Eagles Knocked Out of Mid-East Regional
Bluefield, VA - The Asbury College Eagles were knocked out of the NCCAA Mid-East Region Tournament on Wednesday after losing to Mid-Continent 7-6 in game one and to Bluefield 12-7 in game two. The Eagles fell behind early in both games and never led in either game.
Asbury (25-23) played without two of their regular hitters in Zach Monroe and Blake Englehardt who did not make the trip due to personal reasons and the offense slumped. In game one Asbury didn't get a hit until the 3rd inning when they were already down 5-0 after Mid-Continent put up a five spot in the 2nd. The Eagles would come back and score in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th but could never bust through with a big inning to overtake the Cougars.
The Eagles finished with nine hits including three from Matt Ciolek and two from Jon Wes Adams. Asbury had to use three of their normal starters in Mark Deetsch, Josh Thigpen, and Cody Christopher. Each pitcher went two innings with Christopher shutting down the Cougars with a perfect two innings and one strikeout.
Asbury struggled early again in game two against Bluefield, giving up six runs in the first three innings, including a four spot in the 2nd that knocked starter Greg Bowling out of the game. Christopher came in again in relief and pitched four solid innings. Asbury's bats finally got going in the 4th when they chipped away and scored four times, but still left two on base. The big hits in the inning were a one-run single by Jon Wes Adams and a two-run single by Mark Deetsch. Asbury had cut the lead from 7-0 to 7-4 but the Ramblin' Rams would answer with three more in the top of the 5th. Asbury came back with three more in the bottom of the innings including two off the bat of Deetsch again. Bluefield would add two more in the top of the 7th to make the final 12-7.
Asbury will go home on Thursday as Mid-Continent and Bluefield begin a best-of-three series to determine the Mid-East Champion. The winner will advance to the NCCAA Division I World Series in Mason, Ohio next week. Asbury will wait to see if they are invited to the tournament as an at-large team.