Milligan College baseball grinds out victory in AAC opening round

 Brandon Malone‘s two-run homer in the first, Codie Campbell‘s eight strong innings on the mound, Jarrett Ramsay’s two hitless innings of relief, and Josh Peterson‘s and Nick Loughry‘s RBI’s in the 10th were all instrumental parts of a thrilling 7-4 extra-inning victory the Milligan College baseball team posted over Point University in the opening round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament Monday afternoon at Hunter Wright Stadium.

Milligan (25-19, 16-11 AAC) will face the No. 7 Tennessee Wesleyan/Truett-McConnell winner Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in the fourth-slotted game of day two.

Peterson had the game-winning RBI in the top of the 10th when he was plunked by a 2-1 pitch with two out and the bases loaded. It put the Buffaloes on top 5-4 and marked their first run since Edwin Soto‘s one-out RBI single put Milligan on top 4-0 in the third.

Loughry followed Peterson’s at-bat with an RBI single on a 1-2 pitch that gave relief pitcher Ramsay two runs of insurance. Not that the senior right-hander needed it, however, as he struck out two in a perfect bottom half of the 10th and improved to 3-0.

Ramsay was brought on in the bottom of the ninth and ran into some trouble as Point put the leadoff man, and potential winning run, on base before eventually loading the bases with one out. A Milligan error was partly to blame for that, but the Buffs escaped the trouble with a 4-6 lineout double play, the only double play turned in the entire 10-inning game.

Campbell threw the first eight innings for Milligan, and outside of a three-run third, gave up only four hits and a walk. In all, the right-hander allowed seven hits, two walks and four runs while striking out three. Ramsay did not allow a hit or run in two innings.

Sam Tarlton led off the top of the 10th with a double down the left field line then came around to score the winning run after a Nate Clifton sacrifice bunt, Tyler Weir walk, and Soto hit batsman loaded the bases for Peterson.

Tarlton and Weir each led the Buffs with multiple hits. Tarlton was 2-for-4 with a run while Weir was 3-for-4 with three runs.

Up next, Milligan will face the TWC/TMC winner Tuesday evening in the 7 p.m. time slot. A victory in that game would put the Buffaloes into the final of bracket A, where another win would put them in the tournament championship game.



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