Spartans Fall In Return To NCAA Regional Play

Jeff Mayes
Jeff Mayes

Courtesy of Aurora University

SAUGET, Ill. -- The Aurora University baseball team made a return to the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship regional on Thursday afternoon against the University of Texas-Tyler in the Central Regional in Sauget, Illinois. The Spartans jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but would fall despite a late rally 8-5.

GAME INFORMATION – Thursday, May 17
Game Boxscore
Game Score: #3 University of Texas-Tyler 8, #6 Aurora University 5
Records: Aurora University (30-14)
Location: Sauget, Illinois - GCS Credit Union Ballpark
Attendance: 317
Game time: 2:33
Weather: Overcast, warm and breezy

SPARTAN HIGHLIGHTS -
- The Spartans scored first in the top of the first with two outs as Davis Purviance hit a home run to right field.
- AU starting pitcher Will King needed only eight pitches in the bottom of the inning to retire the side and get the Spartan bats back to the plate.
- AJ Gill drew a leadoff walk and after a Cale Sparks single, the Spartans were threatening. With two outs and Gill on third and Colin Rivard on first, Rivard stole second. When the Tyler catcher made a throw to third, he hit Gill with the ball which allowed Gill to scamper home for a 2-0 Spartan lead.
- A pair of walks by King in the second loaded the bases but the Spartan right-hander was able to get out of the jam, allowing a single run.
- Tyler scored four runs in the bottom of the third with a long three-run homer doing the bulk of the damage.
- AU threatened in the fourth with Gill reaching third with one out but the inning would end without the Spartans being able to score.
- Tyler added a run in the fifth on reliever Nick Mathey and after five innings, AU trailed 6-2.
- In the seventh, Purviance came up with a two-out single that scored Jett Wedekind and cutting the deficit down to three at 6-3.
- Three singles and a sac fly out for Tyler scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and AU now trailed 8-3 with two innings left.
- The first pitch that AJ Gill saw in the eighth inning he crushed over the left field fence to get a rally started.
- With one out, Paul Dobravec singled and Cole Davis followed with a pinch-hit single and the Spartans were in business.
- After an out, Wedekind walked to load the bases before Jeff Mayes hit an infield single to score Dobravec and AU now trailed 8-5 when the inning ended.
- The Spartans were not going quietly in the ninth, Gill walked with one out. With two-outs, Dobravec reached on a walk bringing up the tying run in pinch hitter Christian Carrera. Carrera would strike out after battling in the at-bat.
- AU would fall in their first NCAA regional game since 2012, 8-5.

SPARTAN LEADERS:
HITTING
HITS: Jeff Mayes (3)
HOME RUN: Davis Purviance and AJ Gill (1)
RUNS: AJ Gill (2)
RUNS BATTED IN: Davis Purviance (2)

PITCHING:
APPEARANCES (innings): Nick Mathey (3.2), Will King (3.0) and Carter Turnquist (1.1)
DECISIONS: Will King (loss, 6-1)
STRIKEOUTS: Will King and Nick Mathey (2)

UP NEXT
Next action for the Spartan baseball team comes Friday, May 18 in the 2018 NCAA Division III Central Regional. AU will take on the loser of the contest being played between #7 Monmouth College and #2 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at 1:15 p.m. at GCS Credit Union Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois.