- Siena Heights
parlayed its lowest seed placing in the 2012 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference
(WHAC) into a tournament championship and a spot in the NAIA World Series.
delivered a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to score Kyle Johnson
and capture the WHAC tournament title with a 4-3 defeat of top-seeded Indiana Tech. The Saints marched through the tournament without a loss.
Tech struck first when Ignatius Mackenzie and Eric Ward scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Owens in the second inning. Adam Crall then scored Owens, who had reached base on a throwing error, for a three-run Warrior lead. SHU countered in its next at-bat with two runs when WHAC Player of the Year Cory Lehman scored on a single by Josh White and Robbie Schwartz drove in White. The Saints tied the score with another run in the sixth when White scored again with bases loaded.
Tech went three and done at the top of the ninth with the score knotted at 3-3. Kyle Nolen walked the Schwartz, the first batter, and Johnson entered the game as a pinch runner for the Saints. Todd Vandercook advanced Johnson with a sacrifice bunt and Chaz Poindexter moved him to third with a ground out to the pitcher. Benschoter singled up the the middle to score Johnson for the win.
Winning pitcher Matt King went the distance for Siena and tossed a four-hitter with five strikeouts. King only allowed one hit after the third inning. Nolen suffered the loss for Tech.
The Saints, now 31-23, claim the league's automatic berth to the 56th Annual Baseball National Championship Opening Round May 10-14 and will play at one of nine campus sites: Azusa, Calif., Marion, Ind., Paducah, Ky., Kingsport, Tenn., Oklahoma City, Okla., Cleveland, Tenn., Daytona Beach, Fla., Hutchinson, Kan., or Hardeeville, S.C.