The Maryville College baseball team endured a heartbreaking loss in the USA South Tournament on Sunday against the Huntingdon College Hawks.
The Hawks won in the first game of the day, 1-0, before running away with game two and a 9-8 win to claim the conference crown.
Maryville Scots were down by one with the bases loaded in a ninth-inning rally, before a hard-hit fly ball to short left field tragically ended Maryville’s tournament run.
All-American honors were given to Maryville’s Evan Ezell, Clifton Dempsey, Andrew Henry and Seth Debity for their exceptional play in the 2016 tournament.
In game one, Maryville’s Debity pitched a complete game, allowing only four hits from the Hawks. He struck out nine batters while walking only two.
Huntingdon scored the game’s only run behind a squeeze bunt, as Josh Hines scored Mason Thorneberry.
Maryville’s Johnny Carpenter led the Scots’ with a 2-for-3 day, as Zack Blonder and Logan Jenkins each earned a hit.
Errors played a big impact to the Scots in game two.
Huntingdon scored two big runs in the first inning, as Jordan Criswell hit an RBI double to left field to score Alec Raley. Gunnar Peters followed with an RBI single to right-center to score Anthony Spivey for a 2-0 Hawks lead.
Maryville fought back in the bottom of the inning, as Henry scored on an error off a Jenkins bunt by the Hawks. Blonder scored Jenkins with a sacrifice fly, as the game was tied 2-all.
Huntingdon then regained the lead in the top of the second.
The Scots fought back hard and took back control in the bottom of the inning, as Ezell scored on a Dempsey hit. Henry scored Dempsey with an RBI single. While on a roll, Henry again scored on an error off a Jenkins’ bunt, as the Scots led the Hawks 5-3 after two innings.
Two errors in the top of the fourth inning helped the Hawks to take a convincing lead, as they scored six runs on only four hits. Going to the fifth, the Hawks led 9-5 over Maryville.
In the bottom of the sixth, Maryville gained a pair of runs in a comeback rally. Carpenter used an RBI single to left center to score Dempsey. Chris Ervin followed with an RBI up the middle to score Jenkins, as the Scots trailed 9-7.
Maryville loaded the bags in the bottom of the ninth, as Henry recorded an RBI to score Patrick Messinger. However, it wouldn’t be enough.
Maryville was led by Henry’s 3-for-5, two-RBI, two-run day, while Jenkins went 2-for-5 with two runs. Carpenter was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Dempsey and Ezell each went 2-for-4. Dempsey scored two runs, as Ezell plated one. Greg Vourloumis went 1-for-1. Ervin was 1-for-5 with an RBI.
The Scots will patiently await the NCAA Selection on Sunday, May 8, for a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. This season, Maryville has broken the all-time winningest record for school’s history with an outstanding 29-15 record, earning the most wins in the 140 years of the program.
Those 29 wins break the record of 28 wins set in the 1995 season 21 years ago.