Columbia, Ky. – Two teams destined for next week's NAIA National Tournament Regional Site action provided a great final day of the Mid-South Conference baseball tournament.
No. 3 Georgetown College rallied late for a 5-3 win in the first game to force the if-necessary game against Cumberland University. Then both teams proved why they are playing in the national tournament. With tickets punched and lots of pitchers burned and players tired either team could have mailed in the performance. However, the title game was a 10-inning, multi-rally game that finally ended 10-8 in the favor of the Bulldogs.
GC was looking for its second MSC Tournament crown in three years. On the other side Cumberland, in and out of the Top 25 all season and currently receiving votes, knows how to win things in postseason. The Bulldogs have tallied two national titles in the past 10 years. CU knocked GC into the loser bracket with a 3-2 win Tuesday in 10 innings. The Tigers turned around that evening for a win over St. Catharine to join CU in the finals. However, coming out of the loser bracket meant the young men needed to win two Wednesday.
One-out walks, double and single put the Bulldogs ahead for good in the top of the 10th.
Georgetown led 3-0 after a three-run shot in the first inning from Steven Mancilla. CU got runs in the second and third to tie it, took first lead in sixth 5-3. Martin Lemus cut that to 5-4 with a solo shot to start the Tigers sixth. CU added two in the seventh and 10th along with a run in the ninth. Georgetown was down to its final out when it rallied to tie the game and appeared to potentially win it. Trey Gross was hit by a pitch, pinch hitter David Higuera drew a walk and Duran Elmore's double scored Gross and had a chance to score the second run to end it in regulation. The umpires called him out, a protest ensued, the rules were check and the call stood.
Game one seemed to be decided by one swing of the bat from Josciel Veras. He hit above .500 against the Tigers this season and sent a solo home run over the fence in left to start the sixth. The Bulldogs held a 3-2 lead at that point. Despite some hits scattered in the seventh and eighth, Georgetown was down to three outs for a chance to force the if-necessary game.
But what is coach Micah Baumfeld's team known for if not for the rally. Georgetown got three singles in a row after a lead-off out to tie the game. Armando Lomeli took his fifth pitch into the outfield. Then Rick Reyes and Trey Gross took first pitches into the outfield. It was a pair of RBI shots to tie the game and serve as the winning run. A fielder's choice sacrifice bunt put the final tally on the board and then Craig Ramsey slammed the door shut.
Georgetown finds out its regional site location Friday evening at 8 pm.