Zebulon, N.C. - The 2nd-seeded Battling Bishop baseball team saw its 2013 season come to an end on Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the USA South Tournament. Despite dropping Thursday's tourney opener to Maryville, Wesleyan rebounded for 5-3 and 4-1 wins over #3 Averett and #1 Christopher Newport on Friday to set up Saturday's quarterfinal game versus #4 LaGrange at Five County Stadium.
Versus Averett at Fleming Stadium on Friday, the Bishops got a complete-game performance from junior Will Beasley (5-2), who allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out four.
Offensively, senior Jake Alexander drove in Wesleyan's first run for an early 1-0 lead, and a costly Cougar fielding error led to a three-run fourth. Sophomore J.J. Rodriguez added an insurance run with an RBI-single in the seventh to wrap up Wesleyan's scoring, while freshman James Kornegay finished 3-for-4 at the plate.
The Bishops followed up with a 4-1 victory that eliminated top-seeded CNU. Ciro Norzagaray (4-0) was the star of the game, going 6.1 innings and allowing just one unearned run on six hits. The talented freshman also helped his cause at the plate by ripping two hits, one of which was a two-run double in the fifth that proved to be the gamewinner.
Dillon Moore tossed the final 2.2 scoreless frames to secure his fourth save of the season.
It was then on to Five County Stadium on Saturday for a quarterfinal match-up with 4th-seeded LaGrange. RBI-singles by Rodriguez and Brad Guengerich gave NCWC an early 2-0 lead in the first, but the Panthers battled back to tie it in the seventh.
After LaGrange plated a single run in the eighth for a 3-2 advantage, Kornegay answered with a RBI-single to score Stephen Machin with the tying run in the ninth. Unfortunately, the Panthers would scratch a run in their final at-bat to secure their spot in the evening's semifinal game with a 4-3 win.
Norzagaray and Rodriguez each had two hits for the Bishops en route to All-Tournament honors. Starter Hatteras Brooks got a no-decision after giving up two runs (one earned) on ten hits in 6.1 innings of work.
The Bishops finish 2013 with a 21-23 overall record and graduate just two seniors heading into next season, Alexander and Jake Swartout.