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Wayne Cavadi | | August 21, 2020

College baseball's most unbreakable records

Robin Ventura's 58-game hit streak, explained by Robin Ventura

Jim LaFountain and Robin Ventura are two names well-known in college baseball lore. They both pulled off feats decades ago that have yet to be matched in the NCAA baseball official record books. 

We wondered what other records out there are so formidable that they are likely to never be eclipsed. So, we searched each of the 74 pages in the Division I books to see what else we could find. If we missed one you think deserves recognition, let us know by sending us a note

Here is a look at the DI college baseball records that we think will (probably!) never be broken:

Jim LaFountain’s three grand slam day — March 24, 1976

That actually undersells his day: LaFountain also had a two-run home run for a total of four dingers and 14 total bases, all by the fourth inning. But it was his grand slam in the second inning and two more in the third inning that has his name in the college baseball record books more than four decades later. There have been six players to replicate the two in an inning, but three in a game? Nary a one. Just think about those numbers one more time. You’d be hard-pressed to pull that off in a video game.

RECORD DAY: LaFountain and college baseball's most unbreakable record

Marshall McDougall’s 16-RBIs in a game — May 9, 1999

When the dust settled in this memorable game, Florida State defeated Maryland 26-2. Sixteen of those runs came off the bat of second baseman Marshall McDougall. He started off the day with a base hit and then blasted six home runs in his next six at-bats — also the NCAA single-game record — and powered his way past LaFountain’s mark of 14-RBI in a single game with his 7-for-7 day.

Pete Incaviglia’s 100 career home runs

High Five: College Baseball's Best Players

Whether it’s because of a different ball or a different bat or a different era, there is no one that will come close to Inky’s mark. In fact, there hasn’t been a player even in the conversation since Florida’s Matt LaPorta’s career ended in 2007 — and he was still 26 home runs shy of Incaviglia’s mark. His 48 home runs in 1985 accounted for almost half his blasts and is a single-season record that will likely never be touched either. 

ALL-TIME GREATS: College baseball's career home run leaders

LSU’s 188 home run onslaught in 1997

Vanderbilt led college baseball with 100 home runs in 2018, leaving the Commodores 88 shy of this absurd season by the Tigers. LSU had nine players hit double-digit home runs, powered by Brandon Larson’s 40 and Eddy Furniss’ 17. Furniss found his place amongst the greatest college baseball home run hitters of all-time, as did Brad Cresse who “only” had nine home runs in his 1997 debut. The Tigers homered in every one of their 70 games that championship season.

John McBroom goes 9-for-9 for Air Force on May 10, 1967

You have to wonder how often a hitter even comes to the plate nine times in a game, never mind get a hit in every one of them. McBroom had a day that was as good as most player’s weeks in the Falcons' 38-7 victory over Colorado College. Per the Air Force baseball record books, McBroom ripped a single-game record five extra-base hits — two doubles, two home runs, and one triple — to go along with four singles (that’s 19 total bases, folks) while driving in 12 of the Falcons' 38 runs.

Robin Ventura’s 58-game hitting streak — 1987

In 1988 Robin Ventura was college baseball's best

The amazing thing about Ventura’s massive hitting streak is it is only part of the greatness of his career. Here’s a guy who led the nation in RBI as a freshman in 1986 and then won both the Dick Howser and Golden Spikes Award two years later in 1988. In between, Ventura recorded what he will forever be remembered for in Oklahoma State’s run to Omaha in 1987. 

AWARD HISTORY: The essential guide to the Golden Spikes | Dick Howser

Here’s a fun fact about the hitting streak. It came to an end in the College World Series against Stanford. That day Jack McDowell — who would become the Chicago White Sox first-rounder that same season — was the pitcher who ended the streak. A year later, Ventura would be reunited with McDowell as the White Sox’s 1988 first-round MLB draft pick.

MORE: Robin Ventura on his 58-game hit streak and why he's back in Stillwater where it all began

(Note: Per the Division III record books, Damian Costantino of DIII Salve Regina hit in 60-straight games from April 1, 2001, to March 10, 2003. Though this wasn't DI, nor in a single-season like Ventura's, it is certainly impressive enough to mention.)

Phil Stephenson’s career runs scored record

Let’s be honest. Wichita State’s greatest offensive weapon of all-time could have his career as an unbreakable record. He’s college baseball’s all-time leader in hits (418), total bases, (730), walks (300), and stolen bases (206). So, why does his runs scored record stand out?

Stephenson crossed home plate 420 times from 1979-82 with the Shockers. While all of the above records have been approached in recent history, there hasn’t been anyone even close to Stephenson’s run record. The next closest is BYU’s Gary Cooper, 100 runs short of the Shockers’ all-time great.

George Plender tosses 57.2 scoreless innings in 1954

The Vermont ace's record actually extends into 1955 when he made it into the third inning of his first start before someone actually scored a run on him for 60-straight shutout innings. The one-season stretch really stands out, especially when you consider he threw six straight shutouts to end the 1954 campaign. Many think Plender is amongst the first to master the knuckle-curve which may very well have contributed to his success.

Arizona State goes nearly 10 years without being shut out

The way these college baseball players tear the cover off the ball these days with launch angle and exit velocity metrics available, it may be possible that a run like this starts. But as of right now, there’s no one even close to this. From April 7, 1995, to February 15, 2004, the Sun Devils played 506 straight games without being shut out. The next closest to this feat? Coastal Carolina went 349 games from April 16, 1983, to April 10, 1989.

CWS RECORD BOOK: 9 records that will never be matched in Omaha

Mike Martin's 40-win seasons for 40 years

Florida State players and coaches on Mike Martin's final season

"Eleven" — as he became known around both Florida and Omaha — is the winningest coach in NCAA history in every sport at every level with more than 2,000 victories. His career came to an end in June of 2019, fittingly in Omaha, where he finished off his 40th consecutive 40-win season. Most coaches won't hang around that long as it is, especially not with that success.

Fan's choice — College baseball records we may have missed

We asked you to point out any records that may have escaped us and a few were mentioned more than once. Here are two additional records to add to your list.

Florida Atlantic ties Texas' mark of 34-straight wins
In 1977, the Longhorns opened their season winning 34 consecutive games. The streak — which lasted from Feb. 18 to March 25 — ended in a heartbreaker, with Texas losing to Rice in 14 innings by a final score of 4-3. Twenty-two years later FAU tied the mark, going from Feb. 19 to April 17 without a loss.

Don Guillot's single-season stolen base mark
Guillot was a nightmare on the base paths from 1983-97 for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Broncs. His 107 stolen bases in 1987 broke the NCAA single-season record set two years prior by UCF's Tim Barker. The amazing thing was Guillot needed 15 fewer games to do it. As the story goes, UTRGV's all-time stolen base and runs scored leader had his thumb broken on his 106th stolen base. The next day, he went out and stole 107 while scoring three runs. The man was just unstoppable once he got on base.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 16 - 26, 2023
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

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