MARION, Ind. - No. 5 Doane College hasn't wasted any opportunity to make the 2012 NAIA Baseball Opening Round a memorable time. On Thursday night the Tigers slipped by #1 seed Concordia University Irvine with a lead off steal of home on a pitch in the dirt. After moving to the losers bracket after a tough game with #2 Point Park, the Tigers again met the top seeded Eagles, this time in an elimination match that would end one teams season.
Doane took an early lead on the Eagles, scoring 1 in the 2nd and two in the 3rd. Adding one run in each of the 5th and 6th innings Doane gained their largest lead 6-2. The Tigers benefited from a great pitching effort by Rolando Celis, who went for 7 innings, with 7 hits, and 3 errors. Celis was credited with the Win for the Tigers and Nathan Roth with the save. Jake Hovis took the loss for the Eagles as they were unable to catch Doane down the stretch.
The Eagles managed to pull back 2 runs in the 8th to cut the Tigers lead to 2 to set up an interesting final inning. After two singles to put men on first and second Concordia played a sacrifice bunt to move runners to 2nd and 3rd, but were only to score one run on a following ground out to 2nd. With two outs and a man on third Aaron Gates of Concordia struck on looking to end the game, and usher the Eagles out of the tournament.
Doane will be hoping to continue their run into the final, and hand Point Park their first loss of the opening round. The Pioneers will doubtlessly be keen to wrap things up in Marion tonight with a win, but should a second game be needed it will be played Monday, May 14 the time for that game is still TBA