• Dayton's fifth consecutive conference win clinches the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Atlantic 10 Championship next week in New York.
• With a win tomorrow
Dayton (16-7) will share the A-10 regular season title with Saint Louis (17-7).
University of Dayton baseball defeated La Salle 4-3 in 10 innings on Friday afternoon to keep its Atlantic 10 regular season title hopes alive heading into the final game of the regular season tomorrow.
Senior centerfielder Bobby Glover capped off a 3-for-4, three-RBI game by driving in Dayton’s go-ahead run in the 10th inning. Senior Burny Mitchem (5-7) pitched the last four innings for the Flyers, holding the Explorers scoreless with four strikeouts.
“Bobby (Glover) has been hitting well all season and came through in a big way today,” Head Coach Tony Vittorio said. “It was great to see him do that, especially since we have not been playing that well offensively lately. We are just finding ways to win and that’s a common trait of championship teams.”
The Flyers improve to 27-28 and 16-7 in Atlantic 10 Conference play. With one win tomorrow Dayton will share an A-10 regular season title with first-place Saint Louis (17-7). With today’s win, UD clinched a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the Atlantic 10 Championship next week in New York.
Dayton recorded three hits in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Freshman first baseman A.J. Ryan drove in Dayton’s run on a two-out single through the left side. Designated hitter Joe Gayda, who reached base after being hit by a pitch, scored on the play.
Senior shortstop Brian Blasik led off the game with a single to left field to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.
La Salle answered with three hits in the second and third innings, respectively, to take a 2-1 lead.
Glover hit a two-run homerun to give Dayton a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning. Glover’s team-leading ninth homerun of the season drove in Ian Hundley, who pinch-ran for Gayda after he was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game.
La Salle tied it in the sixth on an RBI double from nine-hole hitter Jon Gyles.
Mitchem entered a tie game in the seventh inning to relieve starter Tim Bury and retire the side in his first inning of work. Bury pitched six innings with two strikeouts and three runs allowed. Bury’s no-decision on Friday was his first non-winning decision in seven starts.
“The last couple wins have been ugly because we are not hitting well right now, but we are getting great innings out of our pitchers,” Vittorio said. “Twenty-five of our 27 win this season are on the weekends. I thought Tim (Bury) battled today and kept us in the game and Burny (Mitchem) was great coming out of the bullpen.”
In the 10th inning, Blasik led off with a single against La Salle closer Pat Christensen (4-3). A sacrifice bunt from Hundley advanced Blasik to second base. Glover then delivered on his extra-inning heroics with a single to centerfield which scored Blasik for Dayton’s go-ahead run.
Mitchem returned to the mound in the bottom of the 10th and allowed two singles before striking out the last out of the game looking with two runners on base.
La Salle out-hit the Flyers 16-10 and feel to 20-32 overall and 7-16 in conference play. Third baseman Dan Klem led the Explorers with a 4-for-5 day at the plate.
Both Dayton and La Salle did not record an error – the fourth game of the season that Dayton and its opponent have gone error-less this season.
Dayton and La Salle conclude the regular season tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET from Hank DeVincent Field.