The University of Dallas baseball team got off to a hot start with series sweeps over East Texas Baptist University on Feb. 3 and 4 and against Sul Ross State University last weekend. The Crusaders dominated ETBU 10-0, 1-0 and 13-2 behind the outstanding efforts of their senior starting pitchers.
Senior Michael Byers got the win in game one with 6 1/3 innings pitched. Leading the offensive attack for the Crusaders were junior third baseman Trevor Allred – who hit a grand slam and finished with five RBIs and two runs – and seniors Devin Arnold and Brian Shelburne and freshman Nolan Kipp, all of whom had two runs in the game.
Senior Stephen Hansen got the win in game two, throwing a complete game shutout in a pitchers’ duel. Senior catcher Varea Costello proved to be the offensive hero, going 2-2 in the game including a double in the bottom of the sixth inning. A stellar sacrifice bunt by sophomore right fielder Alex Thornton moved Costello to third base, and then Arnold knocked Costello in for the game’s only run.
In the third game, 2011 All-American Michael Schweiss notched the win on the mound, throwing six solid innings and giving up only one earned run. Freshman designated hitter Luciano Villanueva led the Crusaders’ attack, going 3-5 with four RBIs and a run in his first career start. Allred hit his second home run of the series and finished with four RBIs in the game. Arnold and Kipp each finished with three runs as the Crusaders put up 13 runs and outscored ETBU 24-2 on the weekend.
The Crusaders swept the SCAC player of the week awards. Hansen was named pitcher of the week and Allred was named offensive player of the week.
UD continued its winning ways in Alpine, Texas, against Sul Ross State University. The Crusaders extended their winning streak to six games and remained unbeaten on the season as they beat SRSU 5-4, 9-6 and 9-8. In game one, Dallas got another great performance from Byers on the mound, who threw 6 1/3 innings to get the win and improve to 2-0 on the season. Schweiss came in to shut the door for Dallas in the seven-inning game. The Crusaders got things going early when junior right fielder Adam Farris hit a three-run home run. Farris finished 2-3 with three RBIs and two runs. Villanueva continued hitting, going 2-3 with a double.
In the second game of the double header, the Crusaders used three different pitchers in the seven-inning win. Starter Hansen threw only one inning and then freshmen Jacob Bruns and Martin Cronin each pitched three innings, giving up one run on a combined nine hits. Thornton went 3-3 with a triple, while Kipp, Allred, Farris and junior DH Nico Caluda had two hits apiece in the game. Shelburne finished with two RBIs and a run, while sophomore first baseman Andrew Bossert had a double, an RBI and two runs.
Dallas lived by the long ball in the 9-8 win in game three against the Lobos. Allred hit a three-run homer in the first inning, and Thornton broke a 7-7 tie in the 8th inning with a two-run shot that put the Crusaders up for good. Junior Chris Schierhorn got the start on the mound and went four innings, giving up two earned runs. Schweiss finished off the game for Dallas, pitching five innings and giving up three earned runs.
The Crusaders look to continue their winning streak this weekend as they travel to Austin College to open up conference play.