“That kid’s a player.”
Texas-Brownsville head coach Bryan Aughney had that to say after Mount Marty’s Jason Schmidt torched his Scorpions yet again in the Lancers’ 10-5 victory. Wednesday, he went 3-5 with a bases-loaded double and 4 RBI, following up a 4-4, 6 RBI performance in the first meeting of the tournament.
The sophomore also got Scorpions on the mound, pitching seven strong innings in his first career collegiate start, striking out six and walking four. For the closer, he just tried to pitch seven ninth innings.
“My game plan was to treat every inning like the ninth inning,” he said after the game. “It’s the only mindset I had. I guess it worked out.”
The game broke open in the third inning, when MMC scored six runs to take the lead for good. The big blow in that inning, a Schmidt double that one-hopped the wall, clearing the bases. A day earlier, Schmidt’s grand slam in the fifth gave the Lancers the lead.
MMC had a little different setup defensively, as Josh Damewood started in left field. He was replaced by Dillon Lambley late in the game, after the Lancers had built a lead.
Lancer head coach Andy Bernatow had played the DH/1B/P in the outfield a couple times during the season, when the possiblity of starting Jason Schmidt — the team’s leader in batting average — on the mound would mean that they couldn’t use Damewood at DH or first.
“We wanted to get our best offensive lineup,” he said. “We also felt that, the way we planned to pitch (UTB), that he wouldn’t get a lot of action. We don’t want to put kids in a position for failure.”
The Lancers now enter Day 3 of the Bracket 4 Tourney, one of 28 teams with games remaining. Three teams are alive in each bracket, and host Lewis & Clark State awaits the nine bracket winners.
“There are only 28 teams left out of 209 teams that started the season,” Bernatow said. “That says a lot about the talent and the dedication this team has. We’re having so much fun. We want to keep it going as long as we can.
“If we find ourselves in Lewiston, Idaho (site of the Avista-NAIA World Series), that would be awesome.”
The next hurdle in that quest is York College of Nebraska. The Panthers are 45-8 on the season, and have four solid starters on the mound, led by Bruce Amende (12-0, 1.67 ERA, 81 IP, 83 K, 17 BB) and Arvin Perez (5-3, 7.08 ERA, 54 1/3 IP, 61 K, 25 BB). Andrew Matheny (7-2, 6.22 ERA) and Andrew Lowther (6-1, 4.82 ERA) still have yet to start a game in the Bracket 4 Tournament.
The Panthers bat .360 as a team, with their outfield providing the power: Left fielder Justin Lunday (.450, 17 HR, 57 RBI), right fielder Kris Little (.404, 10 HR, 54 RBI) and center fielder Josh Warren (.383, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 39 SB). Shortstop Nick Caravelli (.380, 4 HR, 51 RBI) and third baseman Sam Feiner (.374, 10 HR, 67 RBI, 20 SB) also provide plenty of pop.
Here is a look at their team stats.
Wednesday’s victory gave Mount Marty a school-record 37th victory, breaking the mark of 36 wins that was set in 1994. It just adds to a list of records that have been broken this year.
Hits (67 by 2 players) — Josh Damewood 83
Runs (59, Randy Perry, 1996) — Jason Schmidt 71
Doubles (17, Tim Lorang, 1987) — Jason Schmidt 21, Josh Damewood 18
Saves (6, Jason Schmidt, 2009) — Schmidt 10
RBI (67, Jason Selchert, 1995) — Josh Damewood 69
Triples (6 with 4) — Josh Wenande 4, Jason Schmidt 4
Games Played (53, Dean Hansen, 2009) — Zach Lambrechts, Andy Turbak, Josh Damewood, Jason Schmidt, Josh Wenande (will be broken when the Lancers play today)
Victories (10, Roman Kula, 1994) — Trey Krier 10, Josh Damewood 9
In The Hunt
At Bats (188, Dean Hansen, 2009) — Josh Damewood 183, Zach Lambrechts 183
Batting Average (.478, Tim Lorang, 1990) — Schmidt .470, Damewood .454
Games Started-Pitcher (13, Kevin Kunz, 2006) — Nick Huston 12, Trey Krier 12, Josh Damewood 12
Games Pitched (18, Rand Thygeson, 2006) — Josh Homme 16, Jason Schmidt 16
Strikeouts (86, Kelly Heller, 1991) — Trey Krier 80