Mules Win Seventh Consecutive MIAA Post-Season Tourney
Contact: Bob Jackson
WARRENSBURG - 5/15/2006 -The No. 12-ranked UCM Mules won their seventh consecutive MIAA Baseball Tournament Championship Sunday by sweeping top-seeded and No. 6-ranked Emporia State, 6-5 and 9-6, on Frank Meyers Field at Tointon Family Stadium at Kansas State University.
Regional Tourney the Next Step
ESU (44-11), the automatic qualifier from the MIAA by virtue of its regular season championship, and UCM (44-14) will travel to the NCAA Division II Central Regional Tournament at Emporia State May 18-21.
Cody Berg and Josh Paul each drove in three runs for the Mules in the deciding game. Berg was 3-for-4 with a two-run triple, a double and a sacrifice fly, while Paul was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and an RBI single. Bridger Hunt was 2-for-3 as well for UCM.
Fourth Inning Barrage by Mules
The Mules took the lead for good with a six-run fourth inning, touching ESU reliever David Cahoone (5-1) for four hits and four runs without recording an out. He was spelled by Travis Bartley, who allowed two more to score before stopping the bleeding -- Central Missouri State sent 11 batters to the plate and made it 9-4.
Hornets Cut into Lead
ESU cut the gap to three with three straight hits to open the seventh, with Connor Crumbliss and Mark McBratney getting run-scoring hits, but they could get no closer.
Injury Sidelines ESU Outfielder
Josh Hewer hit a two-run homer in the fourth to give ESU a 4-3 lead, but had to leave the game in the bottom of the inning after suffering an injury trying to field Berg's triple in right field.
McBratney ended up 3-for-5 while Billy Sharp was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
Turmail Notches Victory
Kevin Turmail (7-2) got the win, allowing four earned runs in six innings. Chris Radliff pitched the final three innings for his sixth save after game-one winner Tom Layne failed to get an out in the three batters he faced.
Exciting Game One Sets the Stage
Central Missouri State forced the second championship game by scoring three runs (one earned) in the bottom of the ninth off Emporia State reliever Toro Trevino to earn the victory.
Emporia State broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the top of the fourth with a bases-loaded walk to McBratney from UCM starter Travis Pyatt. The lead grew to 5-3 with an RBI-single from John Martin in the eighth.
Mules Rally in Ninth
The Mules loaded the bases in the ninth, but ESU was able to delay UCM from scoring when Tim VanMatre grounded to third and Gered Mochizuki was thrown out at the plate. A Berg groundout to third was enough to allow Hunt to score and cut the gap to 5-4.
Josh Paul then grounded to shortstop Nick Carlson for what looked to be the game-clinching out, but he couldn't field the short hop and was charged with his third error of the day. It allowed Adam Milauskas to tie the game at 5-5.
Feil Delivers Game Winning RBI
Will Feil, who had not logged a hit in the tournament, stroked a single through the left side to plate pinch runner Cole Armstrong with the deciding run. Feil went on to go 3-of-5 with a double and a triple in game two.
Layne (2-2) tossed two innings of scoreless relief to get the win, logging two strikeouts. Trevino, who had gone 7 1/3 innings in a start against Washburn Friday (May 12), was tagged for the loss in relief of starter Brett Brandon.
Hewer was 3-of-4 with two RBI for the Hornets in the first game with a double, while McBratney was 2-for-4 with his run-scoring walk.