Thomas More baseball wins conference title, spot in NCAA tournament
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Thomas More College) - The top-seeded Thomas More College baseball team rallied to defeat third-seeded Washington & Jefferson, 4-3, today (Sunday, May 15, 2016) in the championship game of the 2016 Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Baseball Championship Tournament at Thomas More Field in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
With the win, the Saints improve to 30-10 and earn the PAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament that begins on Wednesday (May 18). The tournament field and regional locations will be announced early Monday (May 16) on the NCAA's website at www.ncaa.com. With the loss, the Presidents fall to 26-17.
Washington & Jefferson took an early 1-0 lead in in the top of the first inning. Thomas More tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning when senior first baseman Donovan Pogue (Sharonville, Ohio/St. Xavier) hit a run batted-in single scoring center fielder Casey Metzger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills).
W&J took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third, but the Saints answered in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game at 2-2 when sophomore third baseman Bailey Abbatiello (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) hit an RBI single scoring freshman designated hitter Sean Lawrence (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton). The Presidents plated a run in the top of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Thomas More tied the game at 3-3 when senior left fielder Zach Fardo (Alexandria, Ky./Bishop Brossart) had a SAC fly scoring Pogue. Then the Saints took the lead at 4-3 when Abbatiello hit an RBI single scoring freshman pinch runner Chase Whitaker (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville). The Saints would hold the Presidents scoreless in the ninth inning for the 4-3 victory.
Freshman pitcher Adam Ruwe (Park Hills, Ky./Covington Catholic) started and pitched five innings giving up two runs (both earned) on nine hits and struck out three. Junior pitcher Josh Cain (Cold Spring, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) pitched two innings of relief and gave up one run (earned) on four hits. Junior pitcher Ken Ruberg (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) earned the win as he pitched two scoreless innings of relief and gave up two hits, while striking out two.
Thomas More was led at the plate by Abbatiello, who was two-for-four with two RBI. Two other Saints had multiple hits in the game as Pogue was two-for-four with a run scored and a RBI and Lawrence was two-for-three with a run scored.
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