The regular season has come to a close, with some expected results (Rice atop Conference USA) and some unexpected (Missouri number two in the Big 12). Regardless of their team’s fortunes, future Bombers across the country have delivered valuable contributions in the stretch run.
Ryan Weber capped off a standout season by etching his name into the Temple record books. With a 3-for-6 day at the plate on Saturday, Weber ran his hit total to 86, breaking a 22-year-old Temple record for safeties in a season. He compounded his historic day by lining a tie-breaking double in the top of the eleventh inning that plated two of his three RBI on the afternoon. Finally, he moved from shortstop to the mound in the home half of the eleventh, pitching a scoreless frame to earn his team-leading fourth save in just six appearances. The rest of the week was more of the same for Weber, who notched a hit in every game to run his average to .368. He finished the regular season tied for the Atlantic 10 lead in hits and sixth in the conference in batting average.
Scooter Hicks helped Missouri to its best finish in Big 12 play with the same spotless relief he has delivered all season long. In Thursday’s opener against Oklahoma State, Hicks halted a Cowboy rally in the eighth, then pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his fourth save of the spring. He delivered a scoreless ninth one night later to up his save total to five and clinch the series against their conference foes. Earlier in the week, Hicks got a taste of the TCL when he pitched a perfect ninth in a wood-bat game against Illinois.
Rice’s Jess Buenger helped the Owls secure the top seed in the Conference USA post-season tournament with a sweep of Memphis to close out the regular season. Buenger notched a hit in each of the three contests, including a two-run single in the sixth on Friday that gave Rice a come-from-behind victory.
Houston’s John Touchton continued to make the most of his increased time on the hill during Conference USA play. On Saturday, Touchton delivered 3 1/3 innings in relief in a loss to conference foe Southern Miss. He allowed just one run while striking out three. Earlier in the week, Touchton threw three scoreless innings out of the bullpen in a non-conference matchup with Sam Houston State.
Will Currier and his Duke Blue Devils closed the regular season with a difficult week, but Currier managed to end it on a high note. The Miami Hurricanes had put up 14 runs against the Blue Devils before Currier entered the game in the sixth inning. But the freshman shut down the Miami offense the rest of the way, pitching a scoreless 2 1/3 innings and giving up just one hit.
Though Texas A&M dropped its series to rival Texas, Dane Carter made the most of his chances. Carter went 2-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base, and he scored one of the Aggies’ two runs on Saturday night. On Friday night, Carter also stole a base, giving him three on the season.
Coach Kevin Moulder saw his Central Missouri Mules’ season come to an untimely end on their home field on Sunday. Playing host to the Central Regional of the Division II playoffs, the Mules opened with wins over Winona State and Emporia State. A Saturday loss to Nebraska-Omaha moved Central Missouri to the losers bracket, where the Mules responded by dispatching Emporia State. Needing to win twice against Nebraska-Omaha, the Mules fell on Sunday by a 9-4 score, ending Central Missouri’s season. The Mules finished the campaign with a 51-13 (.797) record, the seventh time in the past eight season they have surpassed the 50-win plateau.