Montgomery, Alabama (incnow.tv)- Senior Ignatius Mackenzie (Waipahu, HI/Waipahu) helped keep the Indiana Tech baseball team’s hopes alive by coming through with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth to propel the Warriors to a 4-3 win over No. 21 Georgetown College on Friday night in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.
The fourth-seeded Warriors avoid elimination and advance into the next round where they will meet top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Faulkner University once again.
Mackenzie broke a 0-0 deadlock in the bottom of the fourth inning with a clutch two-out RBI double down the left field line plating Ben Christian (Lubbock, TX/Wayland Baptist) to give the Warriors an early lead.
Georgetown (36-19), the brackets three-seed, answered in the top of the fifth with two runs to pull ahead, but Bryan Brudi (Churubusco, IN/Francis Marion) drove home Christian and Jacob Dunnichay (Elwood, IN/Southern Utah) with a base hit in the home half of the frame to put Tech back on top 3-2.
After the Bulldogs tied the game in the seventh, the Warriors had chances to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings but were unable to cash in on their opportunities.
Tech pitcher Josh Miller (Delphos, OH/Jefferson) retired the Georgetown hitters in order in the eighth and ninth to give the offense a chance and the bats delivered. The Warriors loaded the bases with only one out in the ninth before Mackenzie greeted the new relief pitcher by singling up the middle to end the game.
Mackenzie finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBI. Christian and Dunnichay collected two hits each while Christian scored three runs. Miller improved his season record to 7-2 as he allowed just three runs on three hits over nine innings pitched.
Indiana Tech (33-17) will face Faulkner (48-11) on Saturday, May 11 at 3 p.m. CST with the winner moving on to the bracket championship against No. 16 Texas Wesleyan University at 7 p.m. CST.
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