Baseball Rebounds with Win Over Bulldogs

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Box Score

A day after struggling at the plate against Louisiana Tech (11-11), Dallas Baptist exploded for 13 hits on Friday night in Ruston and received a quality pitching performance from four different pitchers, including starter Taylor Massey (4-1), in route to a 7-3 win to split the first two games of the three-game series. In all, DBU (14-7) pitchers struck out 16 Bulldogs in the game and Joel Hutter led the offense with four hits and four RBI.

Dallas Baptist jumped on top in the first inning thanks to a two-out triple from Hutter, his first triple of the year, which scored Austin Elkins and Landon Anderson, who had both singled. The Hutter triple  skirted just inside the bag at first base and into the right field corner, easily scoring the two runs. Duncan McAlpine grounded out to strand Hutter at third but Massey headed to the mound with a two run lead.

Massey began the game in remarkable fashion, striking out six batters in the first two innings. One of those batters, Bre’shon Kimbell, reached first on a wild pitch in the first inning but Massey pitched around that, and a leadoff single from Sam Alvis, to keep the Bulldogs scoreless.

Through five innings, Massey had collected 12 strikeouts-  but not before the Bulldogs tied the score at two. Taylor Burch blooped a ball in front of Anderson in center with one out in the fifth and scored on a Beau Bayliss homerun down the left field line. Bayliss was out in front of a Massey breaking ball and just got enough of it to clear the 315 sign down the left field line.

The Bulldog lead did not last long, however, but it took a while in the sixth for the Patriots to scratch across three runs. Two strikeouts led off the inning before Hutter doubled high off the center field wall. He would score one batter later as McAlpine singled sharply to center. The next batter, KJ Alexander, also singled to center to plate McAlpine, who scored ahead of the throw from centerfielder Justin Gordey. On the play, catcher Kyle Arnsberg then tried to retire Alexander moving up to second but his throw sailed wide and got past everyone, including Gordey. Alexander was waved home by third base coach Jim Blair but began to stumble halfway to the plate. By then, Gordey had recovered and relayed the ball back toward home but Alexander scored as that throw sailed high and away from Arnsberg, who collided with Alexander on the play.

After all was said and done, DBU had a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but Louisiana Tech would answer with a run of their own in the sixth, this one scoring on Massey’s 13th strikeout (a wild pitch) after a double and groundout. Massey would not record another out in the game as he allowed two more baserunners and gave way to Jordan Staples with men on first and second and one out. Staples would record an unconventional double play to get out of the inning as he struck out Gordey on a breaking ball in the dirt and McAlpine threw out Stephen Gandy trying to advance to second.

Massey ended the night with 5.1 innings pitched, four hits allowed, and the 13 strikeouts. He allowed three runs, all earned, and walked two.

In the top of the seventh, DBU increased their lead on an Elkins double (his third hit), an intentional walk to Collins, an Anderson infield single, and a Hutter double off the left center field wall. Those RBI, his third and fourth of the game, came on Hutter’s fourth hit and he finished the day a homerun short of the cycle.

Staples lasted 1.1 innings and gave up no runs and no hits, but did walk two, before handing the ball to Aaron Gilbreath with runners on first and second and two outs in the seventh. Gilbreath walked Bulldog first baseman Alex Williams to load the bases before getting Kimbell to fly out to a diving Boomer Collins in right field to end the threat.

Gilbreath pitched around a leadoff infield single in the eighth, thanks to a 1-6-3 double play, and Stuart Pudenz entered in the ninth to close out the game in a non-save situation. He struck out one and walked one in facing four batters on the night.

The Patriots and Bulldogs will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow at 1:00 pm at JC Love Field in Ruston.