By Gary R. Rasberry
Today is the big day for a number of college conference baseball tournaments getting underway.
Three that have a local flavor are the Big Ten, Mid-American and Atlantic 10, which start with first-round games today.
At Houlihan Park in The Bronx, home field for the Fordham Rams, the University of Dayton, third seed in the A-10 tournament after a 33-22 regular season, faces six-seeded George Washington at 3:30 p.m. in a first-round game.
Looking to keep a hot bat is senior infielder Galen Schumm. The former Parkway standout and son of long-time Panther coach Mike Schumm has stymied A-10 teams all season, leading the conference with 23 doubles in 52 games.
Schumm also led the Flyers with a .345 batting average and eight home runs to go with 31 runs batted in. The A-10 Tournament continues through Saturday in the Bronx, with the winning team getting a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Luebke will get a start at Big Ten tourney
Ohio State earned a third seed for the Big Ten tournament, which begins today at Ray Fisher Stadium at the University of Michigan. The Buckeyes play sixth-seeded Purdue at 3:30 today.
While Buckeye ace Dan DeLucia (10-2 on the season) will likely get the nod in the opener, sophomore southpaw Cory Luebke will likely get the start in the second game.
Luebke, the Marion Local grad, has been the regular number-two starter for coach Bob Todd this season, going 6-6 with an ERA of 3.72. Luebeke has struck out 59 batters in 771Ú3 innings, allowing just 24 walks.
Teammate Kris Moorman has seen limited action this season. The St. Henry graduate has played in just six games this season, batting .125 with a run scored.
Heyne looking to help Cardinals at MAC
Ball State, just missing out at winning the MAC West this season finishing second, will head to Kent State to play in the MAC tournament today in the opening game against Western Michigan.
The Cardinals were 33-20 overall and 16-9 in the MAC West this season.
Kyle Heyne established himself during the season as one of the top closers in the MAC.
Heyne went 3-5 with 10 saves for the Cardinals with a 2.21 ERA. In 362Ú3 innings, Heyne struck out 40 and walked just five to record a WHIP -- walks and hits per innings pitched -- of 1.06.
Rockets on upside this season
The University of Toledo had a big turnaround season after having a rough 2005. The Rockets were 26-27 on the season and 11-15 in the MAC West, using a number of younger players to help revive the team.
Sophomore third baseman Scott Boley has been solid all season as the Celina graduate batted .285 with eight homers, nine doubles and 36 runs batted in for the Rockets.
Scott has also been outstanding in the classroom being named to the 2006 Academic All-District IV University Division baseball first team.
As a first-team selection, Boley's name now will be placed on the Academic All-America ballot. He maintains a 3.99 cumulative grade point average as a business major.
The Academic All-District IV Team is made up of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. To be nominated, student-athletes must be a starter or important reserve and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. Team members are selected by a vote of CoSIDA members within the district.
Sean Boley picked up his bat as the season wore on as the catcher used a late-season surge to finish with a .247 average with five homers and 18 RBI for the Rockets.
Pitcher Steve Wenning didn't get many chances to show his work as a short-relief stopper late in the season.
The Coldwater graduate led the team with a 0.71 ERA in 122Ú3 innings of work. Wenning had one save and a 0-0 record on the season.
Becker wraps season
Bowling Green went 26-27 on the season and 11-16 in the MAC East after a rough finish to the 2006 campaign.
Pitcher Greg Becker (Celina) wrapped up the season with a 3-5 record and a 7.05 ERA for the Falcons.
Bruns solid for stuggling Bears
Ohio Northern wrapped up its season with a 6-33 record -- winless in 19 road games -- and a 1-17 mark in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Infielder Phil Bruns (St. Henry) had a solid season while the team struggled, batting .298 with a home run and 12 RBI.
Koesters finishes season for Jackets
Defiance outfielder Lenny Koesters (St. Henry) also had a solid season for a team that had some struggles. The Yellow Jackets went 15-24 on the season with a 7-14 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Koesters batted .306 with 12 RBI and 10 stolen bases while tallying an on-base percentage of .370.