DBU Patriots Win Two to Open 2012 Season

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The Dallas Baptist Patriots opened the 2012 season with a doubleheader against Southeast Missouri at Patriot Field on Friday night. Things could not have gone better for the Patriots as they won both games of the doubleheader, fighting through some walks on the mound and a couple shaky defensive plays in the process.

Game 1

The Patriots expect that Boomer Collins will play a big role for them in 2012 and expect him to contribute after transferring a year ago from Nebraska. They did not expect him to contribute as quickly as he did. On his first swing at Dallas Baptist, Collins homered to left center off Redhawk starter Christian Hull to record his first hit, homerun, RBI, and run scored as a Patriot. DBU scored again the next inning as a Chase Durham single, his first as a Patriot, chased home Kenny Hatcher, who had singled and moved to second on an error. That run, though, would only tie the game as Ryan Barnes of Southeast Missouri had homered with a man aboard the half-inning before.

Southeast Missouri would retake the lead in the top of the fourth inning on a two out that scored Jason Blum, who had reached on a leadoff walk. That was one of seventeen walks in the game . DBU starter Jake Johansen issued five of those walks in four innings but also struck out four while allowing three runs. Johansen received a no-decision as DBU scored three in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a two run lead. Those three runs came courtesy of five walks in the inning and an error. They would push that lead to three runs in the fifth inning when Collins singled with one out and then stole second. Joel Hutter, who finished with two hits in the game, singled through the right side and moved up to second as the left fielder Blum threw home. Collins had been held up at third by Coach Jim Blair so Jesse Tierny, the catcher moved up to throw to second and as he did, Collins scooted in behind him to score the run.

That run was important as Southeast Missouri pushed across two in the sixth and the teams traded runs in the seventh. DBU scored their run as Ronnie Mitchell was hit by a pitch and scored on a Duncan McAlpine groundout.

The score would stay 7-6 going into the 9th inning and DBU closer Stuart Pudenz was up to the challenge. He came on with one out in the eighth and picked up his first save of the season on just 19 pitches.

Game 2

Game 2 of the day started with another early Patriot lead. Landon Anderson walked with one out and stole second. He scored two batters later from second as Austin Elkins struck out on a ball in the dirt. Jess Tierny’s throw was late to get Elkins at first and Anderson was able to score on the attempt to throw Elkins out. That at-bat for Elkins was the only official at-bat in the game that he did not record a hit as he finished 2 for 3.

That play gave DBU a 1-0 lead and they pushed across single runs in the third and the fifth but the story on the night for the Patriots was freshman starter Cy Sneed. In his first collegiate outing, Sneed went five innings, struck out five, and did not allow a run to pick up the win. “He was outstanding,” said Head Coach Dan Heefner. “We are most proud of his competitiveness on the mound. He threw strikes, he located, he just came up big when the game was on the line.” Sneed worked out of a jam in the first with a 1-6-3 double play with the bases loaded after allowing back-to-back hits to lead off the game. But from there, the freshman showed why the Patriots expect him to be a big part of the 2012 season.

Blake Webster allowed two runs in his two innings of work but Aaron Gilbreath came on in the eighth to close out the game and pick up a save. He allowed two hits and walked one but did not give up a run. He threw thirty-five pitches in the game that lasted just under three hours on a cool, still night in Dallas.

The Patriots and Redhawks will reload and hope to finish the series on Saturday at 1:00pm. Rain is expected in the area but the teams will look for a window throughout the day for Taylor Massey to make his first start of the 2012 season.