(WASHINGTON, Pa.) – The second-seeded Thomas More College baseball team rallied to defeat third-seeded Thiel College, 4-3, today (Thursday, May 10, 2018) in the opening game of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship Tournament at Ross Memorial Park in Washington, Pennsylvania.
With the win, the Saints improve to 22-17 and advance to winner's bracket final game tomorrow at 12 p.m. Thomas More will play either No. 1 seed Washington & Jefferson College and No. 4 seed Saint Vincent College. Thiel falls to 15-23 with the loss and advances to an elimination game tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Thiel took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when Adam Giesley hit a two-run home run. The Saints cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning when senior second baseman Ben Laumann (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) had a run batted-in ground out scoring junior shortstop Jacob Whitford (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands).
The Tomcat's Zach Hudecek had a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning to extend the lead to 3-1. Thomas More tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh when first-year left fielder Brady Reynolds (White Oak, Ohio/LaSalle) had a two-out two-run single scoring Whitford and junior catcher Matt Wellbrock (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder).
Thomas More took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth innings when junior first baseman Sean Lawrence (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) scored on a Thiel throwing error. The Saints retired Thiel 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to win the game 4-3.
Senior pitcher Jayson Essell (Cincinnati, Ohio/Oak Hills) earned the complete game win as he pitched all nine innings giving up three runs (all earned) on 10 hits, while striking out three.
The Saints were led at the plate by Wellbrock, who was two-for-three with two runs scored. Reynolds was one-for-three with two RBI, Laumann was one-for-three with a RBI and Lawrence was one-for-four with a run scored.