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Harmening Named an NAIA Preseason All-American

Submitted by: Ron Smith - November 7th, 2014

Westmont right-handed pitcher Russell Harmening has been named an NAIA Preseason All-American. The junior from Oceanside was one of 17 NAIA baseball players including four starting pitchers to receive the honor.

“The recognition is a testament to the work he has put in and how he has matured since he got here two years ago,” said Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz. “He came in as a very good pitcher and has consistently gotten better. A lot of that is a result of his work ethic, his demeanor and his overall mindset and approach to getting better every day and doing things the right way.”

Last season, Harmening posted a record of 12-3, tying a 52-year-old team record for most wins in a season. In 113 innings of work, Harmening delivered an ERA of 2.47 and produced 95 strikeouts. Opposing batters hit just .221 against him.

“He logged a lot of innings last year and got some very valuable postseason pitching experience which makes him a more complete collegiate pitcher,” noted Ruiz.

Summer Baseball Provides Playing Opportunities for Warriors

Submitted by: Ron Smith - July 21st, 2014
Turner Conrad was named the Orange County Collegiate League All-Star Game MVP

More than a dozen Westmont baseball players are honing their skills this summer as they compete in summer leagues from California to Alaska to Ohio.

Junior Turner Conrad is playing for the Long Beach Legends Red of the Orange County Collegiate League (OCCL). Conrad, who is hitting .313 with 10 RBIs, was named to the OCCL North All-Star team and earned MVP honors when he delivered a three-RBI double to secure the victory for the North.

Also playing in the OCCL are sophomores Matt Stumme and River Fawley. Stumme is playing for the Long Beach Legends Blue team and hitting .288 with six RBIs. Fawley is a member of the Bulldogs.

Juniors Russell Harmening and Steven Pollex made their way north to compete in the Alaska Baseball League (ABL). Pollex is playing for the Chugiak Chinooks of Anchorage, which is an Athletes in Action team. Pollex, who is hitting .320 with 13 RBIs, was named to the ABL National League All-Star Team.

Westmont Retains All-Sports Award, Places 19th in Learfield Cup

Submitted by: Ron Smith - June 13th, 2014

In a very close result, Westmont Athletics will hold on to the Golden State Athletic Conference All-Sports Award presented by Duke’s Restaurant in Huntington Beach. The Warriors averaged 6.83 points, edging out Concordia by 0.02 points in the final standings.

“The GSAC all-sports award is especially pleasing because it is our second in a row and for me establishes that we are a well-rounded and consistently solid athletic program,” said Westmont athletic director Dave Odell. “Our aim is to field competitive teams in every sport we’ve chosen to compete and this award demonstrates that we are doing this.

“I am especially pleased that with success on the field, we were also able to achieve strong results in the classroom,” noted Odell. “The fall semester GPA average for student-athletes was higher than any previous semester. Achieving within the academic rigors of Westmont, while being a full-time athlete, is quite a growing experience. I am quite proud of the way our student-athletes approach their business on and off the field.”

Gildea Drafted by Angels

Submitted by: Ron Smith - June 7th, 2014
Brandon Gildea

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim selected Westmont’s Brandon Gildea in MLB drafted conducted over the past three days. Gildea was selected in the 36th round.

“I am extremely proud of Brandon for this tremendous accomplishment,” said Westmont head coach Robert Ruiz. “He has been a four year contributor in our program and has improved each year. His humility, work ethic and leadership should provide a great foundation for the next steps in his baseball career.

“Brandon was fortunate enough to draw attention from several MLB teams in this process. We are very thankful that the Angels organization took the time to follow Brandon’s development and give him an opportunity in their organization. I am confident that he will represent himself and Westmont College very well in this new phase of his career.”

Gildea, a two-time All-Golden State Athletic Conference selection, posted a .387 batting average in his senior year and a .524 slugging percentage. He tallied five home runs, two triples and 12 doubles among his 87 hits – a program record. He also drove in 38 RBIs.

Baseball Honors

Submitted by: Ron Smith - June 2nd, 2014
Russell Harmening and Eric Bateman (top row). Taylor Martin and Brandon Gildea (bottom row).

Sophomore pitcher Russell Harmening of Oceanside received NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors for his performance this year on the mound. Harmening posted a record of 12-3 during the 2014 campaign with an ERA of 2.47. In 113 innings he struck out 95 batters and walked just 23. His 12 wins on season ties for fourth in the NAIA this year, with three pitchers achieving 13 wins.

Harmening was also named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-America® baseball second team for his performance both on the diamond and in the classroom. The prestigious and competitive award, which is given to just 22 athletes in the college division, is administered by College Sports Information of America (CoSIDA). Harmening holds a 3.69 GPA while majoring in mathematics.

The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table also honored Harmening, naming him the Baseball Collegiate Athlete of the Year.

Baseball’s Season Comes to an End

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 13th, 2014

Westmont Baseball entered today needing to survive two elimination games to advance in the Lawrenceville, Georgia bracket of the NAIA Baseball Opening Round Tournament. The Warriors staved off elimination in the morning game by defeating William Woods (Mo.) 6-5 in 12 innings. However, the Warriors fell just short in the night game, losing 9-8 to host Georgia Gwinnett.

The Warrior end their season with a program best record of 39-19 and the program’s first appearance and first win in National Tournament play.

Russell Harmening (12-3) started the first game for the Warriors and pitched seven and two-third innings. Harmening gave up five runs on 11 hits, struck out four and did not allow a walk. This was Harmening’s only start this season in which he did not record a decision.

Sam Sheehan (1-1) pitched the final four and one-third scoreless innings and picked up the win. Sheehan allowed four hits and struck out two.

[WC vs. William Woods box score] [WC vs. William Woods photos] [WC vs. Georgia Gwinnett box score] [WC vs. Georgia Gwinnett photos]

Warriors Lose First Game of National Tournament

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 12th, 2014

If Westmont baseball is to advance out of the NAIA Baseball Opening Round Tournament, they will have to do so by way of the elimination side of the bracket. Then again, that’s exactly what they did a week ago in the GSAC Tournament.

The Warriors lost the tournament’s first game, falling to St. Francis (Ill.) 2-1 on Monday. The loss means that Westmont will face third-seeded William Woods (Mo.) in an elimination game on Tuesday morning at 11:00 a.m. EDT/8:00 a.m. PDT. William Woods lost to Southeaster (Fla.) on Monday afternoon by a score of 11-5

Westmont scored first, posting its lone run in the bottom of the second inning. David Gabel reached on an infield single and then advanced to second on a ground out by Bush. When Brent Fukushima singled to center, Gabel took third. Will Barring drove in Gabel with a single to right.

The Fighting Saints tied the game in the top of the third when David Kuhne scored from third on a ground out RBI by Brandon Mendoza. In the eighth inning, St. Francis added another run on an RBI-single by Matt Scott that drove in Mendoza.

[box score] [” title=”Photos” target=”_blank”>photos]

Warriors Assigned to Georgia

Submitted by: Ron Smith - May 9th, 2014

Westmont (38-17) has been assigned to the Lawrenceville Bracket for the NAIA Baseball National Tournament Opening Round. The tournament is hosted by the Georgia Gwinnett Grizzlies (48-10) who are the tournament’s top seed and ranked at number six in the final NAIA Coaches’ Poll released today.

The Warriors, who departed earlier today for Georgia, will first face St. Francis of Illinois (36-20) which earned an automatic qualification into nationals as the regular season winner of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Westmont is the number four seed in the five-seed tournament while St. Francis is the number five. The opening game will be played on Monday at 11:00 a.m. EDT/8:00 a.m. PDT.

The winner will take on the host Grizzlies who were the winners of the Association of Independent Institutions Tournament. That game – the third of the tournament – is also scheduled for Monday with a 6:00 p.m. EDT/3:00 p.m. PDT start.


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