SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (LyonScots.com) – The 20th-ranked Lyon College baseball team used three hits to score a pair of runs in the first inning Monday afternoon, but the Scots' bats then went silent as Benedictine University scored single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth frames to eliminate Lyon from the American Midwest Conference Postseason Baseball Tournament, 3-2, at Lanphier Park.
The setback was not only disappointing for the Scots, who dropped to 41-14 on the year and lost their bid for an automatic playoff berth, but Lyon must now hope for an at-large bid to qualify for the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round next month. The nine brackets and 45 qualifiers will be announced on Sunday. Only the AMC tourney winner is guaranteed a postseason bid.
In other games Monday at the AMC tournament, No. 3-seed William Woods University (29-15) handed top-seeded Missouri Baptist (31-11) its first setback of the tourney, 6-5, in 10 innings. No. 4-seed Benedictine University (21-23) then shocked the 16th-ranked Spartans, 9-3, in the nightcap to eliminate MBU.
The championship round is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday. Benedictine much defeat the Owls twice to capture the championship. WWU only has to win once the claim the title.
The Scots started their game off on the right track against Benedictine, pushing two runs across the dish in the first inning. Meanwhile, Lyon senior pitcher Brandon Haller (8-2), who ranked 31st in the nation in wins and 49th nationally in innings pitched (79.2) coming in, was trying to snap a two-game winless skid and lower his 3.95 ERA.
Haller scattered eight hits in his eight-inning complete-game performance, his fourth of the season. He only gave up three walks, while fanning three. The three runs he allowed were earned.
Lyon centerfielder Kris Kohlstedt singled and later scored on a Bryan Lynn single, and leftfielder Wesley Roberson plated when designated hitter Jim Gossett laid down a sacrifice bunt to third to put Lyon ahead early on.
But the Scots failed to add to the lead and Benedictine's Jordan Pesko (7-2) kept Lyon at bay for the final eight frames. Pesko gave up the two earned runs early, but only allowed one hit the rest of the way, throwing a four-hitter, while striking out three and walking two.
Lyon had no extra-base hits in the game against the Bulldog team they had scored 39 runs on during four games in the regular season. Lynn, the Scots' first baseman went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Kohlstedt went 1-for-2, with a walk and a run scored, and Roberson finished 1-for-4.
Jordan Day paced the Bulldogs with a 2-for-3 effort, including a double and a run scored. Zane Dillon went 2-for-4, with a double and a run scored, and Brett Jackson recorded a pair of singles and a run scored in four at-bats.
AMERICAN MIDWEST CONFERENCE
POSTSEASON BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
(at Robin Roberts Stadium, Springfield, Ill.)
Friday, April 26
GM 1: Benedictine University 8, Park University 7 (12 inn.)
GM 2: William Woods 8, Lyon College 7
GM 3: Missouri Baptist 11, Benedictine University 1
Saturday, April 27
GM 4: Lyon College 11, Park University 2 (Park eliminated)
William Woods vs. Missouri Baptist, PPD/Rain
Benedictine University vs. Lyon College, PPD/Rain
Monday, April 29
William Woods 6, Missouri Baptist 5 (10 inn.)
Benedictine University 3, Lyon College 2 (Lyon eliminated)
Benedictine University 9, Missouri Baptist 3 (MBU eliminated)
Tuesday, April 30
Championship Game 1
William Woods vs. Benedictine, 11 a.m.
Championship Game 2 (if nec.), 2 p.m.