Eagles Advance in Unaffiliated Tournament
KINSTON, N.C. – Asbury’s postseason run continues to gain steam after a comeback 5-4 win over No. 10 Point Park in 11 innings on Tuesday afternoon. The Unaffiliated Tournament pairs the AMC, KIAC and GCAC at Grainger Stadium with the winner advancing to the NAIA Opening Round.
Simeon Bell scored the winning run in the 11th inning as Brandon Smith hit a chopper up the middle towards second. Tom Briko flipped the ball to Dillion Sauers at second to force out Jordan Cox, but Sauers’ throw to first sailed over the head of the first basemen and into the dugout allowing Bell to scamper home with the winning run. Asbury improves to 5-2 in extra inning games.
The Pioneers (44-8) marched into the tournament as the top seed in the six-team field, winners of 12 straight and took an early 4-0 lead on the Eagles. Asbury (15-36) had found success of their own of late, winning three straight and claiming their first KIAC Tournament over the weekend.
Point Park took a 3-0 lead in the second, the big blow coming on a bases loaded single from Birko that scored two runs. The Pioneers added another in the fourth as Tyler Wooden’s pickoff attempt at third went into leftfield, allowing Ossie Alfonzo to score. Asbury committed six errors in the game.
Asbury had only one hit through four innings before finally breaking through in the fifth. Wooden led off with a double and was followed by Simeon Bell’s single to right to put runners on the corners. Two batters latter Josh Cummins added a two-run double into left-center to bring the game to 4-2.
In the seventh it was Bell again was on base, this time a single down the right field line to lead off the frame. After a single by Jordan Cox, Josh Cummins sacrificed the runners to second and third. Brandon Smith followed with an RBI groundout before Matt Cox singled to left-center to tie the game at 4-4.
Asbury put runners on in the eighth and 10th innings before Bell led off the 11th with his third hit of the game. The Eagles pounded out 13 hits in the game with five players registering two hits.
Isaiah Bell started and went all nine regulation innings, allowing only four hits. The junior walked five and hit two, giving the Eagles 100 hit batters on the season, and struck out four. Micah Pace pitched two innings one-hit ball and struck out one to improve to 4-0 in his freshman season. Mike Tullio (5-4) picked up the loss after four and two-thirds innings of relief. Tullio allowed six hits and struck out two. Derek Peluso started and went six innings allowing four runs and striking out six.
Asbury will play the loser of the third game tonight between Edward Waters and Indiana Southeast at 2 pm on Wednesday. Edward Waters and IUS will play tonight (Tuesday) at 6 pm. The Eagles have also secured their place in Thursday’s action and will play at 10 am no matter their outcome on Wednesday.
Talladega defeats Fisher 11-9. Talladega will play the winner of Edward Waters and Indiana Southeast tomorrow (Wednesday) at 6 pm. The loser will play Asbury at 2 pm. Fisher will play game one loser Point Park at 10 am.
Indiana Southeast defeated Edward Waters (Fla.) 8-3. IUS will play Talladega on Wednesday at 6 pm. Edward Waters faces Asbury at 2 pm and will be eliminated with a loss to the Eagles. Asbury can not be eliminated on Wednesday.
You can find an updated bracket here.