CMU Baseball Rolls Past MNU to HAAC Semifinals
SAINT JOSEPH, MO - Tyler Paule continued Central Methodist's pitching dominance in the 2013 Heart of America Athletic Conference Baseball Championship Series Spring Classic, tossing a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts as the Eagles dispatched third-seed MidAmerica Nazarene from the postseason in an 8-0 rain-shortened victory Wednesday evening at Phil Welch Stadium.
Central Methodist (25-11) has yet to allow a run in two Spring Classic games, outscoring Benedictine and the Pioneers a combined 14-0. The game went into a lightning delay with one out in the bottom of the eighth and MidAmerica Nazarene (24-20) at-bat. After a 45-minute break, the tournament's executive committee decided to call the game as allowed by HAAC bylaws.
The Eagles were helped by five MidAmerica Nazarene errors, starting in the top of the first inning when Mike Wagner scored the first run of the game on a misplayed grounder by the Pioneers' Dillon Moeller. The Green and Black added an insurance run in the same inning when Shane Lowe touched home on a fielder's choice.
After loading the bases in the second with two outs, Central Methodist opened up its advantage on a Ricco Moreno dropped fly ball. Mike Allen, Dustin Ray and Wagner all scored on the play to push the difference to five runs. Jesse Zellner followed in the next at-bat with a RBI single to center, plating Lowe to make the tally 6-0 in favor of the tournament's top seed.
A Kyle Poynter RBI single to left in the fifth gave the Green and Black a touchdown lead. Neil Hansen scored the game's final run in the sixth on a wild throw.
Wagner was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Lowe also had two runs scored. Zellner had two RBI.
Paule (5-3) threw only 91 pitches in seven and one-third innings on the mound.
Pitcher Caleb Barnum (4-2) made the start for the Ravens but lasted only two innings, surrendering six unearned runs on three hits to go along with one strikeout and walk allowed.
Central Methodist battles the winner of No. 4 Evangel (Mo.)/No. 5 Avila (Mo.) on Thursday in the semifinals of the double-elimination tournament. First pitch is yet to be determined.