LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Jimi Keating struck out a school-record 18 batters and Joe Hatcher hit a walk-off single to push Spalding past Aurora, 1-0, in a historic pitchers dual late Sunday evening in Louisville, Ky.
Spalding racked up 22 team strikeouts, tied for third most in NCAA Division III history. The Golden Eagles set the NCAA record with 26 single-game strikeouts March 29, 2015, in a 5-4 win over Westminster. On that day, a freshman Keating came out of the bullpen to earn his first collegiate win striking out 10 batters in 7.2 relief innings. Spalding and Aurora also combined for 35 strikeouts, second most for single-game strikeouts by both teams in NCAA Division III history.
SCORE: Spalding 1 – Aurora 0
LOCATION: DeSales, Louisville, Ky.
RECORDS: Spalding 5-0, Aurora 1-1
- Keating came out on fire striking out the first seven batters he faced to start the game.
- Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Jeff Chapuran doubled to open the inning and advanced to third on a passed ball. The Golden Eagles looked in position to break the tie following a Kyle Stevens walk putting runners on the corners with no outs, but three straight outs left the runners stranded and the scoreboard blank.
- In the top of the sixth, the Spartans threatened with runners on the corners with no outs. However, Keating struck out Austin Wiskow, Dillon Sievert made a run-saving tag at home and Keating fanned Paul Dobravec for his 14th strikeout and the final out of the inning.
- With bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, senior Joe Hatcher pushed a ball through the right side scoring Garrett Wilson for the game winning run.
- Jimi Keating (1-0) struck out a school-record 18 batters, while limiting Aurora to two hits in 8.1 innings.
- Fifth year senior Aaron Mitchell (1-0) came out of the bullpen, striking out four batters and allowing no hits in 1.2 innings of relief action.
- Hatcher went 2-for-5 and drove in the game's only run with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning.
- Jeff Chapuran was the only Golden Eagle who hit the Spartans consistently going 3-for-4, with a double.
FOR THE FOES
- Sophomore Kyle Blunt pitched an excellent game limiting Spalding to three hits, while striking out 10 batters and walking one.
- John Barnes (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing one run, on five hits, while striking out three batters and walking one.
- Jeffery Mayes and Nicholas Mathey led Aurora at the plate with one hit apiece.
- The Golden Eagles wrap up week one of the Derby City Classic against UW-Platteville Monday, February 26 at 6:00 pm EST.