Baseball | 5/16/2018 1:05:00 PM | Doug Waters, Sports Information Graduate Assistant
, Wash. - After winning the 2018 American Southwest Conference regular season crown and advancing to the championship series of the ASC Tournament, the Concordia Texas baseball team is set to face off with sixth-ranked Texas Lutheran in the first game of the NCAA DIII West Regional at Avista Stadium Thursday at 8:00 p.m. CT. CTX earned the No. 3 seed in the West Regional and will take on No. 4 seed TLU in the opening game of the six-team double-elimination tournament which also features 15th-ranked Chapman, 19th-ranked University of Redlands, ASC Tournament Champion UT Dallas and Willamette. The winner of the CTX/TLU game will take on the winner of the game between Redlands and UTD Friday night at 8:00 p.m. CT while the loser will face off with the winner of the Chapman/Willamette game on Friday at 1:00 p.m. CT. Fans can find more information about the NCAA West Regional hosted by Whitworth University on the Tournament Championship
page. (Keep in mind the times listed on this page will be in Pacific Standard Time.) The winner of the West Regional will advance to the NCAA DIII Finals in Appleton, Wisc. May 25-29. The Tornados have already played three of the other five teams in the West Regional this season. CTX lost a single game against Chapman 3-2, defeated Redlands 6-4 and played a total of five games against UTD. At the plate, the Tornados are led by junior second baseman Carson Cox
. The ASC newcomer of the year is hitting .391 with a team-high 63 hits, 11 doubles, four homers and 40 RBIs. Cox, out of Cotulla, Texas, was named first-team all-ASC in his first season with the Tornados.
has also been a force at the dish for CTX, hitting .346 with 35 RBIs on the year. The junior from Austin, Texas, has closed the season on a tear, reaching base in 17 straight games while increasing his average from .294 to .346 in the past month. The combination of Justin Traxler
and Matthew WilliamsJustin Traxler
has been dynamite on the mound. Traxler, a senior from Austin, Texas, is 6-0 with a 2.69 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 67.0 innings this year. The ASC Pitcher of the Year and ASC Tournament Blue Bracket MVP is also tied for the school record for saves in a season with eight. Additionally, the Tornados are 18-2 in games Traxler has appeared in this season. Williams, a sophomore from Austin, Texas, is 7-4 with a 3.41 ERA in 92.1 innings this season. The First Team All-ASC selection leads all of NCAA DIII with 16 starts on the hill and is 28th in the nation with 85 strikeouts. As a team, the Tornados boast a .969 fielding percentage which ranks 23rd in the nation and is tied for the best in the region with Chapman. Last season, TLU and CTX faced off in a three-game set to open the year in which the Bulldogs won the series 2-1. Texas Lutheran won the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and is 34-9 on the year. The Bulldogs are currently riding a six-game winning streak and are 12-2 in their last 14 games. Last season, the Tornados advanced to the West Regional championship game before falling to eventual national champion California Lutheran. The appearance in the NCAA regional is the fifth in school history for CTX.