June 4, 2011
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Regional Scores & Schedules
Dallas Baptist Trumps TCU
By Sean Ryan
One of the last teams selected to the NCAA
Tournament is one win away from reaching the Super Regionals.
Jared Stafford worked 8.1 brilliant innings, and
Chris Haney stranded the tying run at third base by striking out
Josh Elander as Dallas Baptist edged TCU 3-2 Saturday night. The
Patriots (41-17) await the winner of the Horned Frogs (43-18)
and Oral Roberts, with the winner of that game needing to beat
DBU twice to emerge from the Fort Worth Regional.
“I don’t think we have a chip,” Patriots coach
Dan Heefner said early Sunday morning via phone. “We knew we
were one of the last teams to get in, but we were just fired up
to get the opportunity.”
Dallas Baptist reached the NCAA tourney in 2008
and appeared to be in position again in 2009. When the pairings
for the tourney were announced that year, the Patriots were left
“That definitely leaves a little doubt,” Heefner
The Patriots were in a similar situation this
year – solid RPI, solid schedule and solid showing against the
top 50 in the country (including a 2-0 mark against TCU in the
regular season). But by being an independent, DBU can’t take
advantage of conference standings or gaining a bid by winning a
“Going in, we felt good about it, but we didn’t
feel like it was a slam dunk,” Heefner said.
Since it arrived in Fort Worth, Dallas Baptist
has won a pair of one-run games against Oklahoma and TCU, both
of which played in the College World Series last year. Heefner
said it helps to be familiar with the teams in the Regional,
particularly the Horned Frogs.
“Knowing that they are a great program – they are
one of the marquee programs in the country – if we play our
game, we can play with them,” he said.
Saturday night, the Patriots scored two early
runs off Horned Frogs lefty Matt Purke. Ryan Behmanesh scored
from second on a wild pitch when Elander couldn’t locate the
ball in the first inning. And in the third, Jason Krizan had a
RBI double (his 39th double) for a 2-0 lead.
The Horned Frogs drew even with two in the fifth
on a Taylor Featherston RBI double and Brett Johnson’s RBI
But that was all TCU could muster off Stafford
(8-4), who allowed three hits and two walks and struck out two.
Stafford’s start came a night after Brandon Williamson shut down
“They’ve been great all year, but they’ve had
their best starts of the year in the Regional,” Heefner said.
Landon Anderson stole the spotlight for a couple
of innings. He singled in Joel Hutter (2 for 3), who had doubled
to give the Patriots a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth. The
centerfielder then made five putouts in the seventh and eighth
inning, culminating with a diving and tumbling catch in
right-center field to rob extra bases and end the eighth inning.
Dallas Baptist will try to capture the Regional
on Sunday, which is noteworthy because the school normally does
not compete in athletics on Sundays. Heefner could remember only
one time in his seven seasons that the Patriots played on
Sunday, and even then, he wasn’t sure.
The key to advancing is pretty simple.
“It’s just kind of what’s got us here,” Heefner
said. “Just playing the game the right way.”