Written by Matthew McKinney
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team fell to the top-seeded Spalding University Golden Eagles 2-4 in the quarterfinals of the USCAA Small College World Series on Tuesday.
Southern Virginia (17-17) jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Spalding in the top of the first, but the Knights could not hold their early lead as Spalding (29-10-1) scored one run in the fourth inning, followed by a three-run fifth that sealed the victory for the Golden Eagles.
Mitch Stevenson (Muskogee, Okla.), who is tied for the team lead with 50 hits this season, led off the game for the Knights with a single up the middle and eventually scored from third on a throwing error from Spalding's catcher putting Southern Virginia up 1-0.
Two batters later, first baseman Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) recorded Southern Virginia's only RBI of the game with a two-out single to center scoring third baseman Trager Hintze (St. George, Utah) from second base.
Unfortunately for the Knights, they only managed one more hit—a single from Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) in the second inning—the rest of the way as Spalding's starting pitcher Taylor Reilly subdued Southern Virginia's high-powered offense on route to the complete-game win.
Southern Virginia's starting pitcher Tyler Cox (Forest, Miss.) was solid early opening the game with three hitless innings against the Golden Eagles.
However, a costly two-out error by the Knights in the bottom of the fifth allowed Spalding to score three unearned runs on four hits against Cox before Jordan Stailey (Silver City, N.M.) entered in relief to get the final out of the inning.
Stailey (0-0) gave up no hits and no runs in 1.1 innings of relief, while Cox (0-2) took the loss for the Knights in 4.2 innings.
Tuesday's loss snaps Southern Virginia's six-game winning streak and drops the Knights into the tournament's consolation bracket.
The Knights, who are still in contention for their first national title as the SCWS is a double-elimination style tournament, now awaits the winner of Robert-Morris-Springfield/Penn State-Beaver game with both teams having already suffered one loss in Springfield, Ill.
Southern Virginia's game on Wednesday is cheduled for 12:30 p.m. EST.