SPRINGFIELD, MO (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Baseball rallied in the ninth, but left the tying run on base and fell, 7-6, to Maryville University, bowing out of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Baseball Tournament Saturday morning in Springfield, Missouri. USI, the sixth seed, falls to 30-21, while Maryville, the seventh seed, goes to 29-21.
The Screaming Eagles will have to wait until Sunday evening to see if their post-season run will continue with an at-large berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Midwest Region bracket and pairing will be announced Sunday night on NCAA.com com at 9 p.m. (CDT).
USI battled Maryville to a scoreless draw through the first three-and-a-half frames before the Saints jumped out in front, 1-0, on a home run in the bottom of the fourth. The Eagles tied the game in the top of the fifth, 1-1, on a RBI-single by freshman catcher Lucas McNew (Floyds Knobs, Indiana).
Maryville responded with a five-run bottom of the fifth to take command of the contest, 6-1. The Eagles cut the deficit to 6-3 in the top sixth on five-straight walks and to 6-4 in the seventh on a home run by junior designated hitter Manny Lopez (Santo Domingo, P.R.). The home run was Lopez’s ninth of the season.
After the Saints picked up a run in the bottom of the eighth to re-extend the lead to 7-4, USI made a final comeback attempt in the top of the ninth. USI senior first baseman Nathan Kuester (Rockport, Indiana) and sophomore shortstop Ethan Hunter (Terre Haute, Indiana) singled and would score on a two-out pinch-hit double by junior Wyatt Daly (Newburgh, Indiana) to pull the Eagles to within one, 7-6. That would be as close as USI would come, stranding the tying run on second after the final out.
On the mound, freshman right-hander Garrett Welch (New Castle, Indiana) took the loss for the Eagles. Welch (1-2) allowed six runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks. He also struck out five in 4.2 innings of work.
Junior right-hander Tyler Hagedorn (Evansville, Indiana) finished the game for USI, allowing an unearned run on two hits and struck out three in the final 3.1 frames.