Courtesy of Aurora University
SAUGET, Ill. -- The Aurora University baseball team had to endure a lengthy delay due to rain from mother nature before returning to the field in the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship regional on Friday night which turned into Saturday morning against the Monmouth College in Sauget, Illinois. The Spartans fell to Monmouth College and saw the 2018 season end with an exciting offensive contest that ended with an 11-10 AU loss.
GAME INFORMATION – Friday, May 18 into Saturday, May 19
Game Score: #7 Monmouth College 11, #6 Aurora University 10
Records: Aurora University (30-15)
Location: Sauget, Illinois - GCS Credit Union Ballpark
Game time: 3:14 - spanning two days
Weather: Damp and humid once the rain stopped
SPARTAN HIGHLIGHTS -
- The Spartans fell behind in the second inning with an unearned run scoring for Monmouth.
- The first pitch that Bryce DeSpain saw in the bottom of the second inning, he hit a long way over the left field fence to tie the game 1-1.
- In the third, Monmouth got a lead-off single and a throwing error on a bunt before a three-run home run that just landed beyond the reach of the AU outfielders at the short right field fence.
- Trailing 4-1, AU put runners on in the bottom half of the inning but left a pair stranded.
- The Spartans saw Monmouth add to their lead in the fourth,scoring four more times as Chris Roycroft gave way to Jacob Stockman in relief. The runs all coming with two outs in the inning.
- AU would score a run in the bottom of the fourth as AJ Gill scored from second on a fly out and errant throw from the Monmouth outfielder.
- Stockman set down the Scots in the fifth and the Spartan offense chipped away in the bottom half of the inning.
- With one out and Jett Wedekind and Jeff Mayes on base, Davis Purviance singled to drive them both in while cutting the deficit to 8-4 and forcing Monmouth into their bullpen.
- A pair of fielding errors in the top of the sixth allowed an unearned run for Monmouth who now led 9-4.
- In the seventh the Spartans saw Monmouth add to their lead with one run.
- Trailing 10-4 the Spartans came alive in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Mayes was hit by a pitch, Purviance singled and DeSpain walked to load the bases and Monmouth made a pitching change. A walk to AJ Gill and singles from Cale Sparks and Paul Dobravec all scored runs and following another Monmouth pitching change, the Spartans trailed 10-7. After a Cole Davis run scoring fielders choice, Austin Wiskow and Wedekind walked to load the bases and pull the game to within one at 10-9. Mayes walked and with Nathan Smith scoring the game was knotted 10-10.
- John Barnes came on in the eighth inning with the game tied 10 all.
- The eighth inning was only the second inning of the game (first inning) that neither team scored a run.
- A leadoff walk in the ninth led to one run on a double giving Monmouth an 11-10 lead.
- Austin Wiskow drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth but he was left stranded at first base as AU fell 11-10.
HITS: Cale Sparks (3) and Davis Purviance (2)
HOME RUN: Bryce DeSpain (1)
RUNS: AJ Gill, Jeff Mayes and Bryce DeSpain (2)
RUNS BATTED IN: Davis Purviance (2)
APPEARANCES (innings): Chris Roycroft (3.2), Jacob Stockman (3.1), John Barnes (1.0) and Kyle Blunt (1.0)
DECISIONS: John Barnes (loss, 2-5)
STRIKEOUTS: Jacob Stockman (2) and Chris Roycroft (1)
The Spartan baseball team concludes the 2018 season with a 30-15 overall record, a Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship and the program's 21st NCAA Division III Tournament appearance.