CARY, N.C. — Successful video games on the Division II School World Collection has turn into one thing of a convention for the College of Tampa.
So, too, it appears, has coming from behind to win video games in late innings.
The Spartans have fallen behind in all 5 of their postseason video games this season, together with Saturday’s World Collection opener towards Trevecca Nazarene. All 5 instances, they rallied to win.
Drew Ehrhard, a Wharton Excessive alumnus, hit a tying three-run homer within the seventh inning, then doubled and scored the deciding run within the high of the tenth to provide UT a 7-6 victory that advances the Spartans into the winner’s bracket of the double-elimination match on the USA Baseball Coaching Advanced.
“I knew this group was not going to give up on us,” mentioned coach Joe Urso, whose groups have gained three nationwide championships in Cary, together with the newest one in 2019. “Their beginning pitcher actually settled in and did an incredible job, then later within the ballgame, that’s what we preach. Spartan baseball: Seventh, eighth, ninth. It’s important to win these innings and get some clutch hits.”
The most important of these hits Saturday got here off the bat of Ehrhard.
Dealing with aid pitcher Tiger Cox along with his workforce trailing 6-3 with two on and two out within the seventh, the junior infielder despatched a two-strike line drive over the leftfield wall for his first house run of the season.
Three innings later, Ehrhard got here up in a giant spot and delivered once more. This time it was a leadoff double into the leftfield nook to get the Spartans began within the high of the tenth.
Jamarcus Lyons (King Excessive) bunted Ehrhard to 3rd, the place he scored regardless of a drawn-in infield on Dan Sullivan’s floor out to first.
“I had a few balls are available in on me right this moment and I used to be capable of activate them for the house run and the double down the road,” mentioned Ehrhard, certainly one of a number of veterans returning to Cary from the 2019 nationwide championship workforce. “Coach Urso and I’ve been engaged on that for the previous couple of weeks and it’s actually beginning to repay.”
UT (21-4) acquired off to a quick begin by scoring thrice within the high of the primary on an RBI single by Sullivan and a two-run homer by Luke Glancy.
However no matter momentum the Spartans gained from the early offense, it disappeared simply as shortly. Trevecca Nazarene’s Braden Odom hit beginning pitcher Eric Linder’s first pitch out of the park for a house run. The Trojans (36-12) adopted that up with two extra runs to tie the rating after one inning.
Issues went downhill from there.
UT ran itself out of a rally within the second when a baserunning mistake turned a sacrifice fly into an inning-ending double play. Trevecca Nazarene then scored three extra runs on a homer by Ethan Harrison to take the lead.
“It was a giant play,” Urso mentioned. “I felt like we misplaced the momentum there, particularly once they got here proper out and punched us once more.”
Though it took 5 extra innings for the Spartans to get again, they saved themselves in place to rally because of the sturdy aid pitching of Braydon Nelson. The junior right-hander, who has spent many of the season as a starter, pitched 4⅔ scoreless innings earlier than handing the ball to nearer Jordan Leasure (Riverview Excessive).
Leasure confronted 11 batters, placing out eight to choose up the victory.
Division II World Collection
College of Tampa vs. Central Missouri, 6 p.m. Monday
USA Baseball Nationwide Coaching Advanced, Cary, N.C.