Harding Baseball falls 5-3 in GSC Tournament final

From Harding University

Harding no trouble getting the first two outs of an inning in the Gulf South Conference Tournament championship on Tuesday at USA Stadium. It was the third out that gave the Bisons difficulty in their 5-3 loss to Southern Arkansas, as all five Mulerider runs scored with two outs.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, Southern Arkansas' Trey Buck and Patrick Johnson recorded RBI singles off Harding reliever Ryan Modglin to break a 3-3 tie and give the Muleriders the title.

Harding (41-12) was playing in its first GSC Tournament championship game and will continue its season at the NCAA II South Region Tournament. The announcement of that tournament field will come from the NCAA on Sunday night.

Harding's Chase Presley had bases loaded single to left that tied the game at 3-3. Matt Calhoun was thrown out at home on the play on a high throw from left fielder Jeffrey Meadows that catcher Brandon Choate came down with and got the tag down on Calhoun, a call argued by Harding head coach Dr. Patrick McGaha.

Adam Boucher doubled in Jason Dahl to put Southern Arkansas ahead 3-2, again with two outs in the fifth.

Southern Arkansas tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth on a two-out, two-run, bases loaded single from Logan Williams off Harding reliever Daniel Niehls.

Harding took a 2-0 lead in the third when Billy Ninemire was hit by a pitch to lead off and went to third when Jason Nappi doubled off the right field wall. McCarver walked to load the bases, and Ninemire scored when Trent Kinnear grounded into a double play.

Harding took the lead in the first when Erin McCarver's ground ball to second base appeared to be an easy double play. But Southern Arkansas shortstop Trey Buck could not handle the throw, and Ninemire came around to score from second on the play.

Lucas Waddell made his second start of the tournament and lasted two innings. He threw 128 pitches in his first outing on Saturday.

Modglin (1-1) took the loss for Harding, allowing two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Doug Shields (8-2) earned the win with three innings of perfect relief.

Harding's All-Tournament Team members included first baseman Billy Ninemire, starting pitcher Lucas Waddell and shortstop Charles Bradley.