#1 Faulkner won a midweek game against Point, 5-4, and won two of three against Loyola-New Orleans, 4-5 (10 innings), 4-0, and 4-0. 2B Luis Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh for the win over Point. 3B Peyton Senner hit an RBI single in the tenth for the winning run for the Wolf Pack in the loss to Loyola. Wolf Pack relievers Stewart Campbell and Connor Thurman held the Eagles to one hit over the final three innings. Jeremy Holcombe pitched a complete seven-inning shutout in the second game, allowed three hits; Sanchez batted in the winning run in the first inning. Julian Esquibel one-upped Holcombe in the third game; he also held the Wolf Pack to three hits, but he also recorded 10 strikeouts, didn't walk a batter. Sanchez went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
The defending champions are 14-3. They visit #8 Tennessee Wesleyan March 5, and Spring Hill March 7-8.
#2 Lewis-Clark State played in the Porter Park Classic in Portland, OR, and won two of three. They defeated Division II Montana State-Billings 4-2, lost to British Columbia 2-0, and defeated host Concordia-Portland 8-6. RF Cody Lavalli hit a two-run home run for the winning run against MSU-Billings; David Murillo got the win in relief, pitched three shutout innings, allowed two hits. Jeremy Newton and Alex Webb combined for the shutout for the Thunderbirds in the second game. Newton pitched seven innings, scattered 11 hits, was helped by two double plays. Webb got out of a jam in the eighth. The Warriors had runners at first and second with nobody out, and they were bunted to second and third. Webb got a fly out (not deep enough for the runner on third to score) and a strikeout. He recorded two more strikeouts in the ninth to finish the game. Both of the Birds' runs were in the early going. 1B Vinny Martin hit an RBI single in the first, and SS Tyson Popoff hit an RBI single in the second. In the third game, 2B Brian Corliss hit a two-RBI double in the seventh inning for the winning run. Corliss added a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning for the insurance run. Carsen Nylund got the win in relief.
The Thunderbirds also defeated MSU-BIllings and Concordia; Sean Callegari and Tyler Gillies got the wins. The tournament final between the Warriors and Thunderbirds was rained out. However, the Warriors and Thunderbirds get a rematch in Lewiston March 7-9. (This series was moved from Vancouver due to weather considerations.)
#3 Embry-Riddle swept a series at Warner, 10-3, 8-0, and 8-0, and their Sun Conference record is 8-1. DH Jake Cavender went 3-for-5 with a double and four RBI in the first game. Stetson Nelson pitched a complete-game shutout in the second game, allowed six hits. C Darryl Knight hit a sacrifice fly and a two-RBI single. Knight went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the third game. Corey Tufts got the win, went seven innings, allowed two hits.
The Eagles had less success in non-conference action against #14 Bellevue. The first game went twelve innings, and was a pitching duel, first between Brennan Henry of the Bruins, and Clayton Wagner of the Eagles. Brennan went seven innings, allowed one run on one hit, and struck out 11. Then the relievers took over, Steve Sarcone for the Bruins, and David Lidyard for the Eagles. Sarcone pitched five shutout innings, allowed two hits, got the win. Lidyard allowed two hits over his first four innings, but he was relieved after giving up two hits in the top of the 12th, and the Bruins scored four runs to win 5-1. The Bruins won the second game 11-1 over the pitching-depleted Eagles.
The Eagles host Cornerstone March 6, Thomas March 7-8, and #10 Cumberland March 11.Live video
The Bruins also got two wins at Webber International, 7-1 and 2-0. LHP Kyle Kinman pitched a complete seven-inning game, allowed five hits, struck out nine, and went 4-for-5 with two RBI at the plate. Rory Young and Sean Felt combined for the shutout in the second game; Young went five innings, allowed tow hits, struck out five. Felt pitched two hitless innings, struck out four. The Bruins got only three hits,and both of their runs came in the first inning, on a bases-loaed walk and an RBI single by 2B Tyler Blood.
The Bruins continue their Florida tour at a tournament hosted by Warner March 6-8.
#4 Missouri Baptist won two games against Clarke, 7-4 and 4-3 (8 innings, scheduled for 7), and two games against Saint Francis (IN), 12-3 and 3-0. 3B Brent Zimmerman went 2-for-3 with three RBI in the first game against Clarke. LF Orlando Olivera scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the second game, after getting on with a single, moving to second on a ground out, and moving to third on a balk. Michael Yarborough recorded 12 strikeouts in the first win over Saint Francis. Curtis Sawchuk and two other pitchers combined for the shutout in the second win.
The Spartans have won 11 straight. They open American Midwest Conference play at Lyon Feb. 7-8.
#5 Oklahoma City swept three Sooner Athletic Conference games against Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 17-7, 7-6, and 4-0. C Connor Lynch hit two home runs in the first game, went 3-for-4 with a double and five RBI. The Stars had to come from behind in the second game, and 1B Forrest Smith hit his third home run of the game in the seventh inning to win it. Smith had a total of five RBI, and also drew a walk. He shares the NAIA lead in home runs with Damion Lovato of Wayland Baptist and Cade Gotta of San Diego Christian; all three have six home runs. Michael Nolan got a complete seven-inning game shutout in the third game, allowed four hits, struck out 11.
The Stars also had a 5-3 loss to Tabor, and 7-2, 7-5 wins over Robert Morris. Story The Stars' record is 11-3. They visit Saint Gregory's March 6, and host Saint Gregory's March 8. Live video
#12 The Master's swept a non-conference series against Menlo, 1-0, 11-2, and 7-1. The first game, interrupted twice by rain, was a pitching duel between James Scott of the Mustangs and Daniel Chavez of the Oaks. Scott went 6 1/3 innings, allowed two hits, struck out two. Chavez went the seven-inning distance, allowed three hits, struck out six. Chavez' only mistake was a home run by CF Steve Karkenny in the third inning. Karkenny hit a triple and a double in the second game, batted in three runs. 1B Collin Nyenhuis went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI in the third game; Andrew Klausmeier got the win, pitched six innings, allowed three hits.
The Mustangs are 22-3, and hold a 2 ½ game lead over Concordia-Irvine and San Diego Christian in the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Mustangs host Westmont March 7-8. High quality live video
Other teams with good starts: Oklahoma Baptist is 16-0, William Woods is 10-1, Georgia Gwinnett is 18-3.
Note: I will be in Ecuador for most of the month of March, so these summaries will be coming out less often than weekly.