Rams lose close call vs Union at AAC Semi-Finals
The Bluefield College Rams give up late runs and lead in AAC Tournament Semis to Union College
Sports Information Department BC
May 6, 2011
Bluefield College Athletics
Sports Information Office
Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament
Rams let one slip by against Union 6-3
Bluefield and Union met early on in the tournament only to face one another Friday afternoon for a chance at a berth into the Championship game on Saturday. Both teams were ready to fight, but it would be Union on top 6-3.
As Coach White mentioned, the Rams would bring a unique pitching rotation throughout tournament play different than he would in the regular season. Akers started the game and found a nice mixture of pitches and help from his defense to keep Union scoreless through four innings.
Rams got their first base runners on in the 3rd inning when Thruett reached on by a walk, followed by a base hit up the middle from Kyle “Flash” Cabral. With two runners on, T Weaver would fly out to left field ending the inning.
Quality baseball requires not only consistent at-bats, but also great defense. The Rams ended Union’s 4th inning and helping Akers by turning a 3-6-3 double play from Goodyear and T Weaver. Unfortunately, the Rams went up and down in their half of the inning as the game stayed scoreless through four innings.
Union got their first best opportunity in the 5th with a 2B by Ragland to deep left, dropped pop up and a hit batter, Akers found himself stranded with bases loaded with one out. Later, a 2-RBI single and RBI sac-fly gave Union the 3-0 lead ending the top of 5th.
Rams got one back on two hits and an error that would be costly for Union in the bottom half of the inning to make it 3-1. After giving up the runs in the 5th, Akers came back and retired six consecutive batters in the 6th and 7th.
In the bottom of 7, Andrew Weaver doubled to RF, Goodyear walked and Thruett sac-bunted resulting in runners in scoring position with only one out. Up next, Cabral stepped up and hit a 1-2 pitch to shortstop that was bobbled scoring a run. Then, on a pitch to Torres, a smart play by the Rams had Cabral stealing 2nd base. The Bulldogs would attempt the play at the plate, but the catcher dropped the catch as Goodyear scored the tying run.
Akers would run into small trouble in the 8th, but got help from Travis Weaver as a throw at the plate got the Rams two outs. On the very next batter, just when the Rams thought they were home free, a routine groundout to 2nd base was botched on the throw to first, scoring a run. Later, on a passed ball, the Bulldogs scored another to take a 5-3 lead. McQuade would enter the game for Akers who went 7 2/3 innings.
The Bulldogs would add a single run in the top of 9th on a solo-HR by Engle extending their lead to 6-3. The Rams couldn’t secure three runs in the bottom of the 9th as Union will advance to the Championship game on Saturday.
Next week, the Rams will travel to the NCCAA Regionals where they will look to qualify for NCCAA National Championship in Mason, Ohio.
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