Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics
At this rate, Brad Bass will be marking his 900th win before he knows it.
After picking up his 800th career victory during last weekend's road series against St. Gregory's University, Bass added two more to his total at Wilder Field on Friday when the red-hot Pioneers kept their impressive streak going by taking a pair of Sooner Athletic Conference contests from Mid-America Christian University, 6-2 and 12-2.
Wayland (23-6, 11-0 SAC) got complete-game pitching performances from Tom Bailey in the opener and Mason Taylor in the late game. The Pioneers also played error-free defense both games while at the plate got the job done in different ways in each game. After being offensively efficient with just four hits against one of the nation's top strikeout pitchers in the 6-2 win, the Pioneers exploded for 14 hits – including three each by Brayden Blackwell and Jovany Padilla – in the 12-2 blowout as Wayland remained atop the conference standings.
Winners of 15 straight, their longest streak since going 18-0 to start the 2007 season, Wayland will try to complete the sweep against the Evangels (6-16, 3-8) when they return to the field at 1 p.m. Saturday. If they can do it, Bass will continue moving up the wins ladder. The veteran mentor now sports a career record of 804-692, good for 14th place among NAIA's active coaches. Bass, who coached at Hardin-Simmons and Texas Wesleyan before coming to Plainview, owns a record of 544-507-3 at Wayland, where he's in his 19th year.
In Friday's opener, MACU (6-16, 3-8) scored the day's first two runs in the third inning, thanks to a walk, a single, a hit batsman and a wild pitch from Bailey. Wayland's bats bailed out the Pioneer ace in the bottom of the frame, however, when the home team struck for five runs.
Gaby De La Cruz and Aaron Vallance both walked before Mark Davis doubled down the right field line to score De La Cruz. After Josh Alexander walked to load the bases, Damion Lovato was hit by a pitch to tie the score.
It wasn't tied for long as Padilla's double to the left-field corner drive in two . Blackwell followed with a sacrifice fly to center for run No. 5.
The Pioneers tacked on the game's final run in the fourth following the contest's only error, which allowed De La Cruz on board. Colton Palmer singled, then, after a wild pitch, Vallance delivered an RBI-single that the Evangel second baseman knocked down but couldn't make a play on.
The game saw 22 strikeouts, 12 by Bailey who improved to 6-1. The senior right-hander allowed five hits and four walks while his counterpart, MACU's Robert Santana (6-2), picked up 10 Ks with six walks. Santana, also a senior right-hander from New York who ranks second in the NAIA in total strikeouts, averaging 13½ per game, was said to clocked at 95 mph.
In game two, Wayland enjoyed another five-run inning, this time in the first as the Pioneers struck early and often.
Vallance walked and Davis singled before a fielder's choice from Alexander got the party started. Padilla drove in the second run with a single to left before Blackwell came through with an RBI-single down the left-field line. Chris Buitron joined the fun with an RBI-single through the right side before De La Cruz's infield RBI-single made it 5-0, spelling the end to MACU starter Zach Abbott (0-6).
The Evangels got two runs back in the top of the second on a triple followed by a two-run home run by Jake Magness. Wayland didn't flinch , though, as the Pioneers came back with three runs in the bottom of the frame courtesy of a home run to left by Alexander, the fifth of the season for the clean-up hitting junior right-fielder.
While Crosby, who struck out eight and walked three, was shutting the Evangels down the rest of the way, Wayland went on to put four more runs on the board – a solo score on Blackwell's RBI-single in the fifth before a three-spot in the sixth. Alexander singled to drive in his fifth run of the game before Padilla delivered the kill shot by smacking a two-run homer to right for his first round-tripper of the year.
Padilla was behind the plate in both games after Tyler Doolittle was hit in the head by a batted ball during practice early in the week. Doolittle, who was batting a team-best .493, is out indefinitely.
The 12 runs marked the eighth time in Wayland's last 10 games that the Pioneers have reached double figures.