FROM THE COLLEGES: OBU baseball wins NCCAA crown; CBU guard named PacWest top female athlete; Ouachita's Ark. Baptist collection honored

by Baptist College & BP Staff, posted Monday, June 26, 2017 (9 months ago)

In today's From the Colleges: Oklahoma Baptist University; California Baptist University; Ouachita Baptist University.

OBU Bisons top NCCAA in baseball & overall athletics

OBU Bisons baseball team
Photo courtesy Jim Osborn
SHAWNEE, Okla. (BP) -- Oklahoma Baptist University claimed its second walk-off World Series baseball championship in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association in as many seasons with 7-6 victory over Campbellsville University in Mason, Ohio.

OBU, also for the second consecutive year, has received the all-sports Presidential Award from the NCCAA, encompassing 100-plus Christian universities, colleges and Bible schools across the U.S. and Canada.

In the NCCAA title game against Campbellsville University, Bison left fielder Josh Timms lifted a one-out fly ball to left-center, with second baseman Kevin Olmeda's slide at home completing a game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, rallying from a 6-2 deficit after five innings.

Senior pitcher Tyler Gibson recorded six innings of relief to notch the win May 27.

Head coach Bobby Cox subsequently was named the NCCAA's Baseball Coach of the Year for leading the Bisons to a 42-15 record and a 19-game win streak to close the season. An OBU alumnus and 1996 inductee into its Hall of Fame, Cox has led the Bisons for 32 seasons, with 1,260 wins and no losing seasons, and coached 22 Major League draftees.

Senior pitcher Jinny Parra, from the Dominican Republic, was named to the NCCAA All-American First Team, posting an 8-3 record with a 2.80 earned run average, striking out 86 batters in 83.2 innings. Three other OBU players were named to the Second Team.

OBU won last year's NCCAA World Series on a grand slam by outfielder/designated hitter Hunter Heath in the 9th inning with two outs to top Bethesda University.

To garner the NCCAA Presidential Award, OBU claimed eight national championships after entering February with none. The Bison and Lady Bison became the first to sweep all NCCAA spring sports championships.

Dallas Baptist University finished second for the Presidential Award, named on June 1, followed by Campbellsville at third.

The Bison and Lady Bison indoor track and field teams claimed OBU's first national championships of the year, followed by the men's and women's tennis teams with perfect postseasons for their first national titles. After the men's and women's outdoor track team won their respective championships, Bison softball won its first NCCAA crown, going 6-0 in the postseason, and the Bison baseball team scored its World Series win.

In the fall, OBU placed second in women's cross country and women's soccer, third in women's golf, reached the semifinals in men's soccer and volleyball, placed fourth in men's cross country and seventh in men's golf.

OBU is in the midst of a two-year membership period before joining the NCAA.


CBU's Mihalko named PacWest top female athlete

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (BP) -- Cassidy Mihalko, senior guard for California Baptist University's women's basketball team, has been named CBU's first-ever PacWest Female Athlete of the Year.

Mihalko joined CBU baseball's Zach Esquerra -- the 2012-2013 PacWest Male Athlete of the Year -- as the only other Lancer to earn the honor in the 14-member NCAA Division II conference. The June 21 honor followed an epic season in which Mihalko was named PacWest Player of the Year, helping lead the Lancers to a 35-3 record and a 20-win undefeated conference schedule.

Mihalko became the PacWest's all-time leading scorer with 2,231 career points during her Lancer career.

In the classroom, Mihalko also was named the Academic All-American of the Year in D-II women's basketball by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

There was more, as Mihalko earned two All-America first-team awards from the Division II Collegiate Commissioner's Association and Women's Basketball Coaches Association and added all-tournament honors in the PacWest Tournament.

This past season, Mihalko led CBU in points, rebounds and steals per game at 19.8, 7.8 and 2.13, respectively, and posted 12 double-doubles. Overall, she ranked second in Division II in field goals made (271), 13th in points per game, 22nd in field goal percentage (54.5), 26th in steals (79), 30th in free-throw percentage (85.7) and 35th in rebounds (290).

No. 3-ranked CBU lost in the NCAA Division II semifinal game to No. 18 Virginia Union, 86-81, March 22 in Columbus, Ohio.

In May, CBU won the 2016-2017 PacWest Commissioner's Cup -- its fourth consecutive and fifth in the last six years in the conference's 14-sport format.

CBU won five PacWest Championships in 2016-2017 -- men's cross country, women's cross country, women's basketball, women's golf and softball, while finishing second in women's soccer, volleyball, men's basketball and men's golf. Azusa Pacific came in second for the fourth year.


Ouachita's Ark. Baptist collection earns national award

ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (BP) -- The Arkansas Baptist History Collection of Ouachita Baptist University's Riley-Hickingbotham Library has been honored with the Baptist History and Heritage Society's 2017 Davis C. Woolley Award for Outstanding Achievement in Assessing and Preserving Baptist History.

The national award honors the work of Ouachita professor and archivist Wendy Richter and her staff who coordinated the special collections project. The award was announced during the Baptist History and Heritage Society's June 1-3 annual conference in Augusta, Ga.

"It is indeed an honor to be recognized at the national level for our work to preserve and make available this part of our Arkansas Baptist heritage," Richter said.

Ray Granade, director of library services and professor of history at Ouachita, said the award honors the ongoing partnership of Ouachita and Riley-Hickingbotham Library with Arkansas Baptists, reflecting "our longstanding efforts to support the convention, its churches and its membership in maintaining awareness of and information to explain their history."

Taffey Hall, director and archivist of the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, noted that the Ouachita collection is of special interest for digitizing and making available the pre-1920 association annuals and the Arkansas Baptist State Convention annuals from 1848-1900. Hall said the awards committee affirmed that "these projects are rich resources for students of Arkansas Baptist history."

Davis C. Woolley served as the second executive secretary-treasurer of the former Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1959 to 1971. In his honor, the commission established the Davis C. Woolley Award in 1991 to encourage creativity and excellence in state Baptist history programs, including all organizations involved in assessing and preserving Baptist history.

For more information about Riley-Hickingbotham Library, visit or call 870-245-5120.

Compiled by Baptist Press senior editor Art Toalston from reporting by Ray Fink of Oklahoma Baptist University, Andrew Shortall of California Baptist University and Trennis Henderson of Ouachita Baptist University.
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