the Florida Memorial University Lions (1-5) on Friday evening at Varnedoe Stadium.
Junior shortstop Hugh Russell Lee (3-6, RBI) collected his third hit of the inning at the right time, driving in sophomore right fielder Brandon Singer (2-5, 2 R, HBP) with the winning run. Down 3-1 the Night Hawks rallied, as they have many times in the early going, to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth taking advantage of a walk and a costly error by the Lions. Sloppy play on the diamond resulted in the teams combining for 8 errors. Junior relief pitcher John Gainey (1-0) picked up the win out of the pen with two scoreless frames.
The series continues tomorrow with a double header beginning at 12PM.
Night Hawks Sweep Patriots
February 2, 2013
The Night Hawks (5-2) swept a Saturday afternoon double header, 2-1 & 1-0, against St. Catherine's College (1-3) at Varnedoe Stadium.
In game one, things were not looking good for TU as the Patriot's pitching had limited the Night Hawks to one hit thru six innings. Thomas chose the right time to swing the bat rallying to score two runs on three hits in the bottom of the seventh after being down by one. For the second game in a row sophomore first baseman Josh Bruijn (1-3, RBI) delivered in the clutch with a run scoring walk off single. Freshman relief pitcher Zach Deas (1-0) picked up the win out of the pen with a hitless seventh.
Pitching once again dominated in game two with the teams combining for nine hits. TU broke through in the fifth inning of a scoreless game when junior center fielder Chris Kitlas (2-2, RBI) delivered a single to right field, scoring Bruijn (0-1, R) who had reached base after being hit by a pitch. Junior starting pitcher Ben Overman (1-0) went all the way for the win. Junior relief pitcher John Gainey saved his second game of the year.
TU will look for their fourth win in a row on Friday February 8th when they welcome Sun Conference foe Florida Memorial University for the opening of TSC play. The teams will play a single game on Friday at 4PM and a double header on Saturday beginning at 12PM.
February 1, 2013
Baseball (3-2) split a Friday afternoon double header against the visiting St. Catherine's College Patriots (1-1), 0-1 & 5-4, at Varnedoe Stadium.
A bases loaded single by sophomore first baseman Josh Bruijn (2-4, R, RBI, 2B) in the bottom of the seventh of game two of the double header, gave TU their second walk off win of the early season. Down by one in their last at bat, the Night Hawks were able to tie the game on a one out double to deep right center by sophomore right fielder Brandon Singer (1-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B). Thomas also had to come from behind in their half of the sixth, when they scored two to notch the game at three. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (1-1) went all the way for the win, allowing four runs (two earned) on just four hits while striking out seven. Junior left fielder Chris Kitlas had three hits and drove in a run.
In game one, the Night Hawks came out on the wrong end of a pitcher's duel. The Patriots blanked TU 1-0 with both teams combining for five hits. TU was struck out 11 times at the plate. Senior starting pitcher Trent Stoker (0-1) took the tough loss after tossing seven innings and striking out seven.
The series concludes with a double header tomorrow beginning at 1PM.
TU Takes Opening Series
January 27, 2013
TU (2-1) defeated the visiting Montreat College Cavaliers (1-2) 8-5 on Sunday afternoon at Varnedoe Stadium to take the season opening three game series.
With Montreat holding a 3-0 advantage after 3 1/2 innings, TU made it a one run game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. The teams exchanged single runs in the fifth and the Cavaliers made it a 5-3 game in the top of the sixth. Thomas rallied to score two in the seventh and three in the eighth to take an 8-5 lead that Montreat would be unable to overcome. Junior centerfielder Lloyd Hutcherson (2-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 3B) drove in three runs with two triples. Freshman relief pitcher Kris Lee (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth and junior relief pitcher John Gainey picked up his first save of the year with a hitless ninth.
Thomas will remain at home next weekend when they welcome St. Catherine's College for a pair of double headers on Friday and Saturday beginning at 1PM.
Night Hawks Split on Opening Day
January 26, 2013
The Night Hawks (1-1) split an Opening Day double header on Saturday afternoon against the Montreat College Cavaliers (1-1) at Varnedoe Stadium.
TU picked up an eighth inning walk off win in game one when junior catcher Andrew Crane (2-4, 2 R) stroke a two out single to right field, scoring sophomore right fielder Brandon Singer (2-2, 2 R, BB) who kept the inning alive with a two out walk and got into scoring position by stealing second base. Thomas took the early one run lead in the bottom of the first and made it a 3-1 game in the second after the Cavaliers plated a run in the top of the second. A run in the third would give TU a three run advantage but Montreat rallied to score three in the fifth to notch the game at four. Junior relief pitcher John Gainey (1-0) picked up the win with two no hit innings.
In game two the roles were reversed as Montreat opened a 4-1 lead after 3 1/2 innings and TU was now the one playing catch up. The Night Hawks made it a two run game in the bottom of the third but MC bounced back with a run in the top of the fifth. Thomas would score two in the bottom half of the inning but it would not be enough as the Cavaliers pitching shut the door with two scoreless innings the rest of the way. TU was held to four hits. Junior starting pitcher Kurtis Gens (0-1) took the loss after tossing 4.2 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits.
Thomas will look to take the series finale tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 1PM.
Thomas University Baseball Looking to Open New Era in a Positive Way
January 25, 2013
Thomas University Baseball looks to open a "New Era" in a positive way on saturday afternoon when they face Montreat College in a Opening Day double header at Varnedoe Stadium beginning at 1PM.
New players, new facilities and a new conference are just some of the things that brings Baseball to the beginning of their "New Era" as TU begins competition this season, for the first time ever, in a traditional conference. Thomas was welcomed to the Sun Conference (TSC) back in July of 2011. With the opening of the Thomas University West Campus back in October, the Athletics Department has entered the modern era of college athletics with its new offices, 6,000 square foot weight room and 1,200 square foot athletic training room. "This is a new era for our athletic department", said Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Mike Lee. "We have alot more we would like to do and want to do but this is a major step for our athletic programs, we are confident that the results will show on the field and in the classroom".
TU enters their 2013 season with confidence that they have the necessary arms to face a challenging TSC schedule. The Night Hawks return their two top starting pitchers from 2012 in senior Trent Stoker (Tampa, FL) and junior Ben Overman (Orlando, FL). Stoker led the starting pitchers in ERA (3.56) and Overman was second in the team with wins (5). Kurtis Gens (Orlando, FL), a left handed junior college transfer from Seminole State College gives TU a top three in the rotation that is prepared to match anyone they face. On the field, junior infielder Hugh Russell Lee will be counted to lead the way after a 2012 season in which he batted .301. A pair of transfers, junior catcher Andrew Crane (Mobile, AL) and Mike Hutcherson (Morrow, GA), will be counted on for immediate impact both on the field and at the plate.
The Night Hawks wrap up the opening series on Sunday with a single game beginning at 1PM. TU opens TSC play on February 8th.