When the D3Baseball.com pollsters ready for another weekly vote Sunday night, the parity that has painted the national landscape will once again play into their ballots.
Although top-ranked Shenandoah swept No. 20 Roanoke in Old Dominion Athletic Conference play and fifth-ranked LaGrange closed out a weekend sweep of South region rival Hampden-Sydney to up their win streak to 14, No. 3 Emory wasn’t as fortunate. A day after sweeping past fellow University Athletic Association foe Case Western Reserve, the Eagles weren’t as fortunate on their Chappell Park field. Sophomore infielder Jacob Kucia led a 16-hit blitzkrieg in an 11-2 Spartans’ game one win, while the two teams combined for 35 runs and 33 hits in the nightcap, a game that was finally decided when CWRU scored eight runs in the top of the ninth for a 20-15 victory.
The ODAC didn’t turn out to be all chalk during the afternoon. Bridgewater rallied from a middle-innings 3-1 deficit in the second contest against No. 9 Randolph-Macon with a five-run fifth in route to a 7-5 win. The loss by R-M led Washington and Lee to be the lone league unbeaten, as the Generals moved to 7-0 by sweeping Lynchburg which was topped by a walk-off, two-out RBI single by senior outfielder Matt Wasson in a 7-6 game two victory.
Going deeper into the top 20, No. 13 Johns Hopkins stopped a short skid of three losses in their last four contests, holding off non-league foe Plymouth State 5-4; No. 17 TCNJ stretched its win streak to four by sweeping Franklin and Marshall; and No. 19 Alvernia concluded three nip-and-tuck Commonwealth games against Messiah with a split as sophomores Thomas Malik and Zach Landy combined to blank the Falcons on four hits in the finale. No. 24 Ramapo split with SUNY New Paltz, halting a three game losing streak with a 9-3 win in the nightcap.
Among the many conferences raising the curtains on their campaigns, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic’s might have been the wildest. Mt. St. Joseph, picked for a number eight finish on the coaches poll, turned in an early-season surprise winning two of three from perennial conference final four participant Manchester, as the Spartans took a 6-5 heart-stopper in the finale and preseason favorite Earlham claimed two of three at defending conference regular season and tournament champion Rose-Hulman to highlight results in which all 10 programs recorded victories. Bluffton and Transylvania joined MSJ and Earlham atop the standigs, each sporting 2-1 records.
The West region has been on the diamond for nearly two months and No. 6 Texas-Tyler continued their winning ways with 13-4 and 9-3 wins at host Ozarks. Centenary (La.), the SCAC leader, added two more wins with a sweep of Dallas. The No. 15 Gents won 6-3 and 10-0 to keep their record perfect in conference.
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