Aurora Falls 8-4 In Extra-Inning Thriller
Courtesy of Aurora University
WHITEWATER, Wis. -- Playing for the second night in a row at the 2012 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the Spartans of Aurora University dropped a 13-inning nail-biter to the College of St. Scholastica 8-4.
The game did not begin well for the Spartans as St. Scholastica jumped out to a 4-0 lead after four innings of play and forcing AU Head Coach Shaun Neitzel to go to his bullpen early in relief of freshman starter Eric Palmer. Juniors Kevin Day and later Luke Gilbertson combined to pitch nine innings (into the 13th inning) before allowing St. Scholastica any chances.
As the relief corps was holding the Saints in check, the Spartan bats rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Ryan Adams singled to lead-off the inning and moved to second when senior Brett Van Asdlen drew a walk. One out later, junior Mike Foley tripled to right center field, scoring Adams and Van Asdlen. When senior Josh Davidson ground out to second, Foley scored the Spartans third and final run of the inning.
Day allowed two hits in the top of the seventh but worked out of the potential jam, allowing the Spartan bats back to hit. Senior Tim Mackey led off with a single and scored three hitters later when Van Asdlen singled to left to tie the game. Foley was hit by a pitch to load the bases but Davidson grounded out to end the bases loaded threat.
Gilbertson and Saints reliever Rogers combined to retire the next 24 hitters the pitchers would face and move the game into extra innings. Mackey would single and steal second in the 11th inning with two-outs but he would remain stranded.
In the top of the 12th, Gilbertson allowed his first hit, a lead-off triple, but he would get two strikeouts and have the runner on third thrown out at the plate to get out of the no-out jam.
AU would have Van Asdlen reach on a single and Foley was intentionally walked but both remained on base as Rogers induced an inning-ending ground out.
In the 13th, Scholastica struck for four runs off Gilbertson and junior Chris Skiniotes to take the 8-4 lead which was the eventual final score.
Gilbertson collected the loss after pitching 5-1/3 innings in relief and striking out six. Foley was two-for-four with a triple, double, one run scored and two runs batted in.
With the loss, AU is now 37-9 overall and the next action for the Spartan baseball team comes on Friday, May 18 when they take on St. Norbert College in the 2012 Midwest Regional hosted by UW-Whitewater. AU will play at 1 pm in Whitewater, Wis.