CMU Baseball Advances to HAAC Tourney Championship
ST. JOSEPH, MO -- The Central Methodist baseball team eliminated Evangel and Avila from the Heart of America Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament on Friday at Phil Welch Stadium. The Eagles (25-21-1) defeated Evangel 7-5 and Avila 10-3 to advance to the Championship Round on Saturday against Peru State.
Central Methodist and Peru State will play at 12 p.m. If the Eagles defeat the Wildcats in the first game, then both teams will play again at 3:30 p.m. in a winner-take-all game for the tournament title.
In the win against Evangel, Junior INF Mike Allen delivered a 2-RBI single with one out in the top of the 9th inning to break a 5-5 tie and give Central Methodist a victory over Evangel in an elimination game on Friday afternoon. Allen, who finished the day 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored, singled up the middle to plate Doyle Bohr and Neil Hansen to help the Eagles move on in the tournament.
Rhett Quinlan went the distance on the mound for Central Methodist, giving up five runs on 12 hits, walking two and striking out three while throwing 127 pitches (87 strikes). The Eagles held a 4-0 lead after five innings, but Evangel rallied for all five of its runs in the top half of the 6th inning capped off by a two-RBI double by Sam Garrison. Central Methodist tied things up with a run in its half of the 6th when Daniel Peters and Hansen hit back-to-back doubles, setting up the dramatic finish. Peters and Hansen each added three hits while Matt Gessner was 2-for-5 with two RBI for the Eagles. Christian Maciel was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Evangel while Nathan Ervin was 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Central Methodist scored four times in both the 1st and 2nd innings to advance to the championship game with a 10-3 win over Avila on Friday evening. Zeb Wallace went the distance for CMU, allowing two runs on six hits while walking five and striking out two as he fired 139 pitches (80 strikes). He gave up just one hit until Jordan Byrd singled with no outs in the 7th as Avila tallied its first run of the game after a RBI single by Tanner McCall.
Both teams scored twice in the 9th inning, but Wallace was able to finish off the victory to improve to 4-0 on the season. Matt Gessner was one of several offensive standouts for Central Methodist, finishing 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored while Steve Bazner was 3-for-5 with a double and 3 RBI. Luitweiler had two of the six hits for Avila and scored two of the three runs while Matt Ricketts also drove in a run.