Year by the numbers: a look back at this past Lindenwood baseball season


Photo by Joshua Robinson

Kolby Schulte goes to celebrate with the rest of the team on May 28, 2021 against Davenport.

Dominic Hoscher, Sports Editor

Led by one of the nation’s top pitching staffs, Lindenwood baseball put together a 34-9 record in its strongest campaign in four years. 

The 34 wins were the most in a single season since 2017 (40) and the second most overall in the conference behind Illinois-Springfield’s 37. Lindenwood’s nine losses are its lowest in a full season in the NCAA era. 

In 2021, the Great Lakes Valley Conference was split into two divisions, Green and Blue. Lindenwood finished first in the Blue division, going 25-7. This was the Lions’ best conference record since moving to the NCAA level. 

Pitcher Justin Taylor throws off the mound ahead of earning the save against Davenport on May 28, 2021. (Photo by Joshua Robinson)

Lindenwood’s first full season in the GLVC saw the team also make its first GLVC tournament appearance. All four games took place at the Lou Brock Sports Complex, where the Lions took advantage of their home-field advantage, winning each game.

Missouri S&T, Southern Indiana, and Indianapolis were the Lions’ first three opponents. Lindenwood out-scored the three a combined 27-6 with its most comfortable victory coming against Indianapolis in the semi-final on May 15, the final score being 9-0. 

In the conference title game against Illinois-Springfield, Lindenwood rallied back from a 6-3 deficit in the 8th inning to win 8-6. The Lions averaged 8.8 runs per game in the tournament and allowed an average of 3.0 per contest.

Over the course of the season, the Lions sported a .312 batting average, ranking sixth in the conference. This marked Lindenwood’s best combined average in four years, and its first season batting over .300 since 2017. 

The offense averaged 7.6 runs per contest throughout the year. This was the fifth most in the GLVC, with Illinois-Springfield leading the way at 10.1 runs on average. Lindenwood’s 14 home runs were the fewest in the league.

Where the Lions lacked in power at the plate, they made up for it with dominance on the mound. The pitching staff’s 3.67 ERA led the GLVC and ranked seventh in the country. They also tallied the most saves (15) and fewest walks (91). No other team had less than 100 walks on the season.

Infielder Alex Canty fields a grounder at the Lou Brock Sports Complex on May 28, 2021 vs. Davenport. (Photo by Joshua Robinson)

Lindenwood posted a 1.28 WHIP on the year, the 10th best number at the Division II level.

Individually, junior Kolby Schulte paced the Lions with 62 hits, the fifth most in the GLVC. Senior Mitchell Krebs had the team’s best batting average at .424 in 39 games. Krebs’ 1.036 OPS also led the team.

On the mound, reliever Niko Marshall, who also started four of the 12 games he appeared in, posted a 2.23 ERA to top the squad. Five other pitchers had ERA’s below 4.00, including three starters in Blake Beckmann, Kyle Hentis, and Tyler Cassmeyer. 

Cassmeyer’s 3.10 ERA was best among those in the rotation, but Beckmann wasn’t far behind with a 3.11. Hentis, in nine starts, finished the year with his ERA sitting at 3.51.

The consistent hitting and strong pitching gave the Lions a chance at competing in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2017. Lindenwood won the first game in the Midwest Regional, which was held in St. Charles, over Davenport (Grand Rapids, Michigan) 6-2.

Despite the hot start in the tournament, the Lions allowed a combined 14 runs over their next two games against Trevecca Nazarene (Nashville, Tennessee) and Northwood University (Midland, Michigan). The consecutive losses ended the Lindenwood season with the 34-9 record.

Wingate University (Wingate, North Carolina) won the national championship 5-3 over Central Missouri (Warrensburg, Missouri) on June 12.