College Roundup: DBU’s Bats Light Up The Night

Three key story lines from around college baseball Saturday night.

Strike One: Dallas Baptist’s Record-Breaking Night

As a college baseball watcher, it takes a pretty big number to really make you do a double take when you look at the score. A “33” definitely qualifies.

That’s how many runs Dallas Baptist put up in a 33-8 win at New Mexico on Saturday afternoon. DBU has historically put together heavy-hitting teams under coach Dan Heefner, and the conditions in Albuquerque do favor offenses, but Saturday was on another level. The Patriots set single-game school records for both runs and hits (31), in a game in which they smashed six home runs and scored in all nine innings.

The onslaught began when Darick Hall—who was also the winning pitcher—hit a three-run homer in the top of the first and added steam when David Martinelli hit another three-run shot in the second. Second baseman Luke Stratman had the biggest day, belting two home runs as part of a 5-for-7 game with eight RBIs. When all was said and done, Stratman had raised his average to a gaudy .565, while the Patriots as a group boosted their team average 40 points from .288 to .328.

(1) Florida: won, 4-3 (12 inn.), vs. Dartmouth
(2) Texas A&M: won, 13-0, vs. Yale
(3) Oregon State: won, 5-2, at San Diego and won, 12-3, vs. William & Mary at San Diego
(4) Louisville: won, 9-1, vs. Princeton
(5) Vanderbilt: CCD at Stanford
(6) Miami: won, 14-4, vs. Manhattan
(7) LSU: swept DH, 15-1 and 10-7, vs. Fordham
(8) Virginia: won, 11-10, vs. Monmouth
(9) Texas Christian: won, 10-2, vs. Gonzaga
(10) California: won, 6-0, at Texas
(11) Oregon: lost, 1-0 (14 inn.), vs. UC Santa Barbara
(12) North Carolina: won, 10-2, vs. Fairfield
(13) Mississippi: won, 8-2, vs. (19) Coastal Carolina at Chanticleer Classic, Conway, S.C.
(14) UCLA: won, 4-2, vs. Oklahoma at Dodger Stadium Classic, Los Angeles
(15) Florida State: won, 9-2, vs. St. John’s
(16) Louisiana-Lafayette: won, 9-3, vs. Sacred Heart
(17) Arkansas: lost, 10-8 (12 inn.), vs. Eastern Illinois
(18) North Carolina State: won, 2-1, vs. Alabama at Irish Classic, Cary, N.C.
(19) Coastal Carolina: lost, 8-2, vs. (13) Mississippi at Chanticleer Classic, Conway, S.C.
(20) Michigan: CCD at UC Davis
(21) Houston: won, 10-4, vs. Baylor
(22) Oklahoma State: won, 9-2, vs. Indiana State
(23) Georgia Tech: won, 14-3, vs. Western Carolina
(24) Mississippi State: won, 8-7, vs. Southern California at Dodger Stadium Classic, Los Angeles
(25) East Carolina: lost, 5-2, vs. Tennessee at Keith LeClair Classic, Greenville, N.C.

“They did a great job today,” Heefner told “The one thing I’m really proud of is they kept going and having good at at-bats. Sometimes when you get a big lead like that, it’s easy to kind of just relax a little bit and shut down, and you can’t do that against them. They are a very good hitting team and they showed that by the eight runs they put on the board, so it was good to see our guys keep plugging away.”

Now 7-3, DBU will try to finish a sweep of the Lobos, one of the favorites in the Mountain West, on Sunday.

Strike Two: Rebels Keep Rolling

Mississippi had no time to rest on its laurels after its landmark series win against then-No. 2 Louisville a week ago. The Rebels are spending this weekend in Conway, S.C., at a tournament hosted by No. 19 Coastal Carolina, and there haven’t been any signs of a letdown. The Rebels handled Ball State by a 7-3 score on Friday, and they kept the surge going on Saturday, handing it to the host Chanticleers with an 8-2 win.

The Rebels scored three times in the top of the first and never looked back, plating at least one run in five separate innings—a big reason being that their leadoff hitters reached base seven times. The quick start has become standard fare for the Ole Miss offense, which has outscored its opposition 18-5 in first innings on the year. Promising sophomore second baseman Tate Blackman continued his hot start, leading the Ole Miss attack with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, including two doubles and three RBIs. The Rebels piled up 11 hits and seven walks in all, while a pair of Coastal errors helped Ole Miss score three unearned runs.

And as it did for much of the Louisville series, Ole Miss’ pitching put the clamps on an explosive offense. Coastal did have nine hits, but Chad Smith (5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO) and two relievers held them to just single runs in the first and fifth. The win was the first in an Ole Miss uniform for Smith, a transfer from Wallace State (Ala.) CC.

The Rebels will look to finish out the weekend strong against 1-8 Cincinnati on Sunday, while suddenly slumping Coastal—losers of three straight to drop to 5-5—faces Ball State.

Strike Three: Narrow Escapes

This weekend’s schedule didn’t feature any series between ranked teams, but Saturday nonetheless saw several heavy underdogs put scares into their big-name opponents. Start in Charlottesville, where Virginia jumped out to a 9-0 lead on Monmouth, only to watch the Hawks come back with three runs in the seventh and then seven in the eighth against the Virginia bullpen, which has been a trouble spot at times in the early going. Virginia needed a Monmouth error to help it tie the game at 10 in the bottom of the ninth and then won it in the 11th on Kevin Doherty’s walk-off single.

“We can’t look at this game by what we did not do,” Cavs coach Brian O’Connor told “Monmouth wasn’t going to go away. They battled, and that’s impressive about them. But I’m proud of our guys that when we gave the lead up, we didn’t go away either. We found a way to score a run. There are negatives to the game, but I think there are a lot of positives that we can draw as well.”

Down in Florida, the No. 1 Gators needed a walk-off homer from Buddy Reed in the bottom of the 12th to escape with a 4-3 win against Dartmouth, which had rallied to tie the game in the ninth. Meanwhile, Louisiana State got a rare rocky outing from Alex Lange (5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER) in the second game of its doubleheader with Fordham. Fordham actually opened up a 7-3 lead at the seventh-inning stretch before LSU surged back with a seven-run bottom half of the inning, keyed by Kramer Robertson’s bases-clearing double with two outs.

One ranked SEC team was not so lucky, as previously winless Eastern Illinois outlasted No. 17 Arkansas 10-8 in 12 innings. The win is the first in the coaching career of  former major league pitcher Jason Anderson and EIU’s first against a ranked opponent since 2012. Arkansas had come back from an 8-3 deficit to force extras, but EIU’s Jason Scholl led off the top of the 12th with a solo homer off normally unbeatable Arkansas closer Zach Jackson. An insurance run later in the inning provided the final margin, while Arkansas stranded runners at the corners in the bottom of the 12th to end it.

The Lineup

Nine newsmakers from Saturday’s action.

1. Clate Schmidt, rhp, Clemson: Answering the the dominant outing by younger brother Clarke for South Carolina on Friday, Schmidt (5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 SO) set the tone as Clemson leveled its rivalry series against South Carolina with a 5-0 win in front of a packed Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.

“That’s the best I’ve seen Clate pitch,” Tigers head coach Monte Lee told “For him to have his best outing in a huge game for us says a lot about Clate Schmidt.”

2. Noah Davis, rhp, UC Santa Barbara: A day after his team was shelled 13-1 and pitching on the road against a ranked team, the freshman Davis stepped up in a huge way in just his third collegiate appearance, throwing eight, one-hit shutout innings as UCSB outlasted Oregon 1-0 in 14 innings.

3. Logan Ice, c, Oregon State: The Beavers improved to 10-1 by sweeping a split doubleheader with William & Mary and San Diego, powered by Ice’s huge day. The junior continued his strong start to the year by going a combined 6-for-7 with two homers and seven RBIs in the two games.

4. Darren McCaughan, rhp, Long Beach State: This one’s really for the entire Long Beach pitching staff, which threw a combined 22 innings in Saturday’s doubleheader sweep of Nebraska and allowed only one run. The sophomore McCaughan (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO) got things started with a dominant outing in the first game, an eventual 1-0 win for Long Beach in 13 innings.

5. Robby Howell, rhp, Central Florida: Howell’s reeled off a 19-inning (and counting) scoreless streak to start the season, with his latest effort (7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO) outdueling Rice’s Blake Fox in a 2-0 UCF win that levels that series at a game apiece.

6. Matt Pita, of, Virginia Military Institute: Playing in just his 11th college game, the freshman Pita had one for the books. Pita hit for the cycle and set a VMI program record with eight RBIs in a 15-9 win against Binghamton in the first game of a doubleheader. Pita finished his cycle the hard way, too, hitting his triple in his last plate appearance in the bottom of the eighth.

7. Trent Swart, lhp, Duke: Swart has dominated to the tune of a 0.56 ERA in his first three starts coming back off Tommy John surgery. Saturday’s outing against Toledo (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 SO) was his best yet, as he retired 15 of the last 16 he faced in a 6-1 Duke win.

8. Jake Wodtke, 2b, Kansas State: The K-State offense has been on fire this week, scoring at least 15 runs in three straight games for the first time since 1996. The junior Wodtke’s been in the middle of everything, leading the team with a .474 average, and he had a career-high six RBIs in Saturday’s 15-9 win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He ended the day 2-for-3 with a triple and a sac fly.

9. Tyler Floyd, c, Texas Tech: Floyd’s RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the eighth plated the winning run as Texas Tech beat Cal State Fullerton 6-5 to set up a Sunday rubber match. It was the senior catcher’s second hit of the game, and he also threw out two Fullerton base stealers on the day.

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