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Baseball - Wed, May 17, 2017
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KINGSPORT, Tenn. - The Marian baseball team's stellar 2017 campaign came to an end Tuesday night as the Knights lost 8-7 in 10 innings to Tennessee Wesleyan in the Kingsport Bracket of the NAIA Tournament Opening Round. Marian finishes the season with a 30-23 record overall and the first ever win for the program in the NAIA Tournament.

The game was a seesaw affair throughout, and it was Marian who struck first. The Knights plated two runs in the top of the first on an RBI double from Zack St. Pierre that drove in John O'MalleyCody Turpen later scored on a wild pitch, one of eight wild pitches Tennessee Wesleyan threw on the day.

Sam Bell got the start for the Knights and he found himself in a bit of trouble in the bottom of the first, but was able to get out of the jam leaving the bases loaded. Marian then left two on in the top of the second and TWU scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1. After the third inning went by without a peep from either offense, Tennessee Wesleyan once again loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth. However, Bell was able to get the last two outs and come away unscathed.

While the Bulldogs missed their chances, Marian did not miss theirs. In the top of the fifth, two runners scored on a throwing error to extend the Knight lead to three. However, Tennessee Wesleyan broke through in the fifth against reliever Brenden Smith and scored three runs on a two-run double and a fielder's choice that brought in a run.

With the score tied, Marian went back to work in the sixth as Cody Earl doubled in a pair of runs to put the Knights back on top. TWU got one back in the bottom of the inning of St. Pierre, but the damage was minimal as the Bulldogs left the bases loaded for the third time in the game. 

After Tennessee Wesleyan tied it up at six in the bottom of the seventh, Marian regained the lead in the eighth when Adam Shuder reached base one a strikeout due to a wild pitch. He then moved to second on another wild pitch, third on a wild pitch and home on the fourth wild pitch of the inning. Despite the nightmarish inning, TWU found an answer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

Marian went down in order in the top of the inning and TWU was able to push across the game-winning run in the bottom on a leadoff double that eventually scored on a wild throw.

St. Pierre took the loss for the Knights, while O'Malley led Marian with two hits. The Knights had five as a team.

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