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Rams Lose First Game in Two Years in NCCAA World Series

The Bluefield College men's baseball team finally met its match in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division I World Series in Mason, Ohio.

May 21, 2010

The Bluefield College men's baseball team finally met its match in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Division I World Series in Mason, Ohio.

 

As the defending NCCAA National Champions, having won seven consecutive games in the World Series, the Rams dropped their first contest in two years in the double-elimination playoff, a 4-2 decision on Friday, May 21 in the third round of the 2010 tournament to North Greenville University of South Carolina.

 

The Crusaders jumped on BC pitcher Josh McQuade early in the game, scoring a run in the second inning and two more in the third to take an initial 3-0 lead. Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Bluefield finally got on the board, thanks to RBIs from Jeremiah McMillan and Zac Goodyear that trimmed the North Greenville lead to two at 4-2.

The Rams came close to scoring again in the sixth when Andrew Weaver belted a double to left field to put himself in scoring position with just one out in the inning. K.J. Sobolewski followed with a blast to center field that appeared to be a sure RBI until Crusader center-fielder Randy Stegall made an incredible catch to secure the out, stymie the BC rally, and end all hopes of a Bluefield comeback. The Rams went on to strand Weaver in the sixth and placed no one on base in the seventh (the NCCAA World Series format calls for just seven innings of play per game).

 

In addition to his great defense, Stegall, a senior, went 2-4 from the plate to lead the North Greenville offense, which scored four runs off eight hits. BC managed just five hits, two of which came from Goodyear, a freshman. McQuade took the loss for the Rams on the mound.

 

Despite the defeat, the Rams, the overall number one seed in this year's World Series, will get another chance to defend their NCCAA title, thanks to the double-elimination World Series format. However, they will get no rest beforehand as the tournament pits BC against sixth seed Olivet Nazarene University of Illinois at 4:15 p.m. on Friday, immediately after their 4-2 loss to North Greenville.

 

As it stands, only four teams remain in the 2010 World Series. Bluefield and Olivet Nazarene, who play each other Friday night, are both at 2-1 in the tournament. A loss for either team would mean elimination. Southeastern University of Florida, the seven seed, is 3-1 in the playoff and will battle two-seed North Greenville, the lone undefeated squad in the tournament, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

 

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