LEXINGTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team's postseason run came to an end against Radford in the Big South Championship game on Sunday, as Tournament MVP Kyle Zurak turned in a complete game performance in the Highlanders' 9-2 victory at the Lexington County Baseball Stadium. PC finishes the season 32-29 overall to record its first winning record since moving to Division I.
Following the tournament, the Big South announced its All-Tournament team, with four Blue Hose earning a spot. Seniors Tyler Weyenberg and Hayden Deal each earned a spot to conclude their careers, while junior Nick Wise and sophomore Nick Guimbarda joined them on the squad. The four are the first players in PC history to be named to the All-Tournament team.
How It Happened
Both pitchers held the offenses in check through the first three innings, before both teams broke through in the fourth. Radford got it started with a run in the top half. Danny Hrbek led off the inning with a single, before moving to second on an error as the shortstop attempted to double him off at first on a lineout. Spencer Horwitz then doubled past the first baseman, as the ball took a nasty hop, to score Hrbek and give Radford a 1-0 lead.
The Blue Hose countered with a run in the bottom half of the fourth. Cletis Avery led off the frame with a ground-rule double to left to put a runner in scoring position. A groundout to first by Tyler Weyenberg moved him to third with Nick Wise then collecting an RBI, as the first baseman misplayed a grounder that allowed Wise to reach with Avery scoring regardless to tie the game at 1-1.
Radford busted the game open with six runs in the top of the fifth. With one out, a pair of Radford singles and a PC error loaded the bases. Jonathan Gonzalez singled through the right side to score the first run of the inning and a second PC error allowed the second run to cross the plate. Then, with the bases still loaded and one out, back-to-back two-RBI singles from Anthony Miano and Clayton Baine made it six runs in the inning for Radford, pushing the lead to 7-1.
Both teams brought home a run in the seventh. In the top half, Radford got a solo home run to right from Horwitz to put the advantage at 8-1. In the bottom half with runners on first and third and no outs, Guimbarda rolled into a double play that brought home Tyler Weyenberg to cut the lead to 8-2.
Radford tacked on one more in the top half of the ninth. Baine was hit by a pitch with one out, then stole second, and back-to-back singles by Richard De la Cruz and Luke Wise brought the run home, which turned into the eventual final score of 9-2.
Pitchers of Record
Radford hurler Kyle Zurak earned the win with a complete game, two-run performance. The righty allowed six hits and walked just one batter, while totaling nine strikeouts en route to being named the tournament's MVP.
PC reliever Ryan Hedrick suffered the loss, despite just allowing one earned run on the afternoon. The righty was tagged for six runs, five of which were unearned, on five hits in 0.2 inning pitched.
- PC finished the season with 32 wins, a Division I era record and the most by a PC team since 2000 when it won 37 games. The Blue Hose finished third in the Big South standing, its highest ever finish, and went on to make its first appearance in the Big South Championship game.
- PC's All-Tournament selections, Nick Guimbarda, Tyler Weyenberg, and Nick Wise, led the Blue Hose once again in the championship game. Guimbarda went 1-for-4 with a double to finish the tournament 8-for-20 (.400) with a pair of doubles, a homer, and three RBIs. Weyenberg was 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored, to go 9-for-22 (.409) with five doubles, a homer, three runs scored, and three RBIs in the tournament. Wise went 1-for-4 with an RBI to go 6-for-17 (.353) with a homer, three runs scored, and five RBIs in the tournament.
- PC starter Connor Jahn, making his second career start, allowed just one run on three hits in 3.2 innings pitched and recorded two strikeouts against one walk.