KINGSPORT, Tenn. (May 3, 2017) – Austin Perry went the distance in a complete game effort, but a four-run first inning doomed the Milligan College baseball team to a 4-3 defeat against Point University Wednesday afternoon in the opening round of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament, held at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Perry was sharp from the second inning on, throwing perfect innings from the second through the fifth and only allowing three over the minimum. At one point he retired 13 straight Skyhawks and 20 in a span of 21 batters faced. His only other jam was the final inning on the mound as he allowed two singles, but no one advanced beyond second base after the first inning.
In all, Perry threw eight innings, allowed seven hits and no walks with three strikeouts. He suffered the loss as Point plated four runs in the first inning despite having nobody on and two out. The two-out rally started with a hit batter followed by back-to-back singles then a double down the right field line. Four of Point’s seven hits in the game came in the opening frame.
Milligan (23-28) twice cut Point’s (33-19) lead in half. In the third inning, the Buffs pushed two runs across to make it 4-2. Andrew Copas and Jascanel Ferreras had back-to-back sacrifice flies to center field, scoring Drew Patterson and Hunter Suggs, respectively. In the fourth inning, Thomas Miller drove in a run with a groundout to short to make it 4-3.
Milligan’s best chance to tie the game came in the seventh inning when Miller led off with a single to center field, followed by a sac bunt from Suggs which put Patterson, courtesy running for Miller, to second. However, the Buffs were unable to move him any further and could not manage to get any runner past first in the last two innings.
With the loss in the opening round of the tournament, Milligan has moved to the losers bracket where the Buffs will next face Bryan College Thursday morning at 9 a.m. in an elimination game. A win over Bryan would mean the Buffs would play again Friday morning at 9 a.m. then again Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., contingent on wins in the previous game. The AAC championship game is scheduled for Saturday.