Williams passes early test

 Buena Vista broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of runs
in the top of the eighth inning at Simpson on
Friday night, and that was more than enough
for Gage Smart (pictured) who came on in
relief to retire all nine batters and send the
Beavers to a 4-2 victory on McBride Field to
begin American Rivers Conference play.
Buena Vista athletics photo

Cortland opened its 2019 SUNYAC schedule with a pair of shutouts verrus Plattsburgh in games played at Piedmont College in Georgia. The Red Dragons won the nine-inning opener, 9-0, on a combined one-hitter by Zack Durant and Andrew Barnes and the seven-inning second game, 7-0, on a combined four-hitter by Matt Valin and Isiah Hudson.

Williams faced the toughest test of its young season with contests against No. 9 Johns Hopkins and a 7-2 Bethel (Minn.) team. Consider those tests passed. The Ephs pounded out 36 hits and 21 runs in the two contests, holding on to defeat the Blue Jays 9-8 in a morning contest and then rallying to defeat the Royals, 12-3, in an afternoon game. Williams improved to 5-0 with the wins. The Ephs have a newly scheduled 1 p.m. game against Denison Saturday in Port Charlotte. Eph senior Doug Schaffer went 7 for 9 with 9 RBI in the two-game sweep. After five games to date, Schaffer has 17 RBI, four more than he had in 2018. Sophomore Erik Mini was 5 for 9.

No. 15 ranked UW-Whitewater snapped a three-game losing streak with a 9-1 victory over St. Thomas (Minn.) in a non-conference contest at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The Warhawks (2-4 overall) broke through offensively with 11 hits and scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth to increase a one-run lead to seven. Sophomore Westin Muir earned his second win of the season, allowing only three hits and one run with nine strikeouts in six innings of work. Freshman Hayden Fox tossed two scoreless innings in relief, and junior Riley Gruetzmacher tossed a scoreless ninth. Junior centerfielder Alex Doud reached base three times and finished with two hits and two runs batted in.

After giving up four runs in the bottom of the first, Trinity (Conn.) put up 15 runs, scoring in all but the first two innings, to defeat the Washington & Lee Generals on Friday afternoon in Lexington, Va. The Bantams conclude their trip south and will return to Hartford with a 7-2 overall record after going 4-2 earlier this week in South Carolina.  The Bantams recorded 20 hits as six players recorded multiple knocks on the day, led by senior tri-captain 1B Johnny Stamatis who was a perfect 6-for-6 with five runs scored, a double and a triple and two stolen bases. Junior RF Matt Koperniak and junior tri-captain DH Alex Rodriguez both tallied three hits and three RBIs, while Koperniak blasted a solo home run in the ninth, his first of the year.

Top-ranked Trinity (Texas) improved to 17-3 overall with an 8-3 win over eighth-ranked Texas Lutheran. In a match-up between programs that produced a 2016 NCAA Division III national title (Trinity) and a 2018 NCAA Division III national runner-up finish (TLU), Trinity took the early upper hand in the race for the top of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2019. TLU fell to 13-6 overall and to 0-1 in the SCAC. The Tigers are 1-0 in the SCAC. Jake Martin delivered a two-RBI single in the second and homered in the eighth for Trinity. Mark Tindall improved to 3-0 with 6-1/3 innings of work. He struck out seven and allowed three earned runs. Nathan Malinovsky dropped to 2-3 for TLU. He went seven innings, struck out nine, allowed 12 hits, and walked four. TLU managed just six hits, and the Bulldogs struck out 12 times.

UW-Superior swept a doubleheader from Carleton at
Kino Sports Complex, winning game one, 15-4 and
coming from behind for a 9-4 victory in game two.

UW Superior athletics photo

After moving up to No. 4 in the national rankings, Concordia-Chicago took to the field for the first time up north against the St. Mary's (Minn.) Cardinals. With a little dramatic flair, the Cougars pulled off their second straight walkoff victory on a Bryan Van Duser single in the bottom of the ninth. With the 5-4 win the Cougar win streak stands at nine. Cole Carman picked up his second win of the season, working the final 4.2 innings. He allowed no runs on two hits and struck out five.

Luke Dahl had two hits and two RBI as St. Olaf downed UW-Stevens Point, 7-5, in a non-conference contest. After a five-run fourth inning by UW-Stevens Point (6-4), St. Olaf (6-2) trailed the Pointers, 5-0, but the Oles scored seven runs off of four hits in the seventh inning to secure the victory. Dahl was 2-for-3 at bat and led the Oles with two hits, two RBI and a run, and Dylan Blake and Jake Ossell each added a hit, run and RBI for St. Olaf. Ben Arndt picked up the victory at the mound as he pitched three scoreless innings and had two strikeouts.

A three-run sixth inning led to a 3-2 victory for the St. Joseph's (Brooklyn) (9-3-1) in the second half of a Friday afternoon doubleheader at Centenary (N.J.). The Cyclones (4-9) took the first contest 9-6 after five runs in the third, but Dominick Caputo drove in two runs for the Bears in their game two triumph. Anthony Palermo put up three runs, two triples, and a double on the day while Louis Lombardi was 3-for-5 with two runs, a home run, a double, and an RBI.

Rowan won a pair of games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. The Profs defeated New York University, 6-1 and then edged Springfield, 5-4 in 11 innings. Designated hitter Anthony Harrold totaled three hits and three runs batted in (RBI) against NYU. Right fielder Eric Schorr followed with two hits and two RBIs. First baseman Mitch Walker scored twice and recorded two hits. In the game versus Springfield, right-handers Dan Corvo and Jean Sapini broke the school record for most strikeouts in a contest. The duo struck out a combined 20 batters over 11 innings, surpassing the previous mark of 18 set on three separate occasions (2018. 2008 and 1955). Corvo earned the win (1-0), throwing seven frames and striking out 14. Sapini pitched four innings and fanned six batters.

Reid Gibbs continued his outstanding play, upping his hitting streak to 15 games by going 4 for 4 as Occidental beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 10-0 in seven innings at Anderson Field. Gibbs, a senior second baseman from Orinda, hit the ball hard in every at bat, sending line drives to left, center and right field. Once he got on base it might as well have been an extra base hit as he stole a pair of bags and made great reads on a couple balls in the dirt to advance. ibbs is hitting .479 on the season which is the best among SCIAC players this season. Nolan McCarthy, who has been arguably the best SCIAC pitcher so far, had another terrific outing, pitching all seven innings for the complete game victory, with four strikeouts and one walk. The seven scoreless innings pitched dropped McCarthy's earned run averaged below 1.00 down to a conference-best 0.88.

No. 19 Piedmont earned a 13-1 win over Berea Friday
to open a three game USA South series. The win came in
eight innings thanks to a final run in the top of the
inning for the Lions.

Piedmont athletics photo by Chris Roughgarden

Another sunny Friday at George "Sparky" Anderson Field was capped off with a Cal Lutheran 7-1 victory over the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens to open the three-game conference series. Leading the way, sophomore Tanner Wright was a perfect 1.000 in on-base percentage on the day, hitting 4-for-4 with one walk, an RBI and stolen base. The infielder currently leads the conference with a .484 batting average (30-for-62), and leads the team with five doubles, three triples, 13 RBI, 22 runs and seven steals in 16 games played. Also with a hot start to the year, senior pitcher Justin Fong is 4-0 in four starts and leads the starting rotation with a 1.15 ERA, allowing just five runs in 39 innings pitched. Today against the Sagehens, the lefty allowed just one run on eight hits while walking two and fanning three in six innings of work.

Denison got five innings of one-hit baseball out of starting pitcher Will McManaman and Vince Walker went off at the plate with two triples, a double and a single to lead the Big Red to a 13-1 win over SUNY-Cobleskill. The Big Red exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning to take a commanding 10-0 lead. In addition to Walker's big day, Max Lahn was 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Brian McAuliffe had a triple and a single with three RBIs and Ty Robinson had two doubles and a pair of RBIs. The only hit allowed by McManaman was a single in the top of the first inning. The rookie struck out five and walked two. Five Denison relievers combined to pitch the final four innings. They scattered two hits and one earned run without walking a batter.

Thomas More won the first of a three game series with Transylvania, 7-6, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky.  The Saints improve to 6-8 and the Pioneers fall to 6-10. Sam Hauer led the team at the plate as he was four-for-six with two doubles, two runs scored and a RBI. Sophomore pitcher Jordan Houze earned the win on the mound as he pitched six innings giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and struck out five. Senior pitcher Jonathan Breeden pitched two scoreless innings of relief and only gave up one hit, while striking out one. Junior pitcher Justin Ward earned the save as he pitched the ninth inning and gave up one run (earned) on two hits, while striking out one.

Benedictine insured leaving the spring break trip with a winning record after swinging past Ripon, 12-8. After riding the pitching staff all week to the tune of one earned run over the last four games, the offense took center stage on Friday. Jack Surin finished with three hits as Benedictine amassed 12. Chase Patterson drove home three.

24th-ranked LaGrange spotted Covenant a first inning lead, then roared back for a 14-3 USA South win at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium. The Panthers upped their record to 16-6 overall and 9-3 in conference play. The Scots slipped to 10-10 on the season and 4-5 in conference play. The Panthers tied a team season-high with 18 hits. Joe Ruth's four RBIs gave him 27 for the season, tying him for the conference lead. McKinley Erves finished the game with three hits and three RBIs. Rhett Hollon had two hits and the three RBIs. Judd Moore had two hits and scored two runs.

Bethany took on Gallaudet at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Florida. The Bison strung together six runs in the eighth to earn victory, 9-8 over the Gallaudet Bison. Bethany took a 2-0 lead over Gallaudet. In the second inning, Josh Lonero drove in Noah Rady and in the third Kevin Roach drove in Neil Woods. The Gallaudet Bison knotted the ballgame at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Roach flew out to centerfield that was deep enough to score Woods in the fifth inning and gave the Bison back the lead, 3-2. Unfortunately, Gallaudet scored five runs in the seventh inning after tying the ballgame in the fifth inning. The Bison didn't let the five running inning affect them though. In the top of the eighth, the Bison scored six runs of their own to put the green and white ahead 9-8.