The Doane College baseball team advanced in the NAIA Opening Round Tournament on Thursday afternoon with a 7-6 victory in 11 innings over Mount Vernon Nazarene University (OH). The win moves the Tigers into a match-up with defending NAIA champion, Concordia University (CA), tonight at 8:00 PM (EST).
Doane opened the game with five runs in the first three innings, holding a 5-1 lead. With two down in the first inning, Mike Albert reached on an error and moved to second base. He came in to score on a RBI-single from Chris Manning.
The Tigers added to their lead with three runs in the second inning. Andres Rivera reached on an error, a catcher's interference call allowed Anthony Dunn to reach and Ethan Schroeder added a bunt hit to load the bases. Alex Arkfeld followed by hitting a hard line drive between the legs of the third baseman to drive in a run but Jed Derr was thrown out at the plate after entering the game to run for Dunn. Anthony Hincy plated Schroeder with a sacrifice fly and AJ Spanel's RBI-single down the right field line brought in Arkfeld for a 4-0 lead.
In the third, Manning reached on a dropped fly ball and eventually came in to score on a wild pitch.
Mount Vernon Nazarene battled back with a run in the third and two more in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at 5-5. Tiger starter Tim Carlson went 7.1 innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on 10 hits while striking out two.
The Tigers had opportunities in the ninth and tenth innings to take the lead but putting their lead-off batter on base. However, MVNU was able to escape the threat. In the top of the 10th, Doane had runners at first and third base but a double play ended the inning.
In the 11th inning, Andres Rivera reach on an error by the shortstop for MVNU, the team's ninth error of the game. Dunn followed with an infield single and following an intentional walk, the bases were loaded for Arkfeld. The Tiger freshman followed with a two-run single to right field to plate Dylan Flott and Josh Hayden who had entered to run for Rivera and Dunn, respectively. Doane was unable to plate any more runs with one runner cut down at the plate and two more erased by a double play.
The Cougars did not go quietly in the bottom of the 11th. A lead-off walk and a single against Tiger reliever Nathan Roth put the tying runs on base to open the inning. Following a ground out that moved both runners up a base, Jake Dickerson hit a blast into deep left field that was caught by Arkfeld just in front of the warning track and plated a run to cut the Doane lead to 7-6. A ground ball to Hincy ended the game for Doane.
Roth (5-4) picked up the win, throwing 3.1 innings, allowing three hits and one run.
Doane finished with eight hits, two from Manning and Dunn. Arkfeld had three RBIs in the game. MVNU had 13 hits in the game but left 12 runners on base.