TUCSON, Ariz. – The first day of the 2015 NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic and six teams completed the day undefeated. Missouri-St. Louis, Colorado Mesa, Dixie State, Central Oklahoma and St. Mary’s (Texas) all finished 2-0, while West Texas A&M won its lone contest. The three-day tournament is being contested at Lincoln Park and hosted by Tucson Invitational Games.
With 17 teams (out of 18) playing their first games of the season, the day was filled with excitement as there were two walk-off wins in the bottom of the seventh by the 13th-ranked UMSL Triton and Midwestern St., and a total of five one-run contests. Five more games were within striking distance until the final out of the final frame.
The big upset of the day was Colorado Mesa using a six-run third to go on and knock off No 4 Southeastern Oklahoma State, 6-2 and sit atop its pool after two games. In order to do that, the Mavericks had to fend off a fifth-inning rally from RMAC foe Fort Lewis and hold on for the 6-5 triumph.
In another upset, East Central edged No. 23 California Baptist, 5-3 and finished 1-1. No. 16 St. Mary’s allowed the fewest runs on the day, surrendering just one. The Rattlers (3-0 over New Haven) joined the Tritons (4-0 over Regis) as the only two squads to pitch a shutout.
No. 3 Dixie State cruised to a pair of run-rule victories over Midwestern State (9-1) and Colorado State-Pueblo (11-1) to post the largest run differential on the first day. Sitting behind the Red Storm in run differential is St. Mary’s (+6) after its win over New Haven and 4-1 defeat of Western Oregon. Colorado Mesa and UMSL have outscored their opposition by five runs each, while Central Oklahoma is at plus-four after defeating Metro State, 7-4 and Molloy 7-6. Southeastern Oklahoma is also four runs on the plus side after rebounding with a 15-4 win over Fort Lewis, but is currently 1-1.
Pool play ends tomorrow with each team playing a crossover game staring at 9 a.m. Following the end of those contests, the teams will be seeded and start bracket play at 4:30 p.m. The tournament concludes on Sunday with first games beginning at 8 am and last games at 12:00 p.m.
For links to teams, scores, updates and other pertinent information check out our Tournament Central page.