St. Cloud, Minn. (MIAA Press Release) – Second seeded Central Missouri pitchers stranded 12 runners from Arkansas-Monticello on base as UCM emerged 7-4 to win the central regional title game and earn a spot in the NCAA Division II World Series.
Central Missouri took the first lead of the game on the fourth pitch of the game as Matt Elliott homered to right center field. Arkansas-Monticello evened things up in the bottom of the first as a bases loaded walk brought home a runner.
The Mules would go back on top in the top of the second as Matt Safranek used a sacrifice bunt to bring home Derek Cornell. UCM would tack on another run in the top of the third inning as Jake Alexander singled through the left side to drive home Elliott.
The Weevils would answer and tie up the game in the bottom of the third as a home runs and single brought home two runs. UAM would then take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single.
UCM would bounce right back as Dylan Farrell and Derek Cornell both had RBI singles to start off the top of the fifth. Cornell would then make it 6-4 stealing home as part of a double steal with Alexander.
The Mules would add an insurance run in the top of the sixth as Alexander grounded out to second to drive home Blake Wilfong.
For the Mules Elliott finished three for four with three runs scored and Alexander was two for five with two runs driven in. On the mound Lucas Williams pitched four innings of relief to pick up the victory while Grant Gavin came on to pick up the save in the ninth inning.
UCM will await their placement in the NCAA Division II World Series bracket as play is scheduled to open for teams on either May 28 or 29 from the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C.