Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

College Sports

May 2, 2014

Rams poised and ready for challenge in Mid-South tourney

BLUEFIELD — The Bluefield College Rams completed the 2014 baseball season with a 32-15 record, 13-13 in the tough Mid-South Conference. Having finished regular season play last weekend, Coach Mike White and the Rams are polishing their skills as they look to continuing playing as the conference tournament begins Saturday afternoon in Columbia, Ky.

The sixth seeded Rams will take on seventh seed and host Lindsey Wilson College, Saturday at 4 p.m. A win and the Rams take to the field again Sunday. A loss and it’s back to the diamond Saturday night in an elimination game. White knows that it is going to be a tough tournament.

“Everything is so even one through eight,” White said. “Seven of the teams could beat you any given day and the eighth could probably get you on a bad day.”

Georgetown is the tournament’s top seed and is ranked No. 3 in the nation in NAIA.

“We beat everybody above us (in seeding) but Georgetown and they took us to two extra inning games,” White commented. “We’re right there. It’s just going to come down to do we pitch it? Do we get timely hitting? Do we catch it that day? If we do, we’ll win. If we don’t, we probably won’t.”

Sawyer McLamb is the Rams junior second baseman. McLamb batted .310 on the season. The Asheville, N.C., native talked about what he felt would be key to BC success in Kentucky beginning Saturday.

“We have to stay calm, make the plays,” McLamb said. If we stay calm and stay under control in what we do, we will be successful.”

There is something further that helps the Rams as a team, they are a band of brothers on the diamond.

“We are like a family. Everybody is close to each other,” McLamb noted. “We’re a really close-knit group. We really work hard, no slackers, nobody doing their own thing. We want to do whatever it takes to win.”

White also talked about this particular team at BC.

“Chemistry is the defining character of a team. This group has been pretty special,” White lamented. “The chemistry is similar to what we had in ‘09 and ‘10. We’ve missed that for a couple of years. I’m a firm believer it’s one of the most important things on your ball club. You’ve got to have it.”

The 2009 Bluefield College team won the National Christian College Athletic Association Championship.

McLamb has enjoyed the season and the special moments he has had with his teammates.

“We’ve had a lot of great games,” McLamb said. “I mostly enjoy just coming out and being with this great group of guys. It’s fun to play with people when you have everybody going on all cylinders. That’s the highlight for me, playing with a group of guys that are probably the best I’ve ever played with.

While White and the Rams would like to win the Mid-South Conference in their last season in the league, if they do not the NCCAA tournament looms in the future. Next season all sports teams at BC with the exception of football return to the Appalachian Athletic Conference. The past two years Bluefield has competed in the MSC.  While it is going from NAIA Division I to Division II, White said the competition is just as stiff.

“It’s not going to be any easier there,” White commented. “We know the landscape there. We know where we’re going to travel, where we’re going to stay, who is going to pull from what recruiting pools. That league is still going to go through Tennessee Wesleyan and Union. It always has and it’s going to for the foreseeable future.

“It’s two different styles of play within the two leagues and we understand both of them, so maybe we’ll be a little bit better going back than we were when we left.”

Growing up in Asheville, McLamb is familiar with the AAC, having followed member Montreat College, which is only about 20 miles from his home. The second baseman came to Bluefield from Surry Community College in Dobson, N.C., and is majoring in business administration and may go to law school when he completes his undergraduate studies.

He grew up admiring and still looks up to Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

“He is a very small guy playing in the major leagues in the position I play,” McLamb said. “Just to see how into it he is and how focused he is and how hard he works really drives me to want to be as good as he is.”

McLamb and the Rams get a chance to show how good they are when the Mid-South Conference tournament begins on Sunday.

— Contact Bob Redd at

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