After another day’s action at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill., the national semifinals are set. With wins on Wednesday, Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) and Central Missouri (Mo.) survive and advance to join unbeaten Mount Olive (N.C.) and Sonoma State (Calif.) in the final foursome.
No. 4 Ouachita Baptist trailed No. 16 Ashland (Ohio) 5-3 before ripping off nine straight runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The Tigers (49-15) would go on to win 12-5, sending Ashland (40-18) home for the summer. Ouachita Baptist’s Blake Lockwood picked a good time to smash his first home run of the season—a three run shot that was part of a three-run, three-RBI performance. Jim Streicher also added a home run and knocked in five runs. Trent Lingle pitched four innings and allowed one run on two hits to earn the win.
In the nightcap, Central Missouri used a gem by pitcher Danny Potje to stave off elimination and oust No. 21 Shippensburg (Pa.). Potje threw his first complete game of the year and didn’t allow a run until the ninth inning to help the Mules to the 5-1 win. But it was the lefthander’s ability to work out of jams that distinguished the performance. Potje scattered 11 hits and walked three, but stranded 12 batters and struck out eight to give the Central Missouri bullpen a rest. Potje also received more than enough run support, as the Mules knocked around 10 hits to manufacture five runs. Will Feil led the charge with two hits, two runs and an RBI. Shippensburg (39-26) saw its season end Wednesday, while the Mules (47-16) draw top-ranked Mount Olive in the semis.
As the tournament continues, the double-elimination format will come into play. If Mount Olive and Sonoma State keep rolling today, there will be no Friday games, and the two unbeaten squads will square off in the title game Saturday. If either team with a loss on its resume comes away with a win, they will need to play again on Friday to determine the championship matchup.
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