• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Midway baseball season ends in NAIA opening round - 5-25-2017

TYLER JONES, a junior on the Midway University baseball team, was the team's best hitter during the opening round of the NAIA baseball tournament on Monday, May 15, in Lima, Ohio. Jones went 4-for-8 for a .500 batting average with a run scored. (Photo by Midway Athletics)

The Midway University baseball team saw its inaugural season come to an end last week when the Eagles suffered losses to MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and Middle Georgia State in the opening round of the 2017 NAIA Baseball National Championship in Lima, Ohio. Midway played MidAmerica Nazarene on Monday, May 15 in its first game, and saw the Pioneers score five runs in their final two at-bats to defeat the Eagles 8-3. With the loss to MidAmerica Nazarene, Midway dropped to the consolation bracket, where they faced No. 10 Middle Georgia State in an elimination game. The Eagles went toe-to-toe with the 10th ranked Knights, but MGS hit a walk-off double for the 14-13 victory. In the game against MidAmerica Nazarene, the Pioneers scored two runs in the first inning, one in both the fourth and eighth innings, while adding four runs in the ninth to score the 8-3 win. Midway scored three runs in the first inning to take a 3-2 lead, but were unable to add to the total, finishing with just three runs. Midway got a solid outing from junior Chase Heslep, who tossed seven innings allowing three runs on eight hits. Junior Conner Lindsay followed Heslep and took the loss. He allowed four runs on five hits. Senior Derek Jones got one out in the ninth and allowed a run, while sophomore Neal Kirkpatrick surrendered just one hit in 2/3rds-inning of work. Senior Hector Quinones, and juniors Barrett Croslin and DJ Lewis all recorded a hit and an RBI in the first inning for Midway. Senior Josh Wenning and junior Danny Maguire tallied the other two hits for the Eagles. In their second game against Middle Georgia State, the Eagles came back from numerous deficits as they went toe-to-toe with the No. 10 team in the country. Midway out-hit the Knights 20-18, but the Knights won in the run column, 14-13, to end Midway’s season. Middle Georgia State scored in each of the first five innings. The Knights scored one run in the first, five in the second, three in the third and two in both the fourth and fifth innings. Midway scored two runs in the second inning, three in the third, five in the fifth, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to tie the game at 13-13. The Knights, however, hit a walk-off double in the ninth inning to get the 14-13 win. James Davenport started the game and lasted 3-1/3rd innings. The junior allowed 11 runs on 11 hits, while striking out three. Hector Quinones followed Davenport and took the loss. The senior allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings of work on the mound. Offensively, the Eagles had nine players record a hit with seven of those tallying a multi-hit ball game. Junior Tyler Jones led the way going 4-for-5 with a run scored. Wenning, freshman Matthew Olson, Hector Quinones, Croslin and senior Reid Battles collected at least two hits each to go with two RBI each. Olson hit the RBI single in the ninth that tied the game at 13-13. Maguire added two hits, an RBI and three runs scored, while Lewis had a double for his hit with an RBI and a run scored. Freshman Noah Marion tied Maguire for the most runs scored with three. Wenning, Olson, Quinones, Croslin and Battles all scored one run each. With those two losses, the Eagles end a successful first season at Midway with a 28-30 overall record, which included winning the River States Conference Baseball Tournament title. (Information courtesy of Dylan Brown/Midway Univ. Sports Information)

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