The 2009 Webster University baseball team became just the third squad in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history to go undefeated in conference play.
Webster, which went 24-0 in the SLIAC in ‘09, was the first SLIAC team since MacMurray College (Ill.) to complete an unblemished conference season. MacMurray went 16-0 in 1996 and 14-0 in ’97.
The 2013 version of the Webster baseball team is three-fourths of the way to another undefeated SLIAC campaign. The Gorloks improved to 26-6 overall and 18-0 in the SLIAC with a 6-1 win over Greenville College on Monday, April 22 in Greenville, Ill.
“I’m sure these seniors — I’d like to think that they would have some pride about their final year, finishing 24-0,” Webster coach Bill Kurich said. “And then obviously, more importantly, 27-0 through the (SLIAC) tournament. … Everybody knows that we haven’t lost, and I’m sure the opposing teams know we haven’t lost. They’re all doing what they can to be the team to beat us.”
Only Spalding University (Ky.) and Principia College (Ill.) stand in the way of Webster’s run at perfection. The Gorloks will travel to Louisville, Ky., for a three-game series with Spalding (25-8 overall, 13-5 SLIAC) on April 27-28. Webster will then close out its regular season with a three-game series against Principia (4-20 overall, 0-11 SLIAC) on May 3-4.
“We feel that we’re a top team in the SLIAC, and we definitely don’t want to give away any games,” sophomore pitcher Isaac Behme said. “… We think we have the chance to win every game. As long as we feel like we have the chance to do that, that’s what we want to do. Especially since we’ve gotten this far, we definitely want to continue to try and win it all without having a loss.”
Behme pitched 5 innings and allowed just 2 hits to the Fontbonne University Griffins in Game 1 of a Sunday, April 21 doubleheader at GCS Ballpark. Webster beat Fontbonne 9-0, as Behme improved his record to 7-2 and his ERA to 2.47. Behme has not allowed more than 1 earned run in his past five starts.
Behme said Webster’s pitchers, who have a 2.76 ERA, push each other to get better. When one pitcher has a strong outing, the next hurler tries to duplicate it.
“We’re all so competitive that we all just naturally want to do as good as the other person that has a good game,” Behme said. “It’s just part of being a baseball player.”
The Gorloks opened their three-game series against Fontbonne with an 11-4 win on Friday, April 19 at GCS Ballpark. After the 9-0 victory, Webster pummeled the Griffins 12-4 on April 21 for the three-game sweep.
The Gorloks completed a season sweep of the Greenville Panthers with a five-run win on April 22. Webster had already defeated Greenville twice before this season.
Junior Dylan Dean Smith, who threw the first nine-inning no-hitter in Webster history on April 13, pitched 7 strong innings against Greenville to earn the win. Smith allowed 1 earned run on 5 hits, as he improved his record to 4-0 and his ERA to 2.73.
Webster, ranked 10th in the most recent D3Baseball.com poll, has won its last 10 games. The Gorloks had a 13-game winning streak earlier this season, which the Washington University in St. Louis Bears snapped with an 8-6 win on April 6.
WashU will once again try to end a Webster win streak when the Gorloks and Bears teams lock horns on Wednesday, April 24 at 3:30 p.m. in Clayton.
The Gorloks then play three games against Spalding before taking on Division-I Illinois State University (22-16 overall) for the second straight year. Webster will travel to Normal, Ill., to play the Redbirds on May 1. Last year, Illinois State beat the Gorloks 6-2.
“Our next five games are against very good teams,” Kurich said. “We’re going to have to play well. If we have a lull, we’ll get beat. But if we don’t, I like our chances against anybody we’re playing, let alone being WashU, Spalding, Illinois State. I like our chances to be right in any of those games.”