#1 Cumberland started the season with three losses in a tournament at Belhaven: 11-2 to #9 Missouri Baptist, 7-6 to Culver-Stockton, and 7-6 to #14 Belhaven. The Spartans led the first game all the way; the Bulldogs didn't get on the board until the seventh inning. David Mullins got the win, pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowed one run on five hits, struck out seven. C Jake Hillier hit a line drive for a sacrifice fly to score the winning run for the Wildcats in the second game. Ian Miller, who allowed only one hit over the final three innings, and recorded four strikeouts, got the win. In the third game, the Bulldogs left 11 men on base, and had the tying run on third when the game ended. The winning run scored when RF Joey Harris was hit by a pitch. Harris went 2-for-3, had two RBI and a run scored. The Bulldogs visit #23 Tennessee Wesleyan on Feb. 11, then have their home opener against Missouri Baptist Feb. 13-14.
Missouri Baptist is now 6-0. After the win over Cumberland, the Spartans defeated Belhaven 13-8 amd Culver-Stockton 10-5. LF Orlando Olivera went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, five RBI and three runs scored against Belhaven. Olivera got two more RBI against Culver-Stockton, and RF Eli Roundtree went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI.
#2 Lewis-Clark State went to a tournament in Nampa and Caldwell, ID, and dropped their opener to Concordia-Portland 13-6, but they won the next three games: 5-4 over Division II Northwest Nazarene, 21-2 over #24 British Columbia, and 8-0 over C. of Idaho. Concordia broke open a close game by scoring seven runs in the bottom fo the seventh, led by a two-RBI double by C Nate Esposito. RHP Brad Bearden pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for the Cavaliers, allowed no runs on two hits. The Warriors scored two runs in the top of the ninth, on a two-RBI single by 1B Seth Brown, to take a 5-3 lead against Northwest Nazarene. The Crusaders made it 5-4 on an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth, but the game ended with 2B/3B Tyler Davis being tagged out five feet short of home plate by RHP Joe Mello. SS Max Whitt hit two home runs, one of them a grand slam, against British Columbia. RHP Beau Kerns pitched a three-hit shutout against C. of Idaho, struck out seven. Brown went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.
The Warriors visit San Diego Christian Feb. 10, Cal State San Marco Feb. 11 (video), #18 Concordia-Irvine Feb. 12 (video), CSUSM again on the 13th (video), Bethesda on the 14th, and William Jessup on the 16th. (audio for all these games)
#3 Oklahoma Wesleyan won two of three at Lyon, 7-6, 2-4, and 13-3. The Eagles host Bacone Feb. 10, and Kansas Wesleyan Feb. 13-14.
#4 Oklahoma Baptist swept York, 12-0, 14-0, 4-2, and 10-3. RHP Kelvin Rivas of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico pitched a seven-inning no-hitter in the first game, and was a hit batter and a walk short of a perfect game. He faced only 22 batters, threw 80 pitches. He struck out ten. Kyle Fimbrez, Chad Bennett, and Brad Adams combined for a two-hitter in the second game. The third game was 2-2 after 4 ½ innings, but the Bison got two runs in the bottom of the fifth to win it, in an RBI ground out by DH Yariel Gonzalez and an RBI single by RF Joey Szczepanski. Szczepanski finished 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Starter Taylor Hearn held the Panthers to a run on one hit over the first five innings of the fourth game, struck out eight. The Bison visit Division II East Central Feb. 10, and host McPherson Feb. 13-14.
#5 Faulkner swept Georgetown C. (KY) 6-1, 3-2 (9 innings, scheduled for 7), and 5-4, to run their record to 6-0. Phillip Anderson got the win in the first game, went six innings, allowed no runs on four hits, struck out 11. The Eagles trailed the second game 2-0 after four innings, tied it with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, on an RBI bunt by 3B Mike Correa and a sacrifice fly by CF Chris Madera. The Eagles won it on an RBI single by 1B Jackson Webb in the bottom of the ninth. The Eagles trailed the third game 4-3 after four innings, but won it with a two-RBI single by DH Cody Sos in the bottom of the seventh. Victor Arche got the win in relief; he went five innings, allowed no runs on one hit, struck out nine. The Eagles host Talladega Feb. 10, and visit Mobile Feb. 13-14.
#6 Georgia Gwinnett won two of three against Talladega, 11-6, 4-11, and 7-5. Tim Lamoureaux went the distance for the Tornadoes in the second game, threw 136 pitches, allowed seven hits, struck out nine. The Tornadoes led all the way, and broke it open with four runs (three of them unearned) in the top of the eighth. The Grizzlies trailed the third game 5-4 going into the bottom of the eighth. The Tornadoes issued an intentional walk to load the bases for RF Jake Wright, and he made them pay for it with a two-RBI single to win it. Story The Grizzlies host Lindenwood-Belleville Feb. 13-14 (video).
#20 The Master's moved into a tie for the lead in the Golden State Athletic Conference with #18 Concordia-Irvine in spectacular fashion. The Mustangs swept San Diego Christian 6-0, 14-7, and 1-0. The first game was a perfect game by RHP Jason Karkenny. He threw 97 pitches, and his brother Steve scored the winning run. Story The same LF Steve Karkenny went 3-for-5 with a triple, a double, two RBI and two runs scored in the second game. LHP David Carpenter and, again, Steve Karkenny combined for the shutout in the third game. Carpenter pitched six innings, allowed three hits and struck out seven. Steve Karkenny allowed a hit, but struck out the other three batters he faced. Sam Robison hit an RBI single for the only run of the game. Story
Meanwhile, Concordia-Irvine won two of three at Biola, losing 7-5, and winning 5-4 and 9-5. The Eagles added two more wins at La Sierra, 7-1 and 5-2.
The Mustangs host Simpson Feb. 11, and visit Arizona Christian Feb. 13-14. The Eagles host #2 Lewis-Clark State Feb. 12, and William Jessup Feb. 13-14 (video).
Other teams with good starts: Bryan is 7-0, Oregon Tech, Belhaven, and South Carolina-Beaufort are 6-1.