Presidents Advance To PAC Baseball Championship With 10-1 Victory Over Thomas More
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Top-seeded Washington & Jefferson College secured a spot in the championship round of the 2013 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament by downing third-seeded Thomas More 10-1 Friday afternoon at Ross Memorial Park.
As a team, the Presidents (29-11) tied an NCAA Division III single-game record with five sacrifice flies, accomplished twice previously in history, most recently by Rutgers-Camden versus Lincoln on April 9, 2002.
W&J strung together three-straight singles in the first inning to load the bases and took a 1-0 lead via a sacrifice fly from junior third baseman Kyle McLain (East Amherst, N.Y./Canisius). The Presidents doubled their advantage in the fourth with another sacrifice fly, this time from junior first baseman Tyler Schultz (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville).
The Saints (28-13) drew to within one in the bottom of the inning, but W&J pushed the lead back to two runs in the sixth compliments of freshman shortstop Michael Ruffing’s (Brunswick, Ohio/St. Ignatius) two-out RBI single.
Five unearned runs in the eighth inning helped the Presidents secure the a spot in Saturday's championship game. Schultz lined an RBI single through the left side and three batters later, Ruffing drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Senior second baseman Scott Liller (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) added a two-run base hit, while junior first baseman D.J. Michalski (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) collected an RBI with a long double to left.
McLain went 3-for-5 and scored twice and Schultz added two hits and a pair of RBI, while scoring two runs.
Junior right hander Brian O’Neill (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) upped his record to 6-2 this spring. O’Neill surrendered just one earned run on five hits and struck out five during 6 1/3 innings of work. Sophomore left hander Jared Baird (East Freedom, Pa./Central) went the final 2 2/3 innings, striking out two, to earn his second save.
Grant Lewis took the loss for TMC after allowing seven runs (two earned) on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings. He also issued five walks.
W&J will be looking for its first PAC title since 2009 on Saturday. The Presidents’ opponent is still to be determined and the first pitch (weather pending) is tentatively scheduled for 2:00 pm.