The ABC's of upsets

Aurora knocked off nationally ranked TCNJ on a
day that saw many teams in the Top 25 get losses.
Aurora athletics photo by Steve Woltman

Aurora will return home following an impressive 8-3 victory over #19 The College of New Jersey in Florida. Aurora and TCNJ traded three run innings before the Spartans exploded for four seventh inning runs and brought in Chris Roycroft who shut down the Lions to earn the win.

Case Western Reserve continued its strong start to the 2018 season, defeating fifth-ranked Cortland 3-2 the first game of the Spartan Southern Classic at Lexington County Stadium in Lexington, South Carolina. Junior right-handed pitcher Mark Gross guided the Spartans to the win with a strong effort on the mound, allowing just one earned run and two total on six hits and a walk over eight and two thirds innings of work, while striking out six batters.  He retired 14-straight batters between the fourth and ninth innings, and threw just 110 total pitches in the game, en route to improving to 1-0 on the year. Cortland won an evening contest 7-3 over Roger Williams.

With Berry and No. 24 Birmingham-Southern combining for 35 hits, The Vikings outlasted Birmingham-Southern 16-10 to complete a three-game sweep of the Panthers. Both Dylan Beasley and Spence  Johns led Berry's offense in the win, hitting 4-for-5 at the plate, with Devin Post adding an additional three hits in the game as well.

Rookie Zach Carney hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to snap a 10-10 tie and UW-La Crosse Eagles held on to defeat the No. 10 Southern Maine, 12-11, in a non-conference game.  The game was the season opener for the Huskies. Trailing 10-9 going into the top of the sixth, the Eagles scored three times against USM sophomore reliever Ben Lambert on an RBI double from senior Nate Roethle and Carney’s two-run bomb to take a 12-10 lead. Southern Maine got one back in the eighth and loaded the bases in the ninth with one out, but UWL junior closer Mason McMahon got a strikeout and fly ball to escape and earn the save. Sophomore Brennan Schmitt had five RBI for the Eagles on a first-inning grand slam homer and an RBI single in the fourth. Sophomore Zach Pronschinske picked up the win for UWL with 4.2 innings of one-run relief.

A total of 22 hits and 17 runs over the middle innings carried top-ranked UMass-Boston to a one-sided 19-1 win over Nichols at the Winter Haven complex. UMass Boston saw Charlie Huegi, Kyle Boudrias, Dave Murphy, Anthony Cecere, and Eddie Riley each record two hits.  Junior transfer Wanderson Pinales (Bani, D.R.) had his best day at the plate as a Beacon as the outfielder went 4-for-5 with four runs scored.  Riley led the Beacons with four RBI and a run scored, while Ryan McCormick knocked-in three runs of his own on a double. Nichols lost to Ohio Wesleyan later in the day.

Whitworth got two strong performances from starting pitchers and Taylor Poffenroth homered twice as the Pirates knocked off 18th-ranked George Fox 10-3 and 7-0 in a NWC doubleheader at Merkel Field. Whitworth improves to 9-7 overall and 4-1 in the NWC while the Bruins fall to 14-5, 8-3.The Pirates finished with 27 hits in the two games, more than enough offense for starting pitchers Hugh Smith and Brady Simmelink.

Sean McCracken and Josh Hejka combined on a six-hitter as No. 12 Johns Hopkins outlasted Manhattanville 2-1. Frank Clara scored both Blue Jay runs, the first on a solo hme run, the second on Mike Smith's seventh inning single. Manhattanville's Luke Scoggins accounted for their only run with a home run in the eighth.

The 13th-ranked Methodist Monachs totaled 28 runs as it swept a doubleheader with Berea in USA South play at Armstrong-Shelley Field. In game one, the Monarchs registered a 13-0 win in seven innings before taking the second half of the twinbill 15-4. Methodist outscored the Mountaineers 43-5 over the weekend series.  Four Monarchs registered multiple hits as every batter reached base in the first game of the afternoon. Alex Kachler finished 2 for 3 with three RBI and a walk, while Tucker Criswell was also 2 for 3 and scored two runs. Parker Clayton went 2 for 2 with three RBI, two runs scored and a sacrifice fly.

Matthew Franklin got the start for Roanoke in
game one and went six innings, scattering
seven hits and giving up just two runs, while
striking out four.

Roanoke athletics photo

No. 14 Roanoke scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to break open a tied game and go onto a 7-3 win in game one of the ODAC doubleheader. Roanoke did not need the end of game dramatics as they earned a sweep of the doubleheader with a 6-5 win in game two.

Sophomore John Brinkman had a four hit day to help Washington University defeat No. 21 Wheaton (Mass.) 5-4 in its opening game during spring break trip in Florida. The Bears improved to 5-3 on the season with their fifth consecutive victory while handing the Lyons their first loss (3-1). Brinkman totaled four of the Bears nine hits, while sophomore AJ Dunham provided the walk-off hit in the ninth inning following a Brinkman double. Brinkman also collected the victory after the Lyons tied the game up in the ninth after an error fueled run equaled the score at 4-4. Wheaton took a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, but WashU scored a single run in the final three innings to clinch its first win over a nationally ranked opponent this season.

Junior Jeff Butler went 5-for-9 with three home runs and eight RBI as 20th-ranked Randolph-Macon belted eight dingers in powering past Emory & Henry to begin ODAC play. The Yellow Jackets took game one by a score of 19-6 and won the second game 22-5 in seven innings over the Wasps.

No. 15 Shenandoah opened its 2018 ODAC slate by splitting a doubleheader with Lynchburg. Shenandoah was a 5-1 winner in the opener before Lynchburg came back to win 7-3 in the nightcap. Shenandoah senior Colin Morse was dominating in game one with eight strikeouts and just two walks in 6 2/3 innings pitched. Classmate Michael Bugonowicz, the current ODAC Pitcher of the Week, came on for Morse with runners on second and third in the seventh and snuffed out the LC threat. Bugonowicz did not allow a hit over the final 2 1/3 to pick up his first save of the season. Senior Lynchburg catcher Tyler Wood spearheaded the game two victory, going 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run, two doubles, and five RBI in Game 2, while senior right-hander David Goulding tossed five strong innings in relief to earn his first win of the season.

Right-hander Andrew DiPiazza took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and tied the school record with 15 strikeouts in 25th-ranked Rowan's 14-0 win over Ripon at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. DiPiazza improved to 2-0 on the year, twirling seven shutout frames and surrendering just two hits. He equaled the University mark of 15 punchouts held by Ryan Kulik (March 10, 2008) and Robert Pfeffer (April 20, 1977). DiPiazza walked the second batter in the first inning and proceeded to retire 17 consecutive Red Hawks. Second baseman Nick Taranto broke up the no-hit bid with an infield single to lead off the seventh.

Sophomore pitcher Patrick Maybach hurled seven more innings without allowing an earned run and struck out 13 more batters as No. 24 Salve Regina defeated Wartburg, 6-1, during RussMatt Invitational action at Henley Field in Lakeland, Fla. Maybach's offensive mates collected a dozen basehits including doubles by Zack Smith, Tristan Dacey, and Colton Eremian while scoring in four of nine frames. These two schools met for the first time in any sport. The Knights had won five straight until an 8-3 setback against UMass Dartmouth earlier in the day on Henley Field, and now carry a two-game losing skid heading into their final Florida game against SUNY Oswego.

Redlands continued their bout against non-conference competitors with a doubleheader against No. 8 Centenary (LA). Under drizzly conditions, the Bulldogs split results in two, two-run games by final scores of 5-7 and 4-2. Game one started as a pitchers duel but all that changed in the middle innings as the Gents outscored The Bulldogs. Game two saw Redlands continue their middle inning success with the bat but also dominated on the mound to gain a split.

Oberlin earned a split with No. 3 Washington & Jefferson, taking game one 5-4 before dropping the nightcap 5-1. Senior Sean Kiley earned his first win of the season as he was masterful through the front five innings, surrendering just two hits and three walks over 101 pitches of work. The Studio City, California, native racked up eight strikeouts to run his season punch-out total to 25 through three starts on the year. Oberlin managed just three hits in game two as W&J senior Bryce Schnatterly kept the Yeomen bats at bay in the complete-game victory.

No. 16-ranked Texas-Tyler and Hardin-Simmons split an ASC doubleheader with the Patriots earning a 14-5 win in the opener followed by the Cowboys taking an 11-6 win in the series finale at Hunter Field. The Patriots dropped the series with HSU as the Cowboys took two of three on its home field. The Patriots opened with the 14-5 win after scoring nine runs in the top of the seventh against the Cowboys who committed seven errors in the game, including three in the final inning. In the finale, HSU broke the game open with four runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth inning.

No. 11 Oswego State kicked off their week in Florida with a doubleheader split against St. Joseph's (LI). The Lakers dropped the morning matchup, 2-1, before cruising to a 12-6 victory in the afternoon game. SJC starter Nick Clemente settled in after allowing an early run and held the Lakers scoreless until giving way to Anthony Papa in the seventh who pitched around three walks to preserve the 2-1 win. Game two starter Brian Nolan earned the win in giving up one earned run while striking out 10 batters. Quinn MacDonald pitched the final fours outs to secure the Laker victory.