Miles finished its undefeated run through the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship with a 13-8, come-from-behind win over upstart LeMoyne-Owen Sunday afternoon at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
A six-run eighth inning helped erase an 8-6 deficit . Alex Bentley‘s two-run single scored Ryan Bargery and Tournament MVP Xavius Burden to give the Golden Bears (31-19) the lead for good. Christopher Elias (6-2), who came in to relieve starter William Donahoo, picked up the win – his second of the tournament. Burden threw two scoreless frames, finishing with a strikeout that sent the team into a frenzy at the pitcher’s mound and secured the school’s first-ever SIAC Tournament title and trip the the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament.
LeMoyne-Owen, which was the Western Division No. 4 seed and had the worst record of any team in the tournament, had rolled into the championship game by winning four straight games after an opening round loss. They had intentions of making it five consecutive wins and forcing a winner-take-all match and showed it by being the first team to hold a lead on Miles when it scored twice in the first inning for a 2-0 advantage.
The Golden Bears would bounce back, scoring twice in the third to tie the game, then adding single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take one-run leads. But the Magicians would scored twice on bases-loaded hit batsmen to take a 5-4 lead, then added three in the sixth to hold a four-run advantage.
The Miles comeback began in the seventh when Kolby Brannon‘s two-run single halved the deficit. In the eighth, the LeMoyne-Owen pitching staff, thinned out by playing a sixth game in three days, started to fall apart and the Golden Bears took advantage. Burden had a RBI single to make the score 8-7 before a wild pitch scored Peyton Logan to tie the game before Bentley’s big hit. Brannon followed with a RBI triple and the avalanche finally overcame the Magicians.
Courtesy Miles Sports Information