CARBONDALE, Ill. - The University of Dallas baseball team cruised past Blackburn College (IL) 14-2 on Friday night on the first day of the NCC-Saluki Tournament hosted by Southern Illinois University. Dallas was led by Jordan Stickler (Grand Rapids, Mich.) who drove in three runs on the night. Four other Crusaders contributed two RBI each. Zachary Taylor (Humble, Texas) shut down the Beavers as he pitched five innings, only allowing one earned run to score on three total hits. Kyle Neel (Houston, Texas) then came into shut the door out of the bullpen as UD rolled to victory. Dallas held Blackburn to four total hits.
Team Scores: Dallas 14), Blackburn College (2)
Team Records: Dallas (6-3), Blackburn College (0-1)
Pitcher Records: W) Zachary Taylor (2-0), L) Lowell Schwartz (1-1)
Dallas got things going early as they put four runs on the board in the opening frame. Jessup Scott (Lewiston, Idaho) grounded out to first with the bases loaded to bring in the first run of the game. Luke Boylson (Fairview, Texas) then singled to right field as two more Crusaders came into score. Paul Scioli Lubbock, Texas) kept the line moving with a base knock to right to bring in another run. The Beavers started the bottom half of the inning with a single and an RBI from Emmett Black to put Blackburn on the board. UD took this 4-1 lead into the second inning.
Both teams escaped pressure in the second frame, allowing no runs to score. Dallas loaded the bases in the third. Stickler then notched an RBI after the base-on-balls as Taylor came into score. UD then extended their lead in the fourth inning. Dallas once again loaded up the bases. Mark Peterson (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a flyball deep enough to allow Nathan Patton (McKinney, Texas) to score. Scioli came up clutch once again with a single through the left side to bring in Scott. The two-out rally continued with Michael Jaquez (Irving, Texas) at bat. Taylor was able to break for home and score on a Blackburn wild pitch.
Blackburn was able to get another run to come across the plate in the bottom half of the fourth, but Dallas hung on to an 8-2 lead heading into the sixth inning. Taylor began the sixth with a walk and eventually ended up on third after two wild pitches. Peterson then drove him in with a single through the right side. Stickler continued his hot night at the plate with 2 RBI to open up the flood gates in the sixth. Patton, who made his season debut tonight, then ripped a double to left center as Stickler and Jaquez came into score. UD wasn't done quite yet. Scott then allowed Patton to score with a double to right field.
Neel came into pitch the final two innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out two men for a solid outing.
Following behind Stickler's outing, Patton, Scott, Boylson, Peterson, and Scioli all drove in 2 RBI each. Patton and Taylor both scored three runs in the game, while Stickler scored twice. Dallas totaled a season-best 11 hits. UD earned 12 base-on-balls and stole two bases on the night.
Taylor notched a career-long five innings and a personal-best eight stikeouts on Friday.
Dallas will continue tournament play against North Central College (IL) tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.