BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Midland University dropped both of their games on the first day of the NAIA Baseball Opening Round in the Bowling Green Bracket on Monday, and into Tuesday. The Warriors fell to local rival Bellevue in the first game of the day and then lost to host-school, No. 21 Campbellsville University just past 1:00 a.m. in the final game of the day.
The Bruins led the entire way in the opener as they took the Warriors deep for a three-run home run in the first inning and never looked back. They added another run in the fifth and three more in the sixth as they cruised to a 7-1 win.
Midland had their chances against their local rival as they compiled 11 hits but never could get a timely hit as they left 11 runners on base. Their lone run came in the top of the eighth as Tanner Bos scored on a single by Bailey Bliss.
Hayden Bailey pitched 5.0 inning for the Warriors and was saddled with the loss. He struck out three, walked a pair while allowing four runs on five hits. Dakota Cortese finished the game on the hill for MU, going the final 3.0 with four hits allowed, three runs with a strikeout.
In game number two of the day, the first elimination game of the bracket, the Warriors jumped out to an early lead over Campbellsville. They plated two run in the second, an RBI single by Billy Brand that scored Bliss and a Bryan Smith fielder’s choice that scored Andrew Brooks. In the third Justin Trevino took the Tigers’ right-hander’s offering over the right field fence for solo home run to give Midland a 3-0 lead.
Campbellsville would come back to tie the game however in their very next at bat and they strung together a pair of doubles followed by a single for three runs in the top of the fourth. Then in the fifth inning they took over the lead with three more runs and never looked back. They tacked on two in the sixth, two in the eighth, and one in the ninth while limiting the Warriors’ opportunities.
Midland had just five hits after the third inning, six for the game, and could only muster two more runs. The first via a balk by the Tigers’ pitcher in the fifth inning and then a solo home run by Bos in the ninth inning to make the score 11-5.
Torrey Escamilla took the loss, going 4.0 innings with five earned runs. He had three strikeouts and four walks in his final outing as a Warrior. Brand came on in relief going the final 5.0 innings. He gave up six runs while allowing 10 hits and two walks.
Midland finishes their season 32-22. They reached the NAIA Opening Round for the third straight year, fourth in five years, and were runners-up in the GPAC regular and postseason.