#1 Cumberland has started the season 0-7. They had a midweek loss at #23 Tennessee Wesleyan, 13-7, then got swept at home by #9 Missouri Baptist, 5-3 (10 innings), 13-5, and 7-3. 3B Ridge Hoopi-Haslam was the star for Tennessee Wesleyan; he went 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple, four RBI, and three runs scored. In the first game against Missouri Baptist, Bulldogs starter Jake Collier had a shoutout going into the ninth inning, but gave up a two-run home run by pinch-hitter Timothy Cusick to send it into extra innings. RF Eli Roundtree hit an RBI single in the top of the tenth for the winning run. Story The defending champions led the second game 5-0 after three innings, but the Spartans put it away with a five-run sixth inning, led by a two-RBI single by 2B Aaron Collazo. Randy Wynne got the win in relief for the Spartans; he allowed only one hit over the final 5 1/3 innings, struck out five. The winning run in the third game game on a two-RBI double by SS Brent Zimmerman in the fourth inning. The Bulldogs visit Bethel Feb. 17, and host Judson Feb. 21-22 (video).
Missouri Baptist is now 9-0. The Spartans host the Clayton Pfeiffer Invitational Tournament Feb. 20-21, with Saint Francis (IN) and non-NAIA Morthland.
#2 Lewis-Clark State went 5-2 on their California tour, with wins over San Diego Christian, 9-4 and 7-6, #18 Concordia-Irvine 7-3, Cal State San Marcos 8-3, and non-NAIA Bethesda 7-5. They lost to Cal State San Marcos 10-3, and Concordia-Irvine 4-3. In the first game against San Diego Christian, the Warriors were held to one run over the first seven innings by Anthony Carrizosa, but erupted for seven runs in the top of the ninth off three different Hawks relievers. The Hawks had only five hits. Starter Ty Jackson went five innings, allowed three runs on two hits, struck out seven, got a no-decision. Nick Sagendorf got the win, pitched the final two innings, struck out four of the six batters he faced. The Warriors had a 6-0 lead in the second game after four innings, but the Hawks answered with five runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Warriors got the winning run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double by C Julian Ramon. The Hawks made it a one-run game when 1B Luke Bando reached on an error, allowing pinch-runner Gordy Smith to score. However, they left the tying run on third, and the winning run on first. Story SS Max Whitt his a grand slam home run in the win over Concordia, and 1B Seth Brown also hit a home run. Beau Kerns pitched a complete nine-inning game in the win over Cal State San Marcos, and 3B Michael Sexton went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, and two RBI. 3B Robert Smith Jr. went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run and five RBI against Bethesda, and his two-RBI single in the top of the ninth provided the winning run.
Starter Addison Domingo got the win for Cal State San Marcos. He held the Warriors to one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings, struck out seven. DH L.A. Gamo batted in five of the Cougars' runs, went 2-for-3 and drew two walks. In the loss to Concordia, the Warriors out-hit the Eagles 10-4, but the Eagles got two runs on a home run by DH Dane Vande Guchte, and runs on an RBI single by CF Mitchell Esser and a sacrifice fly by C Neil Lawhorn. Starter Robbie Ingram got the win, allowed one earned run over seven innings.
The Warriors are now 8-3. They host Division II Western Oregon Feb. 20-22. (audio)
#3 Oklahoma Wesleyan won a mid-week game against Bacone, 13-9, and won two of three against Kansas Wesleyan, 9-11, 6-5 (10 innings), and 6-2. The Eagles committed five errors in the first game against Kansas Wesleyan, allowed three unearned runs. 3B Kyle Buchanan went 5-for-5 with three doubles and five RBI for the Coyotes. Story The Cougars led the second game 5-0 after six innings. The Eagles got two runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie it; they stayed alive with a dropped fly ball with two outs, then DH Will Price hit a two-RBI single. 3B John Davenport scored the winning run on an error. Davenport went 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI for the game. Davenport scored the winning run in the third game. The Eagles host Hastings Feb. 20-21.
#4 Oklahoma Baptist won a mid-week game at Division II East Central, 14-5, then swept McPherson, 17-1, 8-2, 19-3, and 6-0. Kelvin Rivas pitched the first five innings of the mercy-rule-shortened first game, allowed one hit, struck out 11. Jinny Parra and Kyle Fimbrez combined for the three-hit shutout in the fourth game. The Bison are 9-0. They host Midland Feb. 20-21.
#5 Faulkner swept Talladega, 10-0 and 9-3. Brian Bass, Tyler Crouch, and Gabe Neustadt combined for a mercy-rule-shortened one-hitter in the first game. Story The Eagles then opened Southern States Athletic Conference play at Mobile, and won two of three, 5-3, 0-10, and 6-4. The first game was close all the way, and CF Chris Madera of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic hit an RBI triple in the top of the eighth for the winning run. Story Corey Hale and Trey Cockrell combined for the shutout for the Rams in the second game. LF Alexis Torres went 3-for-4 with a home run and three runs scored in the third game. Story The Eagles are 10-1. They host Blue Mountain Feb. 20-21, and #11 Embry-Riddle on the 22nd.
#6 Georgia Gwinnett swept Lindenwood-Belleville, 5-3, 9-8, 10-1, and 20-9. LF Arsenio Watlington went 4-for-4 with a triple and an RBI in the first game. 3B William Paschal hit an RBI single with two out in the bottom of the ninth to win the second game. Story Ryan Minteer went the seven-inning distance in the third game, allowed four hits. RF Kyler Timmerman hit two home runs in the fourth game, batted in five runs. Story The Grizzlies are 8-2, and host Georgetown C. (KY) Feb. 20-21 (video).
Concordia-Irvine and #20 The Master's continue to be tied for the lead in the Golden State Athletic Conference. After the split with Lewis-Clark State (gutsy scheduling; a double-header against the pre-season #2 team the day before a three-game conference series), the Eagles swept William Jessup, 6-3, 10-1, and 10-4. Each team got five hits in the first game, but three of the Eagles' runs were unearned. Starter Spencer Moran got the win, went seven innings, allowed a run on three hits, struck out ten. Story Starter Collin Orellana got the win in the second game, scattered seven hits over six innings. Vande Guchte went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, and three RBI in the third game, and CF Mitchell Esser hit a three-run home run.
The Eagles visit San Diego Christian Feb. 20-21. (The first game is being played at Point Loma Nazarene's Carroll B. Land Stadium.)
The Master's got an 8-4 mid-week win over Simpson, then swept Arizona Christian, 4-1, 9-1, and 6-2. In the first game at Arizona Christian, Jason Karkenny followed up on his perfect game the previous week with an eight-inning start, allowed one run on four hits. C David Sheaffer went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Mustangs. Sheaffer went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the second game, and 1B Collin Nyenhuis went 3-for-3 with three RBI. LF/SS Steve Karkenny hit a two-run home run in the third game, and 3B Nick Covello followed with a solo home run. Story
The Mustangs host #24 British Columbia Feb. 18, and visit William Jessup Feb. 20-21.
Other teams with good starts: Tabor and Friends are 8-0. Bryan is 11-1, and Martin Methodist is 10-1.