Midway University
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MidAmerica Nazarene University
Baseball - Mon, May 15, 2017

Lima, Ohio – The Midway University baseball team opening play in the 2017 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round on Monday morning when they took on MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, Ohio.

Unfortunately for Midway (28-29), they didn't get off to the start they were looking for in the Opening Round. The Pioneers (35-18) scored one in the eighth and four in the ninth to come away with the 8-3 victory to send the Eagles into the consolation bracket.

The Eagles will now face elimination on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. ET when they take on Middle Georgia State University at the St. Rita's Sports Complex on the campus of UNOH.

The game didn't start as Midway would've hoped as the Pioneers hit a solo home run off Chase Heslep (Bellingham, Wash.) on the first pitch of the game. The Pioneers added to their lead with an RBI groundout as they took a 2-0 lead after the top half of the first.

Midway dialed up an answer with three runs on three hits in the first off MidAmerica Nazarene starter, Matt Terrones. Terrones struggled with control as he walked Josh Wenning (Palmyra, Ind.) and Matthew Olson (Louisville, Ky.) to open the bottom of the first.

After Wenning and Olson swiped third and second in a double steal, Hector Quinones (Barceloneta, PR) picked up an RBI when he grounded out to first. Barrett Croslin (Russellville, Ky.) then singled to score Olson from third and tie the game at 2-2.

Carlos Cespedes (Santo Domingo, D.R.) kept the inning alive by reaching on a fielder's choice, while Danny Maguire (Dana Point, Calif.) bunted for a hit to put runners at first and second with two out. Junior, DJ Lewis (San Diego, Calif.) delivered an RBI single to score Cespedes and give Midway the 3-2 lead after one.

After both starting pitchers were touched up for a run in the first, they would calm down and get on the right track. Both teams would get runners on, but couldn't score until the fourth inning when the Pioneers got a third run off Heslep.

Both pitchers would continue to toss up scoreless innings in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings as Heslep was pulled for Conner Lindsay (Nicholasville, Ky.) to start the eighth. Heslep would eventually take the no decision as he allowed three runs on eight hits in seven innings. He also walked five and fanned four.

Lindsay allowed a run in the eighth as the Pioneers took a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth. The bottom of the eighth presented Midway's best chance to score since the first inning.

Quinones singled and Croslin reached on a fielder's choice to put runners at first and second with no one out. Cespedes then laid down a sac bunt to advance the runners to second and third with one out. The Pioneers got out of the jam with a groundout and a pop out to preserve the 4-3 lead.

MidAmerica Nazarene added to their lead with four runs in the top of the ninth as the lead grew to 8-3 heading to the bottom of the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Scott Heideman (Elizabethtown, Ky.) was hit by a pitch with one out, but the lead was too much as the Pioneers held on for the 8-3 victory.

Lindsay took the loss for Midway allowing four runs on five hits in one inning of work. Derek Jones (Mt. Washington, Ky.) allowed a run in ninth, while picking up one out as Neal Kirkpatrick (Central City, Ky.) got the final two outs in the top of the ninth.

Offensively, the Eagles tallied just five hits. Hector Quinones, Barrett Croslin and DJ Lewis all picked up a hit and an RBI. Josh Wenning and Dany Maguire tallied the other two hits, while Wenning, Matthew Olson and Carlos Cespedes all scored one run. 

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