BRONX, N.Y. – University of Dayton baseball earned its first-ever berth in the NCAA Regionals with a 3-0 win over Richmond in the Atlantic 10 Championship Finals on Saturday afternoon in front of a national TV audience at Houlihan Park.
The Flyers capped off an undefeated (3-0) weekend to win the program’s first A-10 Championship title after back-to-back wins against Richmond on Friday and Saturday. The Flyers will enter NCAA Regional play having won nine of the last 10 games, including six consecutive victories.
Senior right-handed pitcher Burny Mitchem was named the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player after earning his second save of the week on Saturday. Mitchem, who was also the winning pitcher in Dayton’s first game, threw 2 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and held the Spiders hitless.
Junior right-handed pitcher Parker Schrage (4-6) started on the mound for the Flyers and earned the win after throwing 6 1/3 shutout innings. The Flyers have won in each of Schrage’s last three starts.
Senior catcher Josh Jeffery, junior designated hitter Ian Hundley and sophomore third baseman Robby Sunderman joined Mitchem on the All-Championship Team. Sunderman led the Flyers on Saturday, going 2-for-3 at the plate with one run scored.
Dayton took what would be the go-ahead lead in the first inning as Hundley reached base on a double and advanced to third on a balk. Senior Bobby Glover drove in Hundley on a single through the left side which gave UD a 1-0 lead.
Schrage allowed seven hits in his ninth start of the season, but was able to hold the Spiders scoreless as Richmond left a total of 11 runners on base.
Sunderman led off the third inning with a double to left field – his second of the Championship – and scored on a RBI groundout from Brian Blasik to put the Flyers up 2-0.
Mitchem entered the game in the seventh inning with two outs and two inherited runners. He ended the inning unscathed and closed the game without allowing a hit.
Dayton added to its lead in the seventh on a double steal with runners at the corners – Sunderman stole second and junior Jared Broughton stole home. It was Dayton’s NCAA-leading 161st and 162nd steals of the season.
After winning the A-10 regular season and tournament crowns, Dayton will await its pairing the in NCAA Regionals which will be announced on Monday at 12 p.m. ET on ESPNU.