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Wayne Cavadi | NCAA.com | May 9, 2021

DII Report: Baseball strikeout records fall, spring championships heat up

2021 DII college baseball power rankings and season preview

It was a big week on the DII baseball diamond. A new all-time strikeout king was crowned as the Gulf South and Peach Belt Conferences began their postseasons. We are just weeks away from the 2021 NCAA DII baseball championship tournament and things are getting fun.

Spring championship season is underway, with two more selection shows Sunday night. We'll get you caught up there as well in this week's DII Report.

Riley Martin's dominant season continues for Quincy baseball

On Friday, May 7, 2021, Zach Parish struck out his 474th career batter. That crowned Parish the all-time DII baseball strikeout king, now at 479 and counting. However, in Springfield, Illinois, there was another DII pitcher going to work.

HISTORY: Parish is DII baseball's new strikeout king. Look back at his career

Simply put, Riley Martin has had an utterly ridiculous season for the Quincy Hawks. That continued in record-setting fashion Friday night against an Illinois Springfield team that came in at No. 6 in the latest DII Power 10 rankings.

Martin struck out 19 Prairie Stars in a huge 3-2 victory on that same Friday. That 19 was the Quincy single-game record. It was also the best individual DII performance of the season. Of the six highest strikeout performances this season, Martin has five — FIVE — of them. 

His 16th strikeout of the evening was also a historic one, setting the new single-season mark for Quincy. Martin is striking out 17.7 per nine but is still quite a bit off Sam Militello's DII mark of 18.2. It's fair to point out that Tampa's former ace and now pitching coach pitched over 80 more innings than Riley. So, if Quincy, who was a sleeper in our preseason top 25, can make a run in the tournament, and Riley keeps up this torrid pace, he'll have a shot.

The win — which improved Martin, the winningest pitcher in Quincy history, to 9-1 —was huge as Illinois Springfield and Quincy battle atop the Green Division in the GLVC this final weekend of the DII baseball season. It certainly bolstered the Hawks postseason resume.

Around the diamond

  • Cole Friese slugged his 27th and 28th career home runs in a doubleheader on Saturday to become Millersville's all-time home run leader. The Marauders are atop the PSAC East Division heading into the PSAC tournament on Wednesday.
  • Delta State is on fire. The Statesmen — who came in at No. 21 in our preseason rankings and faded away with a slow start — are back in business, absolutely dominating the first two games of the GSC tournament. After taking down Valdosta State 12-2, Delta State exploded for an 11-run third to down No. 1-seeded Lee 13-2. Hunter Riggins is in the zone, tossing a complete game — his second in a row — against Valdosta State, while Jake Barlow continues to pace this torrid offense. 
  • After dropping the first game of the Peach Belt Conference semifinals, North Georgia struck back and swept Saturday's doubleheader. That advances the Nighthawks to their first championship series since 2009. North Georgia hit six home runs on the day — with Crews Taylor going yard in each game — to bring their season total to 86, a new program record. 
  • MSU Denver finished the season 32-8, winners of five in a row and the best single season winning percentage in program history. The Roadrunners will play as the No. 2 seed in the RMAC tournament, behind only Colorado Mesa. The Mavericks extended their win streak to 21 games on Saturday and are now 33-2.

DII lacrosse selection shows set for Sunday, May 9

Let the tournament begin. Well, almost.

You can watch the 2021 DII lacrosse selection shows on NCAA.com beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with the women's following at 8:30 p.m. ET.

WATCH: Men's lacrosse selection show | Women's

Last Sunday, UIndy took down Lindenwood in the first-ever GLVC women's lacrosse championship game by a score of 12-9. That propelled the Greyhounds over the Lions and into the top spot in the Midwest Region. The other No. 1 regional rankings heading into Sunday's show are West Chester in the Atlantic, Mercy in the East and Queens (NC) in the South. 

The men's side has just two regions. Seton Hill sat atop the North in the final regional rankings of the season, while Lenoir-Rhyne was No.1 in the South. The Bears wrapped up the South Atlantic Conference in a 19-14 shootout with Wingate last weekend, while Seton Hill battled in the PSAC tournament this past weekend. 

Keep up with the other spring championships

The DII men's golf tournament championship finalists were announced late Saturday evening. Sixteen teams and four individuals are moving on to the championship which begins on May 17. Follow the entire tournament here

DII women's golf is set to resume championship play on May 11. Click here for a list of the participants.

Northwest Missouri State and Hawaii Hilo were the first two to advance from the regionals in DII men's tennis. Keep up with the bracket here. Hawaii Pacific advanced to the finals on the women's side. You can follow that bracket here.

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