Nation’s best familiar to one TMU baseball player

TMU's Michael Sexton will face his former team, Lewis-Clark State, with the Mustangs on Wednesday. Courtesy photo

Michael Sexton has made two major baseball journeys.

First, he transferred from NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State to The Master’s University before the 2016 season.

Then he promptly led the Mustangs back to Lewiston, Idaho, home of the NAIA World Series and his former team.

A reunion on the field wasn’t to be.

TMU didn’t play the host Warriors during the series, with the Mustangs taking eighth place and LC State winning its 18th series championship.

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So Sexton will get his first crack at his old team Wednesday when No. 11-ranked TMU welcomes the No. 1 Warriors to Lou Herwaldt Stadium for an NAIA Top 25 showdown.

“I’m excited. It’s going to be really fun to see the guys,” said Sexton, who hit 17 home runs and drove in 50 runs during his first year at TMU. “A few of the freshmen I came in with are still there. We worked together our freshman year and whatnot. Now that it’s my senior year, it’s really cool getting to play them again.”

Sexton is also looking forward to facing a coaching staff peopled by former teammates and a head coach, Jeremiah Robbins, who helped make him a power-hitting infielder.

After two productive offensive seasons with the Warriors and a national title in 2015, Sexton transferred to TMU because he wanted to study the Bible.

“It was a good fit,” the second baseman said.

In more ways than one.

“We are thrilled to have any player who has a lot of ability,” said Mustangs coach Monte Brooks. “Knowing that he had already experienced going to two NAIA World Series, it just makes it really convenient for us because of his influence on his teammates and his preparation with them, educating them on the facility, the environment, the atmosphere, the surface of the field (in Lewiston).”

Sexton went 4-for-11 with two RBIs and a home run in TMU’s three games at the World Series last year. TMU went 1-2, losing its last game 9-7 to Sterling College of Kansas.

The Mustangs — who have reached the World Series twice since 2013 — return seven regulars from its lineup, but only one starting pitcher, senior Jason Karkenny, who went 11-5 in 2016 with a 3.70 ERA.

He’s been the team’s best pitcher so far in 2017, allowing one earned run through two starts. The Mustangs are just 5-3 overall heading into Wednesday’s showdown, which was originally scheduled for today but was pushed back due to a forecast of rain.

The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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