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Division II College World Series Recap 5/27


Ouachita Baptist 12 Tampa 10

SAUGET, Ill. – Down seven runs after three innings, the fourth-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team battled back and did the unbelievable by sending No. 3 Tampa home with a 12-10 come-from-behind victory against the Spartans during Tuesday’s NCAA Division II College World Series play at GSC Ballpark.

“Our team was resillant tonight,” Tigers head coach Scott Norwood said. “They did it all and hung together. They deserve all the credit. You’re never going to be the best unless you beat the best. Tampa is the two-time defending champs and it was a great accomplishment from our program to go out there and fight back to get the win.”

Tampa (42-11-1) got a one-out base hit by Paul Cruz, who came scored when Jose Jimenez ripped a two-out base hit to center to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

Walks killed the Tigers and starting pitcher Chase Baran in the second as the Spartans scored four runs.

With one out in the inning, Leo Alvarez, Ryan Williams and Rob Kane drew back-to-back-to-back walks. Junior Mejia singled to left center to plate Alvarez and Williams. Cruz reached on an infield single to load the bases for the second time in the inning. An error by Destan Makonnen at first allowed Kane and Mejia to score.

The Spartans added to the margin in the third.

Nolan Brannon was hit by a pitch on a 3-2 count and after a pitching change, Alverez crushed a 3-2 offering from relief pitcher Alex Smith over the left field wall.

Ouachita Baptist (48-15) got on the board in the top of the fourth by scoring a run on three hits.

Jim Streicher, who went 2-for-6, led off the inning with a single to left and moved to second on an error by the Spartans left field. Rudy Jovanovski reached on a base hit through the right side to move Streicher to third. With one out, Chad Taylor plated Streicher with a single through the left side.

The Tigers continued to chip away at the Spartans lead by scoring five runs to knock Tampa starter Kevin Ferguson out of the game.

Drew Wurzelbacher, who went 2-for-4, doubled to left to begin the inning. A ground out to second by Blake Lockwood, who went 2-for-4, moved Wurzelbacher to third. Justin Pennell picked up an RBI with a base hit to center to score Wurzelbacher.

Streicher reached on a fielder’s choice as Pennell was out at second. Jovanovski followed with a single to center. Destan Makonnen, who was 1-for-4, ripped a two-out single up the middle to score Streciher. Taylor, who went 2-for-3, crushed a 2-1 offering Ferguson over the left field wall to plate three more runs.

“We wanted to get to him early,” Taylor said. “I saw the pitch I wanted and was able to connect on it.”

The Tigers tied the game in the top of the sixth.

Wurzelbacher reached on an error by Jesse Barroso and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lockwood. Pennell stroked a 1-2 pitch off reliever Anthony Perez into right to score Wurzelbacher.

However, back came Tampa in the bottom of the frame.

After a one-out walk to Paul Cruz, Barroso reached on an error by Jovanovski. A hit by Jose Jimenez plated Cruz. Barroso scored on a sacrifice fly to right to give the Spartans a 9-7 lead.

Tampa added to the margin in the bottom of the seventh.

Alverez doubled to the wall in left center to begin the bottom of the seventh and moved to third on a ground out by Ryan Williams. Rob Kane reached on a fielder’s choice as Alverez scored the bunt squeeze play.

The Tigers responded by scoring three runs, helped by a three-run homer by Pennell, to tie the game at 10 in the eighth.

Wurzelbacher led off the inning with a single through the right side and moved to second on a base hit through the left side by Lockwood. Pennell belted his 15th homer on a 2-0 pitch by Perez over the wall in right to tie the contest.

“He elevated a changeup,” Pennell said. “I was looking for something to drive and when he elevated the pitch, I was able to get all of it.”

The Tigers broke the 10-10 tie in the top of the ninth.

Maus led off the inning with a single to center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wurzelbacher. After a pitching change, Lockwood ripped a base hit through the right side to score Maus, giving Ouachita Baptist the lead for the first time. Pennell reached on a bunt single to advance Lockwood to third. Lockwood scored on the double to steal to give the Tigers a 12-10 advantage.

Baran worked just two innings. He was tagged for six runs (three earned) on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Smith (5-2) got the victory in relief. He worked six innings, while surrendering four runs (two earned) on four hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. Steve Smith pitched the ninth to earn his third save.

Ferguson started on the mound for Tampa as he worked 4 2/3 innings. He gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Rick Hudson worked 2/3 of an inning by giving a run (unearned) with a walk. Anthony Perez (4-2) took the loss. He pitched three innings, while giving up four runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. John Wiedenbauer and Danny Keefe also pitched in relief.

The NCAA Division II College World Series contest between Ouachita Baptist and either Mount Olive or Ashland will be at 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 28 and can be heard on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at:

NOTES: For the second consecutive NCAA Division II College World Series game involving Ouachita Baptist, the start was delayed because of rain… First-ever game between Ouachita Baptist and Tampa … Tigers trailed 7-0 after three innings… Ouachita Baptist is 20-0 when scoring 10-or-more runs this season and is 4-3 in which opponents score 10-or-more runs.

Mount Olive 18 Ashland 7

SAUGET, ILL. – Top-ranked Mount Olive used a seven-run fifth inning to pull away from No. 16 ranked Ashland Tuesday night en route to an 18-7 victory in a second round game of the NCAA Division II National Championships at GCS Ballpark.

The Trojans pounded 19 hits in the contest and closed out the game with 13 unanswered runs, while improving to 56-6 on the season. They move on to play the winner of Central Missouri and Shippensburg on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in a national semifinal game. Ashland moves to 40-17 and will face Ouachita Baptist tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in an elimination contest.

“It just wasn’t our night,” said Ashland head coach John Schaly. “We couldn’t get them out, but we are going to walk out of here tonight. Tomorrow is a new day. We are going to try and do something that’s never been done in Ashland history – win two games at the World Series.”

Erik Lovett led Mount Olive with a 3-for-6 performance at the plate, recording five RBIs and a run scored. David Cooper was 4-for-6 with three runs scored.

Jacob Petkac was 4-for-4 for Ashland with three RBIs and a run scored.

Paul Novicki allowed just three hits in five and one-third innings in relief for Mount Olive to earn the win on the mound. The hurler also struck out five.

Dan McGinnis took the loss for Ashland, giving up 10 runs on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings.

“A lot of people have been questioning why we’ve been number one all year long,” said Mount Olive head coach Carl Lancaster. “We have a real good ball club and these guys have shown it in these games.”

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