ALBANY, Ga. – In their first eligible year as members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAC), the Spring Hill College baseball team advanced to the championship round of the conference tournament to face the defending champion Golden Rams of Albany State University.
The Badgers fell behind early when they failed to score through two at-bats and ASU plated runs in each of their first two turns.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 3rd inning, Daniel Rodriguez sent an 0-2 breaking ball over the left center field fence to put SHC ahead 4-2.
The Golden Rams got one back in the home half of the 4th after a RBI single from Chasen Roulhac.
Spring Hill promptly responded, adding four runs in the 5th inning highlighted by a 2-RBI single from Rodriguez.
The Badgers continued their onslaught in the 6th when Grayson Williams made the game 10-3 after a 2-run home run to left field.
The game was put on ice in the 7th inning when SHC scored seven runs with two outs. Rodriguez again highlighted the inning with a bases clearing double that pushed the lead past the mercy rule limit.
The defending champs threatened in the home half of the inning, but were not able to muster enough of a comeback and the game ended in seven innings with the Badgers winning, 17-5.
In four games, the Spring Hill offense outscored their opponents 55-14.
"Sometimes you get hot, and we were hitting everything," said head coach Frank Sims. "I think the confidence level skyrocketed as soon as [Rodriguez] hit that grand slam, it was just a boat race from there."
With the win, Spring Hill (29-20) has secured their first ever bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament.
2019 SIAC BASEBALL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
AJ Fell, Spring Hill
Daniel Rodriguez, Spring Hill
Grayson Williams, Spring Hill
Jonathan Cirullo, Albany State
Chasen Roulhac, Albany State
Brandon Conner, Miles
Destin Davidson, Miles
Werten Bellamy, Morehouse
Cameron Starks, Kentucky State
Jordan Johnson, Clark-Atlanta
MVP: Brennan Fontenot, Spring Hill
Coach of the Tournament: Frank Sims, Spring Hill