Davidson Baseball's Surprise Tournament Run Comes To An End
Davidson’s best season in school history had a brutal ending as Texas A&M scored seven runs in the eighth inning, rallying for a 12-6 victory Saturday at Blue Bell Park to sweep the regional series, advancing to the College World Series.
Davidson (35-26) was in position to force a third game with a 6-2 lead through seven innings, but unraveled in the eighth inning behind a pair of errors.
A&M (41-21) took a 7-6 lead when Davidson second baseman Alec Acosta dropped a popup after crashing to the ground following a collision with third baseman Eric Jones. A&M, which had the bases loaded on the two-out popup by pinch-hitter Jorge Gutierrez, scored two runs on the miscue. After a short delay for Acosta to gain his composure, A&M’s Nick Choruby added a two-run single to make it 9-6.
A&M’s Walker Pennington capped the scoring with a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth.
Davidson, making its first NCAA tournament appearance, was in control after heading into the eighth behind junior left-hander Evan Roberts who had allowed only three hits. A&M had fits with Roberts’ off-speed pitches as he struck out five and walked one.
But Choruby opened the eighth with a single, then A&M caught a break when Davidson shortstop Max Bazin couldn’t handle a one-hop liner hit by Braden Shewmake. An RBI double by Hunter Coleman chased Roberts for Austin Leonard who hit Cole Bedford to load the bases. A&M pulled to within 6-5 on Blake Kopetsky’s two-run single. Leonard struck out Pennington, but George Janca walked on a full-count pitch, bringing on sophomore reliever Allen Barry.
The dropped popup that gave A&M the lead for good was Davidson’s sixth error of the series.
Davidson’s top of the lineup accounted for its first five runs. The Wildcats took their first lead of the series with three runs in the fifth, breaking a 2-2 tie.
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Cam Johnson doubled off the top of the left-field fence. He moved to third on Robertson’s single. Acosta’s RBI single broke the tie. Jones’ RBI double into the left-field corner made it 4-2 and Justin Lebek’s sacrifice fly chased A&M starting pitcher Corbin Martin.Davidson freshman Brett Centracchio hit a solo home run in the sixth, his fourth of the season, to make it 6-2.
A&M’s Janca and Logan Foster hit solo home runs in the third for a 2-0 lead. The Wildcats answered in the bottom of the inning on Jones’ two-out, two-run double to score Johnson and Robertson, who opened the inning with back-to-back singles.