Opportunity knocks, W&J doesn’t answer in NCAA regional loss
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Washington & Jefferson left 14 runners on base and lost 4-2 to top-seeded Manchester (Ind.) in a winners’ bracket game Thursday at the NCAA Division III Baseball Mideast Regional at Art Nehf Field.
Manchester (37-5-1) broke a 2-2 tie by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning.
W&J (31-12) had numerous chances throughout the game. The Presidents loaded the bases in the first inning with one out, but scored only one run, on Kyle McLain’s RBI groundout.
“It’s not what happened during the late innings, but early in the game when Manchester is conceding runs and you don’t cash in. That’s what comes back to haunt you,” W&J coach Jeff Mopuntain said.
W&J put at least one runner on base during all nine innings. The Presidents left two runners on base five different times.
W&J’s lead grew to 2-0 in the second when Derek McIlvaine scored on an error.
Manchester tied the score at 2-2 in the third, getting a bases-loaded walk and sacrifice fly. The Spartans scored three of their four runs, including both in the key fifth inning, on sacrifice flies.
Brian O’Neill was the losing pitcher. His record dropped to 6-3 after allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits in five innings. He walked four.
W&J faces Wooster in an elimination game at 10 a.m. today. The Presidents and Fighting Scots met last season in a Mideast Regional elimination game, a contest won by W&J 8-0 on Eddie Nogay’s complete-game shutout.
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