OZARK, Alabama —Stillman College won the 2013 SIAC Baseball Tournament for the sixth time in seven years after defeating Tuskegee University 12-6 Sunday at the Historic Eagle Stadium in Ozark, Alabama.
The Tigers from Tuscaloosa (30-14) scored six runs in the fourth inning and negated a comeback attempt by Tuskegee by adding another six runs in the final innings. Fernando Tanaka finished with three hits, three RBI's, including a solo home run to lead Stillman which improved its record to 30-14. Tyler Vails came in relief, pitching three innings to pick up the win, while Tanaka faced four Tuskegee batters to pick up the save.
Tanaka was named Most Valuable Player of the Tournament and was named to the All-Tournament team along with pitchers Vails and Kyle McNorton.
Tuskegee, making its first appearance in the SIAC Championship game since winning its last tournament in 1989, could not capitalize on scoring opportunities as the team left 15 men on base, including ending two innings with the bases loaded.
Brandon Mapp had four hits and two runs scored to anchor Tuskegee (18-21). Cash Oliver (two hits, RBI) was named to the SIAC All-Tournament Team along with teammates John Bryant and Gene Moody.
The game went scoreless until the fourth inning when Kyle Smith's triple gave Stillman its first hit of the game. The next batter Kameron McCreless was hit by a pitch, followed by Nick Baldeli-Boggs's two-run double to right center, giving Stillman a 2-0 lead. With runners on first and second, Ken Perky, in his first at-bat of the tournament, hit a three run home run over the right center field wall to increase Stillman's lead to 5-0. On the next pitch, Tanaka took the first pitch he saw in that at-bat deep to right field for a solo shot to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead at the end of the inning.
The Golden Tigers were not going to be outdone as the team was able to score on a Tim Brock RBI single cutting the score 6-1. Moments later, with the bases loaded, Cameron Summer's drove in another run on a sac fly for a 6-2 score at the end of the fourth inning.
In the top of the seventh inning, aided by an error, a balk, and a Russell Cornin RBI single, Tuskegee climbed back into the game with three runs in the seventh inning to make the score 7-5. Stillman, however, would deliver the nail in the coffin by scoring five runs in the final three innings to claim the title.
Stillman advances to play in the NCAA South Regional Tournament beginning on May 16th at a location yet to be determined.
Tournament MVP: Fernando Tanaka, Stillman
Most Outstanding Coach: Donnie Crawford, Stillman