Cougars win AMC tournament, advance to NAIA opening round

By Heather Knobeloch

Sports Editor

The MVNU baseball team went on to win the American Mideast Conference Tournament on May 8 after multiple weather delays, when the team beat Point Park University.

The tournament was to be held at Point Park, since they earned the right to host it after winning the first seed. Point Park had the number one seed because of the tie-breaker with the Cougars, despite having the same conference record.

The field conditions, though, caused the games to be moved to MVNU at Point Park’s request.

Malone University also made the tournament, in addition to MVNU and Point Park.

MVNU played in the first game against Malone on May 3. The Cougars ended up winning the game 5-2. The game had been pushed back two hours because of rain.

After the loss, Malone played Point Park on May 4.

Point Park beat Malone 5-3, eliminating Malone from the tournament.

With only the Cougars and Point Park left, the two teams started a best of three series to decide the winner.

The two teams played game one on May 4.

Thanks to the hot-hitting Cougars Steve Williams, Michael Hendren and Chaz Gibson, who all had two hits apiece, and Ricardo Rodriguez, who had three RBIs, the Cougars put 9 runs on the board.

That proved to be enough for the win with Caleb Wright on the mound. Wright pitched the complete game and gave up only eight hits, three walks and three runs over the nine innings. This was his 21st career win.

The win got the Cougars one game away from winning the tournament for the second straight year.

Point Park then decided that they wanted to play the next two games at home, so the series moved to Pennsylvania.

The games were delayed until Friday, May 8, because the field was still not playable.

When the series did pick back up for game two, the Cougars were not to sweep Point Park, as they lost game two 7-5.

Game three would decide the winner and it remained a close game. Point Park quickly got off to a 3-0 lead by scoring one run in the first inning and two more in the second.

In the third inning, the Cougars scored three to tie the game up. The Cougars went on to take the lead in the top of the fifth when Chaz Gibson hit a single that scored Ian Durbin. The 4-3 lead would be all that was needed. Tin Harvey picked up the win in relief and the Cougars will now advance to the NAIA National Tournament for the second straight year.

The opening round of the tournament will take place May 12-16.

(Wrote based on Dave Parsons sports releases)

For more visit MVNU’s Cougar Athletics website