AUM earns trip to NAIA World Series
Brandon Pooler plated pinch runner Scotty Smith on a fielder’s choice with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the top-seeded Auburn Montgomery baseball team to an 8-7 victory over No. 2 seed Keiser and the Opening Round Championship of the Montgomery Bracket Thursday at the AUM Baseball Complex.
The game-winner capped a four-run comeback by the Warhawks (45-15), who trailed 6-2 heading to the sixth inning.
After rallying to tie the score, AUM gave up the lead in the top of the ninth on a passed ball, but Mac Seibert, who hit for the cycle in the contest, launched a solo home run to centerfield to lead off the bottom of the ninth and send the game to extra inning.
In the decisive inning, Seibert led off with a double to right-centerfield off Kyle Keats (9-5) to start rally. After Seibert was lifted for Smith as a pinch runner, Blake Grill worked his fourth walk of the game, before Houston Davenport ripped a sharp single to right-centerfield to load the bases. Cody Rush followed by popping up in foul territory, setting the stage for Pooler with one out. The senior took a 2-2 offering from Keats and hit a high chopper to second base, where Daniel Arroyo charged and fielded the ball, but his throw was not in time to beat a hustling Smith.
Seibert finished 4-for-6 with a RBI and two runs scored, while John-Mark Cosby and Dalton Kelley added three hits and a pair of runs each. Davenport also had two hits. Jack Curtis led the Seahawks at the plate, finishing 3-for-5 with four runs batted in.
Jed Carter (2-0) earned the win, tossing two innings of scoreless relief. Seth Arroyo tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, while Brady Eldridge and Richard Nason combined for two quality innings. Eldridge entered the game in a 6-6 tie and runners on the corners in the eighth inning and retired the All-American candidate Berges and Goff via strikeout on eight pitches.
The Warhawks punched their fourth ticket in program’s history to the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series with the victory. The 60th annual event will be held from May 27-June 3 in Lewiston, Idaho. The Seahawks’ season came to an end at 40-22.