#1 Faulkner swept Thomas, 8-7, 3-0, and 10-9. The Eagles got away with five errors in the first game, and trailed going into the eighth inning. They won it with a pair of walks, an error, and a sacrifice fly by 3B Sergio Sanchez. Jeremy Holcombe and Labradford Griffis combined for the shutout in the second game. The Eagles came from behind again in the third game; RF Michael Cruz hit an RBI double in the ninth inning to tie it, than scored the winning run on a wild throw after a bunt by pinch-hitter Mike Correa. Patrick McGrady, who faced one batter in the eighth, got the win; Julian Esquibel, a usually reliable starter, was lit up for seven runs during the first six innings.
The defending champions are 11-2, and have won seven straight. They host Point Feb. 25, and Loyola-New Orleans Feb. 28-March 1. Faulkner announced earlier this month that they are doing live video of all of their home games for the rest of the season.
#2 Lewis-Clark State won three of four against Division II power Western Oregon, 7-2, 8-4, 1-6, and 6-5 (10 innings). RF Cody Lavalli hit a two-RBI double in the second inning for the winning run in the first game; Michael Noteware got the win. Lavalli got two more RBI and two more hits (one of them a home run) in the second game; Carsen Nylund got the win in relief. In the third game, the Warriors were held to one run off Wolves starter Eric Huson. LF Matt Taylor batted in four of the Wolves' runs; he went 3-for-5 with a home run and a double. In the fourth game, Raymond Pedrina let off the tenth inning with a single, then scored the winning run on a passed ball with two out. The Wolves used seven pitchers, the Warriors six. Cody Chartrand got the win. Lavalli got yet another RBI; he batted in the Warriors only run in the third game.
The Warriors have started the season 7-1. They go to the Porter Park classic, a tournament hosted by Concordia-Portland, for their first NAIA action of this season. They play Division II Montana State-Billings Feb. 28, British Columbia and Concordia March 1, and a “TBA” game March 2. Live video
#3 Embry-Riddle celebrated the Daytona 500 with a trip to Division II Stillman. The Eagles lost the first two games 2-1 and 1-0, but salvaged the third game 8-4. In the first game, Nick Boggs hit a bunt single in the bottom of the seventh and final inning to bring in the winning run. Joey Falletta went the distance for the Tigers, allowed four hits. Stetson Nelson of the Eagles pitched a no-hitter in the second game, but the Tigers manufactured the only run of the game when Cameron Stallings was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chris Brown. Tyler Vails went the distance for the Tigers, allowed five hits, and struck out the side in the seventh inning. Story 3B J. Rhet Montana went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI in the third game; Corey Tufts got the win.
The Eagles host Davenport Feb. 25 (Live video), and visit Warner Feb. 28-March 1. They host #14 Bellevue March 2-3. Live video
#4 Missouri Baptist swept three games against Indiana Wesleyan, 18-2, 5-1, and 12-2. LF Orlando Olivera went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and four RBI in the first game. Brandon Zywicki got the win. Courtesy runner Ryan Clarke scored three runs, and stole three bases. He stole three more in the second game; Michael Yarborough got the win. LHP David Mullins pitched his second seven-inning one-hitter of the season in the third game, struck out five, walked one. Clarke went to center field for the third game, and went 2-for-3 with an RBI and yet another stolen base. The Spartans host Missouri Valley Feb. 25, visit McKendree Feb. 26, and host Saint Francis (IN) and Saint Ambrose Feb. 28-March 1.
#5 Oklahoma City won two of three against Tabor, 9-4, 1-11, and 8-3. 1B Forrest Smith went 2-for-2 with a home run, a double, two RBI and three runs scored in the first game. Shane Henderson got the win. RHP Jacob Webb went the seven-inning distance for the Bluejays in the second game, allowed five hits, struck out ten. The Bluejays broke the game open with seven runs in the sixth inning. LF Jared Baker went 2-for-3 with a home run for the Stars in the third game; LHP Michael Nolan got the win. The Stars will host Science and Arts of Oklahoma Feb. 27, visit USAO March 1, and host Park March 2. Live video
#6 York lost three of four to #13 Northwood (TX), 7-0, 2-9, 7-3, and 7-2. RHP Cody Gray and Jesue Alvarado combined for the shutout in the first game. Gray, a Pre-Season All American, went six innings, allowed four hits, struck out four. 1B Mason Mullin went 3-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. CF Matt Owen went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI for the Panthers in the second game. Alvarado, 2B Angel Ortiz, and C Carlos Contreras hit home runs for the Knights in the third game. Ortiz' home run was the winning run. Andres Caraveo got the win in relief; he pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowed no runs on two hits, struck out five. In the fourth game, the Knights scored four runs before the Panthers recorded the first out. DH Austin Fox's two-run home run provided the winning run. Colt Weiner got the win, allowed one run on four hits and struck out three in six innings.
The Panthers pay Jamestown and MidAmerica Nazarene in Topeka, KS Feb. 28-March 1. The Knights visit Saint Gregory's Feb. 28-March 1.
#7 Sterling lost two of three games against #14 Bellevue, 0-4, 3-6, and 5-4. Brendan Henry and Steve Sarcone combined for a one-hit shutout in the first game; Henry went six innings, struck out eight, allowed the only hit. Sarcone pitched the last three innings, struck out five. It was the Bruins' first win of the season. They scored four runs in the ninth to win the second game, three of them on a triple by 2B Galli Cribbs. Starter Ricky Holm recorded 11 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings of work. Sean Felt got the win, struck out three of the six batters he faced. RHP Blake Oliver went the seven-inning distance for the Warriors in the third game, allowed five hits. C Luke Miller hit an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth for the winning run.
The Warriors also swept a double-header at Baker, 13-0 and 4-1. Four Warriors pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout in the first game, and C Ian Josh went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI. The Warriors also used four pitcher in the second game, allowed three hits, no earned runs.
The Warriors host Dakota Wesleyan Feb. 28-March 1. The Bruins visit Webber International March 1, and #3 Embry-Riddle March 2-3.
#8 Tennessee Wesleyan lost two of three to Indiana Southeast, 12-8,6-3, and 5-8.. The Grenadiers took over the first game with five runs in the eighth inning. CF Marcus Howard went 3-for-5 with an RBI and scored three runs. Evan Bickett got the win in relief, went 2 2/3 innings, retired all eight batters he faced, struck out three of them. The Grenadiers came from behind in the second game, too. The bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, and that stood up until the Grenadiers scored four runs in the fifth inning of a seven-inning game. Kyle Rupe went the distance for the Grenadiers, allowed four hits. The Bulldogs let the third game all the way, and Bulldogs starter Tyler Wilson had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. CF Shell McCain scored the winning run in the fourth when 2B James Doddicker reached on an error, and C Matt Malloy hit a three-run home run. The Bulldogs host #15 Lindsey Wilson Feb. 26, and visit Point Feb. 28-March1.
#12 The Master's won two of three at Arizona Christian, 8-6, 7-9, and 3-0. 3B Ryan Shackelford hit an RBI double in the eighth for the winning run in the first game. Jason Karkenny got the win in relief to run his record to 6-0, and his brother Steve moved from center field to the mound to pitch a three-up three-down ninth inning. Steve also scored two runs. All six of Jason Karkenny's wins were in relief. 1B Ryan Jones hit a grand slam with two out in the bottom of the ninth to win the second game. Tom McGrath, who faced one batter, got the win. Tucker Richardson pitched all but one out of the third game shutout, allowed four hits, struck out five. RF/CF Tyler Krahn hit an RBI single for the winning run in the fourth inning.
The Mustangs are 19-3, and continue to lead the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Mustangs host Menlo in a non-conference series Feb. 28-March 1. High quality live video
RHP Josh Turner pitched a seven-inning perfect game for Northwestern (IA) in a 10-0 win over Presentation. He struck out 13, threw 90 pitches. Box score The Red Raiders got a 1-0 shutout in the second game of the double-header. Story
Other teams with good starts: Oklahoma Baptist is 11-0, Saint Thomas (FL) is 14-1.
Note: I will be in Ecuador for most of the month of March, so these summaries will be coming out less often than weekly.