OKLAHOMA CITY (May 13, 2014) – On the eve of the National Christian College Athletic Association World Series, two Oklahoma Christian players have been honored by the NCCAA.
Outfielder Caleb Price and pitcher Tyler Sturges were named Tuesday as the NCCAA baseball student-athletes of the week for their roles last weekend in helping the Eagles win their second straight NCCAA Central Region tournament title.
Price, a senior from Midwest City, earned tournament most valuable player honors, hitting .526 (10-for-19) with two doubles, four walks and seven RBIs as the Eagles went 5-0 during the 10-team double-elimination event. Price's big game came in the tournament winners' bracket final, in which he went 4-for-5 as OC beat Heartland Conference rival McMurry (Texas) 7-3 to seize control of the tournament.
Price also went 3-for-3 on stolen bases on the week and had a healthy .609 on-base percentage. The five regional-tournament wins gave OC 37 for the season, setting a program record.
Sturges, a senior right-hander from Edmond, had struggled the last month, falling out of OC's weekend rotation and into the Eagles' bullpen. But called upon to start a key game in the Central Region tournament, he pitched perhaps his best game of the season, allowing just three hits and no earned runs while striking out eight with no walks in an 11-1 win over Grace (Neb.).
The win propelled the Eagles into the tournament's championship round with an unbeaten record and they eventually repeated as the regional champions.
It’s the first time this either Price or Sturges has been honored as a NCCAA student-athlete of the week and the first time OC has swept the national hitting and pitching awards during the same week.
Three other OC baseball players have received a NCCAA weekly honor this season – A.J. Florence (hitting), Caden Cleveland (hitting) and Dillon Endecott (pitching). Endecott’s honor came last week.
OC (37-15) will be the top seed in the NCCAA World Series, which will start Wednesday in Mason, Ohio. OC will open the 10-team pool-play event on Wednesday at 1 p.m. vs. Trinity Christian (Ill.).