Welcome to the week of the underdog. There have been a number of notable battles on each the DII baseball and DII soccer discipline this previous weekend by which the lower-ranked groups prevailed. That led to a shakeup in our top-10 baseball rankings — together with the debut of two new groups — and Tusculum’s first South Atlantic soccer title in over a decade.
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So, let’s get to it. Listed here are your new rankings and an entire DII soccer rundown on this week’s DII Report.
DII baseball Energy 10 rankings
Like we mentioned, there’s fairly the shakeup on this week’s rankings, though (SPOILER ALERT!) Colorado Mesa has firmly cemented its view from the highest. There have been huge top-25 showdowns that not solely resulted in some surprises, however led to a few debuts within the prime 10.
Bear in mind, these are my rankings. I have a look at the competitors the groups have performed, the expertise on the rosters after which win-loss information, amongst a slew of different components. Baseball is an extended grind, so one loss doesn’t suggest as a lot because it does in sports activities like soccer and basketball. Particularly in an odd week when so many prime groups misplaced.
DII baseball Energy 10 for the Week of April 11
(all video games and stats via Saturday, April 10)
1. Colorado Mesa | Earlier: No. 1 — Andrew Morris threw seven shutout innings, placing out 15 batters within the Mavericks’ series-opening 15-3 win over MSU Denver on Friday evening. That very same MSU Denver group is ranked No. 19 nationally. The Mavericks then swept a doubleheader on Saturday. So yeah, Colorado Mesa is admittedly good.
2. Central Missouri | Earlier: 3 — The Mules have gained 18 in a row, and are successful in spectacular fashion with an offense that’s clicking. Erik Webb is unconscious proper now. The perennial player-of-the-year candidate is hitting .373 with a 1.198 OPS. He has 11 house runs, however maybe what’s most spectacular is that he has slugged one in six of his final seven video games for the Mashin’ Mules.
3. Tampa | Earlier: 4 — The Spartans did not get to play this previous weekend, which is a disgrace as a result of Barry would have been their third huge check in a row. Nonetheless, Tampa is 9-2 with key collection wins over Florida Tech after which Nova Southeastern. Tampa’s pitching employees has a mixed 2.37 ERA and Coach Urso has one other beast brewing in Florida.
4. Mount Olive | Earlier: 6 — The Trojans hold successful, so that they hold climbing. This week, Mount Olive put up a 17-2 victory over Virginia State to enhance to 25-6. The beginning pitching has been sensational, irrespective of who head coach Rob Watt has thrown in there, however Hunter Stevens and Reed Parris are probably the greatest combos in DII proper now. An enormous mid-week showdown with Catawba awaits Tuesday.
5. North Greenville | Earlier: 8 — The Crusaders’ rollercoaster experience within the prime 10 continues, as they bounce again with a 2-0 week that will get them to 23-6. This roster is loaded in expertise. Marek Chlup was one in every of our 9 hottest hitters in DII baseball this previous week and John Michael Faile is placing up one other All-American marketing campaign. Immediately, this has turn into one of many hardest areas in all of baseball, so the Crusaders have their work reduce out to remain atop the rankings.
6. West Texas A&M | Earlier: First 5 out — Welcome to the highest 10, Buffs. They usually do so in spectacular trend, taking the primary two video games towards then-No. 2 Angelo State. Matthieu Gauthier improved to 8-2, going seven sturdy, permitting no earned runs and placing out seven in a twin of DII aces to open the collection. In the meantime, the Buffs’ lineup acquired Trent Baker out of the sport in 3.1 innings, giving up essentially the most runs he has since final February. The Buffs are clicking all over the place proper now.
7. Augustana (SD) | Earlier: First 5 out — Man, the NSIC is enjoying some enjoyable baseball proper now, and the Vikings are clicking. A 3-1 week will get them to 16-5 on the season and it has been behind some torrid hitting and good beginning pitching. On the bump, Tanner Brown and Ryan Jares have been superb, however this lineup? In 2018 and 2019, the Vikings averaged 36 house runs per season. They’re already at 35 roughly on the midway level.
8. Angelo State | Earlier: 2 — I simply cannot bump the Rams out of the highest 10 with the depth of expertise on this squad. It isn’t like they misplaced to an unranked group, they struggled towards a membership that has misplaced thrice all season. Trent Baker continues to be one in every of DII’s premier aces, and Josh Elvir’s bat is amongst the perfect within the land. It will likely be necessary to see how they reply after their first collection lack of the season.
9. Lee | Earlier: 5 — I am nonetheless on the Flames prepare regardless of a 1-2 week towards Shorter. However let’s face it, Shorter could also be the very best group nobody is speaking about in DII baseball. I nonetheless assume a rotation headed by Logan Workman and a lineup with sluggers like Ryan Beamish and Landon Silver (who’ve a mixed 24 house runs) stick within the prime 10 for now. As with Angelo State, we’ll see how they rebound.
10. Catawba | Earlier: No. 10 — Catawba went 1-1 towards a Wingate group that’s dealing with ranked competitors very nicely in 2021. Bryan Ketchie continues to be the veteran presence on the mound, now 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA and Hunter Shepherd’s bat is nearly as good as any in DII. That huge midweek showdown with Mount Olive may assist the Indians rise.
First 5 out (in alphabetical order)
It was robust to separate the underside few rankings and the primary 5 out, as lots of our prime groups put up extra losses than wins this week. It was a really slender margin that stored these groups out of the highest 10. Sunday or early-week victories can change issues in a short time.
- Azusa Pacific — The Cougars had a tricky weekend towards Biola, however I nonetheless like this lineup and employees fairly a bit.
- Illinois Springfield — The Prairie Stars cut up towards Rockhurst on Friday with out probably the greatest hitters — Zion Pettigrew — within the lineup. We’ll see how they do Sunday.
- Minnesota State — The Mavericks opened the week with two extra wins, however dropped a double-header on Saturday. How they reply Sunday and in a giant midweek collection towards 15-1 Minnesota Crookston can get them proper again within the prime 10.
- Seton Hill — The Griffins are again within the dialog, off to a 12-0 begin behind one in every of DII’s greatest pitching staffs. Sadly, they’ve been idle with postponements of late and could not leap into the highest 10.
- West Florida — The group is hitting .314 and pitching to a 3.73 ERA. The Argos are stable throughout the board and ought to be attention-grabbing to observe down the stretch.
Within the dialog (additionally alphabetical): Columbus State, Lindenwood, Minnesota Crookston, UNC Pembroke
DII soccer: An undefeated conflict and convention title recreation
Tusculum wins first SAC title since 2008: For those who’re questioning how good quarterback Rogan Wells has been, contemplate this. A yr in the past, the Pioneers — sans Wells — have been 5-6. Now that Wells is right here, they went 4-1 and defeated Lenoir-Rhyne, the group I had as my preseason No. 2, for the SAC championship, 28-23.
Wells continued his sizzling streak, throwing for 438 yards and three touchdowns. It was his third-straight recreation with 400-plus yards and he finishes the condensed five-game spring slate with 1852 yards — a ridiculous 370.4 yards per recreation. And per ordinary, Wells was extraordinarily environment friendly, finishing 62 p.c of his passes this season.
The veteran DII quarterback pulled a Tom Brady. Whereas he was ready to win in Valdosta State with speedy, dependable receivers and a backfield secure with good arms, he confirmed this yr it isn’t nearly what’s round him. That mentioned, Tory Ponder and Justice Parham definitely helped the trigger on Saturday, combining for 13 receptions and 237 yards.
Ohio Dominican stays good in a battle of undefeated groups: Findlay and Ohio Dominican rolled into Saturday’s recreation every an ideal 3-0. Findlay, a group thought of within the preseason prime 25, got here into the sport as an offensive steamroller, averaging 44.6 factors per recreation in its three wins.
Ohio Dominican did not care.
The Panthers took down Findlay, 14-10, regardless of being held to simply 192 complete yards by the Oilers’ protection. A wet day made it onerous to get something going for both group, however the Panthers jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the half and have been capable of maintain on. Subsequent for the Panthers? The 4-0 Tiffin Dragons, who’re coming off a 21-0 victory and have allowed simply 14 factors up to now three weeks.
Round DII soccer:
- Tiffin wasn’t at its greatest offensively, however the Dragons’ protection did its half to safe win quantity 4, holding Kentucky Wesleyan to 149 yards.
- Davenport’s quarterback Deondre Ford related with receiver Amonte Ford six occasions for 149 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-22 win over Gannon.
- Charleston (WV) is 3-0. Quarterback Man Myers threw for 283 yards and a landing whereas dashing for 77 yards and three touchdowns within the Golden Eagles 39-10 win.
- Frostburg State’s protection held Alderson Broaddus to 152 yards whereas its offense amassed 532 yards in a 55-0 victory.
- Hillsdale lastly acquired into the win column. Quarterback Luke Keller scrambled for 126 yards and two touchdowns within the victory.
- West Liberty’s Jack Allison threw for 4 touchdowns to 4 totally different receivers because the Hilltoppers improved to 2-2.
- Tabyus Taylor’s unbelievable streak continued this week. He ran for 267 yards and two touchdowns in Notre Dame (OH)’s 55-7 win over Wheeling. He is now rushed for 770 yards in 4 video games because the Falcons’ offensive line continues to be arguably the very best in DII.
- Kentrelle Williams ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns whereas Shemar Bridges hauled in 143 yards and a landing as Fort Valley State improved to 2-0.
- Newberry improved to 5-1 with a 34-9 win over Wingate. The Wolves completed the season as the one group to defeat SAC champs Tusculum.
- Mars Hill lastly acquired into the win column with a giant day on the bottom. Christopher Roberts ran for 192 yards and 4 touchdowns whereas Lafayette Gurvin added 135 yards and a landing of his personal.
- Talking of huge operating days, Missouri S&T improved to 2-0 behind Payton McAlister and Aaron Moya’s huge days on the bottom. The 2 mixed for 339 yards and 5 touchdowns. Quarterback Brennan Simms rushed in two touchdowns as nicely.
- Shepherd returned to the soccer discipline, and although celebrity quarterback Tyson Bagent wasn’t at his greatest, the Rams picked up their first victory of the spring. Ty Hebron ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns to safe the win over Mercyhurst.