*quotes courtesy of Jeffrey Schaly, Marietta SID
MARIETTA, OH- The 17th ranked and 3rd seeded NC Wesleyan College Baseball team rallied from a four-run deficit to walk off with a 7-6 win over 4th seed St. John Fisher College (NY) in the opening round of the NCAA Regional on Thursday evening from Marietta College.
Wesleyan will now face 2nd seeded Marietta College (36-4) at 6 pm on Friday night.
The Battling Bishops, now 33-8, scored three runs in the 8th after trailing 6-2 to head into the ninth down just one at 6-5. Then after a walk, a sacrifice bunt and a Drifton Padgett single put runners on the corners, freshman 3B Tyson Bass stepped to the plate and roped a game-tying double. After an intentional walk to Zach Lyon loaded the bases, senior catcher Brad Pennington was then hit by a pitch to bring home Padgett with the winning run.
"Its been the tale of our season, getting behind and coming back and having a chance to win at the end. They are a very tough team, the guy on the mound pitched extremely well, we just got lucky and got to him at the end," said N.C. Wesleyan Head Coach Greg Clifton. "We have been in a lot of those games and the guys haven't flinched so far."
"I was just trying to hit the ball hard. There was some situational stuff in my last at bat, I knew I couldn't hit the ball on the ground, I got jammed a little but luckily it worked out," said Bass.
Bass originally staked the Bishops to a 1-0 lead with his first-pitch lead-off home run in the bottom of the first, his 5th of the season. Bass led the team with 3 hits including 2 doubles along with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
After SJFC built a 5-1 lead off starter Kevin Williams in the 4th, Wesleyan chipped away with a sac fly from senior Alec Titmus in the 4th to get within 5-2. The Bishops then scored two runs in the 8th on an error by the Cardinal CF to get Wesleyan to within two at 6-4. An RBI single from freshman 1B Jackson Hobbs then made it 6-5 in the 8th. Hobbs finished with two hits on the day as well.
Then the ninth brought the Bishop heroics. Freshman reliever Danny Thompson picked up the win throwing a scoreless ninth and improving to 5-1. Junior reliever Drew Tubb also pitched well tossing 3 innings of middle relief allowing just one run on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts. Williams threw 5 innings allowing 5 runs on 7 hits and struck out five.