Patriots Win Season Finale, Take Bradley Series

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Box Score

Dallas Baptist (39-17) hammered out a season-high 20 hits on Saturday in Peoria, Illinois and scored a season-high in runs as they rolled over Bradley (26-25-1) to claim the three-game series, 16-7. Michael Smith (4-1) made his first-ever career start and threw five strong innings and Aaron Gilbreath and Patrick Hicks were outstanding in relief as the Patriot offense took advantage of four walks and five hit batsmen to score in every inning except the ninth. Bradley starter Tory Doerr (4-3) was saddled with the loss after allowing four earned runs in 2.1 innings of work. Austin Elkins and Ryan Behmanesh each picked up four hits on the afternoon and were joined by Joel Hutter as each had four RBI.Kenny Hatcher hit his first homerun of the season and Behmanesh his eighth. In all, the Patriots hit 14 singles and six extra base hits, including triples from Elkins and Duncan McAlpine.

DBU scored two in the first, one in the second and third, and two in each of the next three innings. They scored one more in the seventh and exploded for five runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach. Smith allowed a lead off single to Chris Godonez but pitched a three-up-three-down inning thanks to a pick off of Godonez with nobody out. He held the Braves scoreless until the third when they collected two singles and a double to cut the lead to 4-2. DBU continued to pile on the runs, though, and Smith finished the fifth with a 8-2 lead.

Jake Johansen came on to start the sixth and was promptly pulled after walking the first two batters he faced and running the count of the third to 2-0. He was charged with a third walk after Gilbreath threw two out of the zone to start his outing and then Johansen was charged with three earned runs when the Braves struck for a sacrifice fly and a two-run double. Gilbreath was outstanding after that, though. He gave up a solo homerun to start the eighth but surrendered no other runs and Hicks came on to close out the game and the regular season.

DBU will now wait until Memorial Day and NCAA Selection Monday to hear their fate for an NCAA Regional berth. With a solid campaign and a high RPI, the Patriots seem to be a lock for selection but will wait nine days to find out. The Selection Show will be broadcast on ESPNU at 11:00 am on Monday, May 28. Stay tuned to for all the latest and news and notes on regional play.

Coach Heefner Postgame Interview