DUBOIS, PA – Penn State Dubois brought home their first ever USCAA National Championship and only the second from the Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) at the 2018 Baseball Small College World Series. The sixth-seeded Lions, in only their third year in existence as a program defeated the second-seeded Apprentice School Builders in the second game of the championship series.
The Builders began the day with a 1-0 win over Cleary University in the Elimination Bracket Final to advance to the National Championship game against DuBois. The Lions were in the catbird seat after having downed Wright State Lake, Selma University, and Cleary University. In the first championship game of the double-elimination tournament, the Lions scored first in the bottom of the first inning on a sac fly by tournament MVP, Joey Dipietro. Dalton Dye answered for Apprentice when he singled into left to score the tying run from second.
The Builders catcher and first-team All-American, Cody Hendrickson gave his team the go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth inning with a double to score two runs. In the bottom of the inning Clayton Butler of DuBois doubled to left center field to tie the game at 3-3. The Builders scored the game-winning unearned run in the top of the ninth inning to force the winner take all National Championship game.
Brandon Orsich started on the mound for the Lions in the second championship game, his first start since March due to injury. He went seven and one-thirds inning, gave up just two earned runs and struck out four in the game. Butler added another RBI to his tournament count as he homered in the top of the second inning to give DuBois the lead. In the third, Dipietro, who is only a freshman, hit a grand slam to left center field and put DuBois in the driver’s seat with a 5-0 lead. The MVP catcher finished with a tournament-high 11 RBIs.
An inning later, Nixon drew a walk after a Hendrickson strikeout, then Dye and Byrum each reached base on singles. Darius Harris brought the Builders back to within three runs with a single to right field scoring Nixon and Dye. However, this was the closest Apprentice would get to taking control of the game.
Butler stretched the lead to four runs in the fifth inning when a single to center field scored first-team All-American, Tallon Falls from third. The Lions scored three more runs in the last four innings as they won the USCAA Baseball National Championship 10-2.
2018 USCAA Baseball All-Tournament Team
- Cody Hendrickson – The Apprentice School
- Manuel Blanco – Florida National University
- Derrick Sylve – Selma University
- Sheldon Rouzan – Cleary University
- Maxwell Burcham –The Apprentice School
- Damain Benefield – Mississippi University for Women
- Paul Jones – The Apprentice School
- Dan Bowman – Penn State DuBois
- Clayton Butler – Penn State DuBois
Most Valuable Player: Joey Dipietro – Penn State DuBois