Posted Online: May 20, 2011, 9:49 pm
BHC golfers rally for 8th; baseball team ousted
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The second-best finish at the NJCAA Div. II National Golf Championships almost didn't happen for the Black Hawk College men's team on Friday at Goose Pond Colony inScottsboro, Ala.
The Braves started the day with what Coach Gary Huber called a "struggle'' on the first nine holes before rallying. The Braves shot a team 1-under on the back nine to card a 310 score – their worst of the tourney -- to finish the four-day tournament at 1193 and in 8th place. John A. Logan (297-280-290-286=1153) won the team title with a 1-over par score for the week.
BHC's best Nationals finish is 7th.
"The guys played great all week," said Huber, whose team carded the sixth-worst score of the 19 teams in the final round. "Thank goodness they recovered on that back nine."
Leading that recovery were Owen Bell and Ryan Schlueter, who both shot their way to NJCAA All-America honors. It marked the first time in school history that the Braves have had multiple All-Americans in the same national meet. Bell, a freshman who prepped at Davenport North, tied for 19th after firing a 74-70-70-79=293. Schlueter, a sophomore who prepped at Davenport Central, carded rounds of 73-74-73-75=295 to tie for 25th.
Also in the lineup for the Braves were: Mike Maller (75-73-74-76=298, T33), Eric Barnet (77-76-74-80=307, T66,) and Aaron Wilson (79-77-80-81=317, T93).
"I think maybe they got a little nervous early with expectations up there too high," said Huber, who had his best coaching finish as well. "But they settled down and grinded it out on the back nine. That doesn't surprise me, though, with the work ethic and determination these guys have."
- BHC baseball team shocked again: The No. 1 seeded Braves had their season come to an untimely end Friday in the Region IV Region Tournament with a second straight loss. A day after losing to Elgin, Black Hawk (44-9 and just voted up a spot to No. 3 in the latest NJCAA national poll) dropped a 9-5 decision to Kankakee. The Braves jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning but gave up the lead after allowing four runs (two earned) in the third with Adam Karger (8-1) on the mound. Keelan Prince relieved in the fourth inning and ended up giving up five runs, one of them unearned.
"We made some costly errors," Black Hawk coach Arnie Chavera said. "I was a little bit surprised because we had fundamental defense and good pitching all year. I guess it just wasn't meant to be this year."
Black Hawk tried to start a rally late in the game, but only managed a pair of runs during the final three innings. Mark VanNatta connected for three hits and a double for the Braves, and Alex Slaby and J Golden slapped a pair of hits each. Kyle Dermody entered the game in the eighth inning to pitch the last four outs.
"I'm looking forward to getting it going next year," said Chavera.