Patriots Defeat TCU on the Road

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On a day that saw the DFW Metroplex experience several tornadoes and massive damage to areas of the city, Dallas Baptist (18-9) and TCU (14-12) squared off Tuesday night in Fort Worth with the Patriots coming away with a 4-3 win. Freshman Jay Calhoun (1-1) , in his second collegiate start, pitched brilliantly over 4.1 innings, allowing three hits and no runs. The Patriot offense was paced by Ronnie Mitchell and Boomer Collins with two hits apiece while Michael Smith threw 3.1 innings of relief to close out the game and pick up his third save of the season.
The Patriots opened the scoring with one of their best offensive innings of the year. After an Austin Elkins pop out to start the game, DBU picked up singles from Ronnie Mitchell and Boomer Collins, a double from Joel Hutter, and a sacrifice fly from Landon Anderson to take a 2-0 lead after one half inning of play. Mitchell and Collins both finished the game with two hits while Elkins, Hutter and Duncan McAlpine chipped in extra base hits.

Calhoun had to pitch around trouble in the first inning, however. After walking Brance Rivera to open the frame, he saw Jason Coats ground a ball up the middle and had runners on the corners with two outs. He struck out Jantzen Witte on a 3-2 pitch to strand both those runners to send the game to the second inning with DBU still leading by two.

McAlpine tried to keep the DBU momentum going as he tripled into the left center gap to lead off the second but that effort was almost wasted. After a Nash Knight strikeout  and a RJ Talamantes groundout, McAlpine was still on third. But Elkins came up with two outs and increased the DBU lead to three with a double over the head of center fielder Kyle Von Tungeln. That was followed by an infield single from Ronnie Mitchell but both runners were stranded as Collins grounded out to the new pitcher, Preston Morrison.

The score would remain 3-0 until the top of the fifth when Ronnie Mitchell reached with one out on an error by the TCU shortstop, Keaton Jones. With Mitchell on first, Collins hit a ball as far in Williams-Reilly Field as one can without it leaving the park. The ball banged off the centerfield wall, just under the 400′ sign, before ricocheting back to Von Tungeln. Von Tungeln played it on a hop but his relay throw was off the mark as Mitchell scored and Collins moved to third on the error. He was stranded there, though, as DBU was unable to add to its lead and took a 4-0 lead to the bottom of the fifth.

In the fifth, TCU threatened. With Calhoun still on the mound, Jones led off the inning with a sharp one-hopper to the left of Nash Knight at third. Knight dove to his glove side to flag down the hot shot, scrambled to his feet, and threw out the speedy runner. That would be the last batter Calhoun would face in his second collegiate start as he handed the ball to Jake Johansen out of the pen. Johansen gave up a one-out single against his first batter but coaxed Von Tungeln to ground a ball directly on top of second base for a 6-3 double play to get out of the inning.

Johansen would be lifted in the sixth after allowing two runs on a hit, a wild pitch, a hit by pitch, a throwing error by Mcalpine on a steal of third, a passed ball, and a walk. Michael Smith came on to record the final two outs of the inning and get the game to the seventh.

The game would pause in the seventh for 17 minutes. After Smith had recorded the first out on a ground ball to Elkins at second, the lights at Lupton Stadium went dark. The delay would not stop Smith, though. He returned once the lights came back on and retired the first batter on a ground ball to the mound and finished the inning with a fly ball to left off the bat of Von Tungeln.

In the eighth, DBU loaded the bases with two outs but failed to score a run. The bottom of the eighth started with Smith inducing a ground ball to third base but Knight’s throw sailed on him and the Horned Frogs had a runner on second with no outs. Knight’s error was followed by a Josh Elander single into right just past the diving Elkins at second but Smith limited the damage by trading an unearned run for a 6-4-3 double play. A flyout to RJ Talamantes closed out the inning with only the single run scoring and Smith closed out the win with no one reaching base in the ninth.