First place votes: Faulkner 9, Lewis-Clark State 9
#1 Faulkner won a pair of mid-week games against #12 Tennessee Wesleyan, 3-2 and 3-0. 1B David Palenzuela batted in the winning run in the first game. LHP Victor Arche got the win, pitched seven innings, allowed six hits, struck out ten. Story RHP Phillip Anderson pitched a complete game shutout in the second game, allowed four hits, struck out 11. 3B Dennis Morton hit a two-run home run. Story
The Eagles then swept Blue Mountain, 24-3, 7-1, and 12-1. Morton and RF Nick Cain each had five RBI in the first game. Story Morton got two hits, two RBI, and two runs scored in the second game, and three hits, four RBI, and three runs scored in the third game. Story
The Eagles then hosted U. of the Cumberlands for three games on March 14-15, and swept them, 7-1, 15-5, and 13-3. CF Alexis Cruz went 2-for-3 with three RBI in the first game. Starter LHP Marco Blancard got the win; he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowed two hits, struck out seven. Story
The Eagles have won 14 straight. They are tied with #4 Auburn-Montgomery for the lead in the Southern States Athletic Conference; both have 6-0 conference records. The Eagles host Loyola-New Orleans March 18-19. Video They have a showdown at #3 Georgia Gwinnett on March 22.
#2 Lewis-Clark State dropped a game at British Columbia 12-1, then won the remaining two games of the series 5-2 and 5-1. RHP Alex Webb went the seven-inning distance for the Thunderbirds in the first game, allowed four hits, struck out seven. RF John Whaley hit a three-RBI triple for the Thunderbirds. Three of the Warriors' runs in the second game were scored by 3B Robert Smith, who went 4-for-5 with an RBI. The game was played in horrible weather conditions. RHP Connor Brogdon pitched seven shutout innings in the third game, allowed four hits, struck out seven. The Warriors got all the runs they needed in the top of the first, on a two-RBI double by DH J.J. Robinson. Story
The defending national champions host Simpson March 18-20.
#3 Georgia Gwinnett won 25 straight games, but only one win was over a ranked team, #12 Tennessee Wesleyan. They won the first three games of a series at home against Madonna, 3-1, 3-2, and 5-4. All three of the runs in the first game came in the first inning, and the winning run came on a sacrifice fly by 1B Zac Rinehart. RHP Adam Clark got the win, allowed five hits over 7 1/3 innings, struck out six. Story In the second game, they again scored all three of their runs in one inning, this time the fourth. C Brady Shoppe hit an RBI single for the winning run. Starter RHP Nikolay Uherek went 7 1/3 innings, didn't allow a run until the eighth inning, and that one was unearned. He allowed four hits, struck out six. The Grizzlies trailed the third game 2-1 after 2 ½ innings, but got four runs in the bottom of the third; DH Marcus McCorkle scored the winning run on a passed ball. LHP Will Solomon got the win. Story
The Crusaders ended the streak with an 8-5 win the following day. They scored six runs in the fifth inning, capped by a two-RBI single by C Matt Deneau; Deneau went 3-for-3 for the game, and his courtesy runners scored two runs. Starter RHP Adam Prashad got the win, but relievers RHP Patrick Wierimaa and RHP Bobby St. Pierre closed the door with a perfect inning apiece. Story
The Grizzlies host Ohio State-Lima March 17-19. Video After that, their schedule gets more difficult, with a home game against #1 Faulkner on March 22, and a four-game series at home against #11 Keiser March 25-26.
#4 Auburn-Montgomery swept Mobile, 6-1, 6-5, and 9-5. 3B Brandon Davis scored the winning run in the second inning of the first game on an error on a ground ball. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the game. RHP Kade Suther got the win. Story The Warhawks trailed the second game 5-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning of a seven-inning game, but came up with four runs in the bottom of the sixth; the winning run came from and RBI single by 2B Brandon Pooler. The Warhawks put away the third game with seven runs in the fifth inning, led by a two-RBI triple by CF Dalton Kelley. Story
The Warhawks then split a double-header with Georgetown C. on March 14, losing 1-5, and winning 11-6. They defeated Georgetown C. again, 12-5, the next day. The Tigers got all the runs they needed in the first game with a three-run home run by SS Kyle Jackson. RHP Roman Davalos got the win. The Warhawks were led by RF Jack Folmar in the second game; he went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a stolen base. RHP Chase Johnson got the win in relief. Story C Houston Davenport hit a grand slam home run in the third game, went 3-for-4 with six RBI. Story
The Warhawks host Bethel March 18-19.
#5 Bellevue (#1 in the Perfect Game rankings) played six games in a tournament hosted by Warner, and won five of them, including the tournament championship game against host Warner. One of the wins was 23-0 over Saint Ambrose. LHP Braulio Torres-Perez pitched a no-hitter for the Bruins. He struck out ten of the 23 batters he faced, and walked two batters. On the offensive side, C Jake Browne hit two home runs and a double, and batted in ten runs. RF Colton Nash, who leads the Bruins in hitting with a .443 average, went 3-for-3 with a double and four RBI. Story
The Bruins won the tournament final 4-3 in ten innings. SS Connor Garrison hit an RBI single for the winning run. Kevin Rodriguez got the win in a 4 2/3 innings relief appearance; he allowed only one hit, and struck out five. Story
Torres-Perez is 4-0 for the season, has an ERA of 1.47, and has struck out 32. The Bruins visit Northwestern on March 18, and host Northwestern on March 19.
#6 Westmont won two of three at The Master's, 4-2, 23-5, and 7-8 (10 innings). RHP Daniel Butler went the distance for the Warriors in the first game, scattered eight hits. All of the Warriors' runs came in the sixth inning, led by a two-RBI single by DH Matt Matlock. RF Derek Rodigo went 4-for-5 with a grand slam home run, six RBI, and four runs scored in the second game. Story The Warriors tied the third game with four runs in the top of the seventh inning of the third game, but the Mustangs won it on an RBI single by SS Brandon Van Horn in the bottom of the tenth. RHP Danny Lutz got the win in relief; he held the Warriors scoreless over the final 3 2/3 innings, scattered four hits.
The Warriors have a one game lead over #18 Vanguard in the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Warriors host Arizona Christian March 18-19.
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