The University of Dallas baseball team recently clinched a spot in the SCAC postseason tournament with three consecutive series wins over Hendrix, Austin and Southwestern, with many of the games ending in dramatic fashion. The Crusaders went 7-2 over their final nine conference games, winning four of them on walk-off hits.
The Crusaders went 2-1 against Hendrix over March 31 – April 1, losing the first game 4-1. UD responded with two walkoff wins, taking game two by a score of 5-4 and game three 3-2 in 11 innings.
Senior left fielder Devin Arnold knocked in the game-winning run during game two, and junior third baseman Trevor Allred did the honors in the series finale. The Crusaders got outstanding pitching performances over the weekend from sophomore Andrew Bossert, junior Chris Schierhorn, and seniors Michael Byers and Michael Schweiss.
The Crusaders followed up by taking two out of three games from Austin College in a must-win series over April 6 – 7. UD won game one 3-0 behind a brilliant start on the mound from Schweiss, who went 7 2/3 innings and gave up only two hits. Byers finished the game on the mound for the Crusaders. Game two didn’t go the Crusaders’ way as they lost 12-5 but they finished the series win by taking the finale 7-3. Sophomores Mark Carlson and Alex Thornton led the way for UD offensively, each going 3-4. Arnold, junior outfielder Nico Caluda and freshman Luciano Villanueva each had multi-hit games for the Crusaders.
This past weekend the Crusaders swept Southwestern in yet another must-win series. They again found ways to make it interesting, taking two of the games in walk-off fashion. Senior catcher Varea Costello was the offensive hero for the Crusaders, coming up with the game-winning RBI hit in the bottom of the seventh. UD got solid pitching performances from Bossert and Byers as they combined to give up two runs on only three hits. Game two went to the Crusaders 6-3. Caluda went 3-3 while Bossert added two hits. Scheirhorn pitched well again, giving up only three runs on seven hits over seven innings pitched. Byers came in to finish things off in the final two innings.
Game three was another dramatic finish as the Crusaders literally walked off with the victory in the 11th inning. Freshman infielder Hunter Berry drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th to give UD the win and clinch a playoff spot in the SCAC tournament. UD won 6-5 behind strong pitching performances from freshmen Jacob Bruns, Jacob Ford and Villanueva. Carlson and Bossert each hit home runs for the Crusaders and combined for three RBIs.
The Crusaders play non-conference doubleheaders on Wednesday and Saturday this week as tune-ups before heading to the SCAC tournament in Memphis. These Crusaders are the first UD baseball team to qualify for post-season play in over a decade.