Monarchs' Clinch NABF College World Series Berths

Monarchs Gold and Monarchs Blue teams qualify for the NABF College World Series to be played in Toledo, Ohio August 5th through 8th.

Both Monarchs Gold and Monarchs Blue concluded play last week that is for the regular season, as the two teams successfully qualified for the 2010 LineDrive Sportz NABF College World Series.

Of the two teams, Monarchs Gold clinched their berth first as they finished atop the standings in the Toledo League with a spectacular 11-1 record. Led by a high-powered offense, Monarchs Gold brings a team .314 batting average with ten regulars all above the .325 mark. Among those are table setters for Monarchs Gold, leadoff hitter and shortstop Corey Lehman, and catcher Adam Yunker, who bats in the two hole. Lehman, at .340, leads the team hits and also has a .405 OBP. Lehman, who wears #1, is also tied for first on the team in runs scored, third in RBIs, and second in total bases. With 18 steals from the catbird seat, Lehman trails only his running mate Yunker, who has 20. Yunker brings in a .347 batting average and a .404 OBP. Yunker is also tied for first on the team with 21 runs scored. With power hitters like first baseman Drew Kuns, third baseman Brett Howard, and left fielder Casey Winckowski, who have combined to hit 62 RBIs on the year, Lehman and Yunker will need to consistently get on base. Their productivity will be a key factor in determining how far the Monarchs Gold will go.

Monarchs Gold's pitching is led by undefeated starter Colin Meinzer. Meinzer is 7-0, has a 2.47 ERA, and strikes out nearly 6 per 9 innings. Meinzer leads the team in IP, W, K, and CG. A workhorse on the mound, Colin works quickly and efficiently and nearly threw a no-hitter back on June 27th. Colin will most likely start game one of the World Series and look for him to go deep into the game, and continue his recent dominance. Monarchs Gold will need their other starters to step up behind Meinzer. Kirk Stambaugh, Ryan Stults, Brett Kuebler, and Blake Schmenk have all pitched heavily for Monarchs Gold, and will need to continue to give their offense the chance to put meaningful runs on the board.

Another key pitcher to watch for during the tournament is closer Derrick Garcia. Garcia can be electric at times with his six saves on the year and strike out potential. He averages more than a strikeout per inning, but his weakness has been his walks, nearly 1 per inning. With tougher competition and so many games played in a short amount of time, Garcia will play a key role in closing down games. There will be lots of opportunities for Garcia, and if he can maintain his control, he can shorten the game for the Monarchs GoldGold.

With a big win over All American last week Monarchs Blue finished second in the Toledo League standings with an 8-4 record and secured their berth. After starting off the season scorching hot, Monarchs Blue stumbled a bit mid season, but with the addition of Ron Rightnowar as head coach the Monarchs Blue finished strong and will look to continue their surge into the post season. In contrast to the Monarchs Gold, Monarchs Blue possesses many power arms on the staff and leans heavily on their starting and relief pitching. Monarchs Blue has six pitchers with over 20 strikeouts on the year led by Dan Parsons(20IP) and Corey Cannon (24IP) with 38K a piece. Parsons leads the team in ERA at stellar 1.77 mark while Cannon sits a couple ticks higher at 2.18. Each of them has three wins and one complete game respectively. Innings leaders Kelly Barnes (46 1/3) and Jake Rightnowar (44) are also mainstays in the staff. Barnes with 37 strikeouts has a 3.88 ERA, while Rightnowar comes in at a 3.27 with 23 Ks on the season. Nick Rodesky, Kyle Pilbeam, and Jordan Kruse help round out the consistently used staff. Monarchs Blue will look to shutdown the opposition with power pitching both starting and finishing games in their attempt to go deep into the tournament.

With Monarchs Blue's pitching, their offense might be the biggest factor in determining their fate in the World Series. Though the offense contains the potential to score in bunches at any time, it also has the potential to quiet for long periods of time. The offense is led by designated hitter Ben Hammer and third baseman Michael Vannett. Hammer boasts a team-leading .365 average, 65 total bases, 46 hits. Hammer also has 18 steals to his name as well. Vannett, sitting at a .325 clip, leads the team in RBIs at 29, and has all of the team's home runs (3). Sitting in the heart of the order, Hammer and Vannett will be the driving force for the team's offense.

Another key offense cog is the speedy Michael Dushane. Dushane sports 41 stolen bases on the year and a 91% success rate. Dushane sits at .324 and with his SB potential, usually gets into scoring position. His success on the base-paths will be key in manufacturing runs.

Both teams will open up the World Series with pool play on Thursday morning playing rival Tri-State teams. Monarchs Gold will play at 9:00am and 4:00pm on Thursday at Owens Community College. They will also play at 4:00pm on Friday at Ned Skeldon.

Monarchs Blue opens up with their lone game on Thursday at 9:00am as well. Thursday's game will be at Bowman Park. Friday they will play at Sylvania Southview HS at 9:00am and 12:30pm.

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