LONGVIEW — Dickinson High School alum Cody Whitley’s contributions to the record-breaking season for the LeTourneau University baseball team continued as he made a relief appearance to nail down a 6-4 win over Concordia University on Sunday in the finals of the American Southwest Conference Baseball Championship Tournament in Austin.
The YellowJackets (32-13) were making their first conference tournament appearance and relied on the strength of solid pitching from senior Curt Copeland and a nine-hit attack from six different players.
The Tornados (31-14) withstood elimination twice after dropping an earlier meeting in the tournament to LeTourneau.
With the win, LeTourneau secured its first berth to the 2014 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Tournament.
“This is the biggest win in LeTourneau history,” head coach Robin Harriss said. “The guys came out and played great.”
Copeland (8-2) got the starting nod in the conference championship game and lasted 6 2⁄3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs. He was selected as the tournament’s most valuable player.
In relief of Copeland, junior Justin Jenkins got a strikeout to end the seventh before handing the ball off to Whitley, who pitched the final two innings, allowing three hits and an earned run to pick up his first save of the season.
Whitley was selected to the All-Tounament Team.