As we near conference play, non-conference upsets continue to happen.
Three of the top four in College Baseball Nations Top 50 lost at least one game this past weekend, and that was only the beginning.
Dallas Baptist Storms Over No. 16 Southern Miss in Three-Game Sweep
Dallas Baptist was yet another team that was struggling to find a groove in the early 2022 season.
It’s safe to say they found it this past weekend when they hosted No. 16 Southern Miss.
Dallas Baptist controlled the entire series, winning two close games — 3-1 and 2-0 — in Saturday’s doubleheader before stomping over the Eagles 10-4 Sunday.
Pitching was the name of the game for Dallas Baptist, as Jacob Meador and Luke Eldred dominated in their outings. Meador threw 6.1 scoreless innings while Eldred threw seven of his own. In a Regional, these wouldn’t be two pitchers you would want to see.
Blayne Jones was unbelievable on Sunday, as he went 5-for-5 with a home run and three RBI’s. The shortstop is now hitting .333 to start the season.
Dallas Baptist had a similar start to last season, as they began the season 9-6, the same record they are now. After that, they won 32 of their remaining 44 games. After a Super Regional appearance a year ago, with this pitching staff it wouldn’t be too shocking to see DBU return to the second weekend come NCAA Tournament time.
For now, it’s make-or-break time for Dallas Baptist. After Wednesday, when DBU will travel to play Oklahoma State, Dallas Baptist will play Oral Roberts and Maryland in back-to-back series with a mid-week game against UT-Arlington in the middle. Taking advantage of these non-conference opportunities will only bolster Dallas Baptist’s resume ahead of conference play.
Evansville Sweeps No. 19 Tulane On The Road
Starting the season with a 3-10 record isn’t ideal.
Evansville flipped the switch immediately, as they traveled to No. 19 Tulane and completed a three-game sweep.
In Shane Gray’s first start of the season, he allowed 10 earned runs at NC State. Since then, he's had three quality starts against Dayton, UIC, and this past weekend at Tulane. He stuck out nine in his Friday win. The Purple Aces' Saturday starter, Nick Smith, has been fantastic in his first four starts, as he has posted a 3.68 ERA in 22 innings; he’s struck out seven in each of his last two games.
Tanner Craig had a big weekend for the Aces, as he brought in five runs combined in all three games. He holds a .339 batting average through the first few weeks of the season.
Evansville hasn’t made a tournament since 2006, but with the way they played this past weekend, they could prove to be a threat in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Evansville’s first two weekends were against ranked NC State and Dayton along with a mid-week game at Vanderbilt — not an easy way to start a season.
Now that the Aces have a few wins under their belt, it wouldn’t be surprising if they begin to roll ahead of their weekend series at Northwestern.
Middle Tennessee Takes 2 of 3 From Auburn
Similar to Evansville, Middle Tennessee entered this weekend’s series at 4-9 on the season. Traveling to Auburn, the Blue Raiders were able to take two of three.
Friday, Middle Tennessee’s offense dominated against Auburn, especially Nathan Sanders. Sanders went 3-for-4 with a big 7th inning two-run home run. He followed up Friday’s performance with a 2-for-5 day with a home run in Sunday’s first game; he’s hitting .313 on the year.
In Sunday's second game, Sanders walked in all four of his plate appearances, including a bases-loaded walk to give Middle Tennessee a 4-3 advantage in extras, eventually giving them the win.
The rotation has been strong so far for Middle Tennessee, as their top two starters, Zach Keenan and Peyton Wigginton both have ERA’s below 3.75 in the early season.
After splitting the first two games of the series, Middle Tennessee was able to come back from a 3-0 deficit to clinch the series.
Middle Tennessee now adds their two wins against Auburn to their resume that already included a win over the University of Illinois. But, they have had some struggles early, including getting swept at the University of South Alabama.
There are 16 mid-major teams ranked in this week's top 50.