Under The Radar: Dallas BaptistUnder The Radar
Dallas Baptist finally has its full arsenal ready to roll this season.
Look back at last season and you’d think the Patriots were in great shape the entire year. DBU ended the season in impressive fashion, reaching the Fayetteville Regional title game against national runner-up Arkansas. But a further dive into last season paints a clearer picture: Dan Heefner and his coaching staff did an incredible job.
Not only did the Patriots reach a regional title game, they did so while navigating a host of injuries throughout the season.
For starters, the Patriots didn’t have Luke Eldred for times throughout the season, ultra-talented Ray Gaither was injured last season, Jordan Martinson struggled immensely with a 5.85 ERA in just six starts and hard-throwing MD Johnson had a 5.14 in 77 innings.
And that team found their way to a regional title game? Color us impressed.
Heefner knocks on wood when this is mentioned, but the Patriots entered this season healthy and ready to roll, and it showed over the weekend against Jeff Duncan’s high-quality Kent State club.
In a series that was very much under the radar compared to the tournaments in Arizona and series elsewhere, it’s one that could have ramifications for mid-majors such as the Patriots and Flashes down the road later this season. It was expected to be a hard-fought series that ultimately could go either way.
But instead, the Patriots controlled things from the start. Not only did Heefner’s club sweep Kent State, they outscored the Flashes 19-5 over three games and did so with a bevy of quality pitching performances. In other words, the complete opposite of last season, where injuries and inconsistencies led to DBU having a 4.53 ERA by the end of the season.
“The thing I was most pleased about over the weekend was the pitching,” Heefner said., “We’re really new from a positional standpoint, but almost the entire pitching staff has returned. We have high expectations for those guys, and they performed over the weekend. All the starting pitchers were really good.”