MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Thomas University baseball team waited out a rain shower, then a 30-minute lightning delay Monday morning, but fell, 3-2, to Talladega College at Mainieri Field in the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round.
After two scoreless innings, junior first baseman Jake Bryan rocketed a shot over the left field wall to give Thomas the 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Talladega scored three runs from three hits to take the lead.
In the sixth, Thomas threatened to score, but pinch runner Brent Summers was thrown out when trying to steal home on a passed ball.
Shortstop Chase Hinson led off the seventh with a base hit to center field, then advanced to third on a single to right by second baseman Luis Martinez. Bryan hit TU’s third-consecutive single, this one to left field, to drive in Hinson. With no outs, designated hitter Levi O’Steen drilled a line drive into the glove of the Talladega first baseman, who stepped on first to double up pinch runner Summers. Third baseman Landon Boyette then flew out to center to end the inning.
Thomas left one runner on base in the eighth and one in the ninth to take the 3-2 loss.
Hinson was 4-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, Martinez had a pair of hits with a double and a walk, and Bryan connected on two hits, drove in two runs and scored once on his home run.
Starting pitcher Chance Carter (7-4) tossed 5.0 innings, allowing three runs from seven hits and four walks to take the loss.
Thomas will play the loser of No. 2 William Jessup (Calif.) vs. No. 3 Bryan (Tenn.) at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. With a win, the Night Hawks play at 6 p.m. Tuesday, with a loss, the team will be eliminated from the tournament.