Eagles Ousted from KIAC Tournament, Turn Attention to NCCAAs
BEREA, Ky. – Asbury’s dream of a conference championship will have to wait at least one more year as the Eagles were knocked out of the 2011 KIAC Baseball Tournament on Friday by the hosts Berea 5-4. Asbury defeated Cincinnati Christian 9-2 earlier in the day.
Asbury (32-16-2) will now turn their attention to the NCCAA Mideast Regional Tournament beginning on Tuesday in Bristol, Tenn. The Eagles will be the top seed in the six-team tournament and will play Covenant (Ga.) College at 10:00 am, Covenant is an NCAA DII school.
The tournament also includes Bluefield (Va.) College, Oakland City (Ind.) University, Mid-Continent (Ky.) University, and the hosts King (Tenn.) College. Oakland City and King are NCAA DII schools while Bluefield and Mid-Continent are NAIA schools. The winner of the tournament advances to the NCCAA National Championship in Mason, Ohio.
On Friday the Eagles could manage only five hits against Berea, after piling up 18 on Thursday night against Brescia and 14 more against CCU in the first game Friday. Against the Mountaineers Greg Bowling threw his fourth complete game of the season allowing 10 hits and five runs, only four earned. He struck out 10 and walked two, he also hit two.
The Eagles tied the game at 1-1 in the second as Brandon Smith knocked in Cody Christopher. They would go on to take their only lead at 2-1 in the fourth as Smith knocked in Mark Deetsch on a sacrifice fly. Berea would tie in the score in the bottom of the inning and would take the lead in the fifth with two runs to make it 4-2. Asbury could do nothing against reliever Lance Sheets who allowed only one walk in his 2.2 innings of work to earn his first save. Kyle Tibbs got the win allowing four runs on five hits in 6.1 innings.
Against CCU the Eagles pounded out 14 hits highlighted by Marshall Banks’ three hits. Banks ripped two doubles and knocked in three runs. Mark Deetsch and Matt Ciolek each picked up two hits a piece. Asbury scored five times in the fourth and once more in the fifth. They would add two in the seventh and their final run in the eighth.