The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma baseball team ended a strong season this week.
Competing in Lewiston, Idaho, the Drovers fell just one win short of the Avista NAIA World Series championship game and went 3-2 to finish the season with a record of 49-12.
USAO advanced to the World Series after a 3-0 Opening Round in Santa Barbara, California. A walk-off home run off the bat of Ian Laureano capped off the tournament and sent the Drovers to their third World Series in the past four seasons.
USAO was then named the No. 2 seed at the World Series and earned a bye in the bracket. USAO opened tournament play against No. 10 seed and host Lewis-Clark State College. The Drovers won 6-2.
Cristian Laboy hit a solo home run in the win, while Alex Sanchez and Luis Pelayo each had two RBIs.
Pitcher Colton Williams delivered once again for the Drivers, moving to 16-0 with the win. Williams struck out 11 batters in a complete game victory. Williams' 16 wins ended up leading the NAIA.
Following a loss to St. Thomas University, the Drovers were able to survive two elimination games in a row with wins over No. 3 seed Southeastern University (8-4) and No. 1 seed Tennessee Wesleyan (8-6) University. TWU was undefeated within the bracket entering that matchup and eventually won the national championship.
The win over TWU sent the Drovers to a rematch with STU with a championship berth on the line. USAO’s season came to an end with a 10-2 loss to the Bobcats.
The 2019 season might not have included a national championship, but the Drovers accomplished several milestones throughout the season, including winning both the Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season title and tournament title.
The Drovers went 24-3 in conference play and 3-0 in the conference tournament to capture the two championships.
USAO also achieved a top-10 ranking and won 26 games in a row during one stretch of the season. The first loss to STU snapped that streak.
By winning 49 games, USAO reached the 45-win mark for the fourth season in a row.