Wingate Wins 11-inning Thriller to Advance to Saturday’s Championship Game

Cary, N.C.For the fourth straight day, the sixth-seeded and 16th-ranked Wingate University Bulldogs knocked off a top-15 opponent while facing elimination, winning an 8-7 thriller in 11 innings over third-seeded and ninth-ranked Angelo State on day seven of the 2021 NCAA Division II baseball national championships. Wingate is now onto the national title game Saturday to face either Tampa or Central Missouri at 2 p.m. in Cary. Admission is free. The Bulldogs improve to 38-13 overall, while the Rams end their season at 44-9.

KEY STATS

– Angelo State out-hit Wingate 17-14
– Each team had two extra-base hits
– The Rams left 11 on base; the Bulldogs stranded nine
– Angelo State had five of the seven stolen bases
– Each team committed two errors
– WU pitching struck out 12 and walked one; ASU had 12 strikeouts and three walks

KEY BULLDOGS

– Logan McNeely was four-for-six with two RBI and a run scored
– McCann Mellett added two hits including a double, driving in a run and scoring a run
– Jed Bryant added a hit and drove in the winning run
– Andrew McKay and Carson Simpson each added two hits and scored a run
– Michael Dansky had a hit and two runs scored, including the winner in the 11th inning
– Justin Guy collected a hit, stolen base and scored two runs
– Tommy McCollum retired all four batters he faced to earn the win
– Brody McCullough went six innings in relief, striking out six while allowing three runs
– Austin Johnson added a strikeout in two-thirds inning of scoreless relief

NOTES

– Wingate is making its first-ever appearance in the Division II World Series
– The Bulldogs are making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance
– The ‘Dogs stave off elimination for the fourth straight day
– Wingate had to defeat #14 Southern New Hampshire Tuesday and #4 Seton Hill Wednesday
– The Bulldogs also beat Angelo State Thursday to set up Friday’s game
– Wingate is now 7-1 against top-20 opponents in this year’s NCAA Tournament
– The ‘Dogs also defeated #7 Catawba in the SAC Tourney, giving them eight postseason wins over ranked teams
– The Bulldogs are the first team to make the title game after a round-one loss since 2018 (UC San Diego)
– WU is trying to become first to win the title after a round-one loss since 2005 (Florida Southern)
– The only other two teams to do it in eight-team format – Columbus State in 2002 and Cal Poly in 1989 (title vacated)
– Angelo State had won nine straight and 20 of 21 before Thursday
– Only the second time all season the Rams have lost back-to-back games
– ASU ranks second nationally in runs per game and third in ERA
– Wingate piled up six runs and nine hits off first team All-American starter Trent Baker – both season highs
– Eight-game hitting streak for McNeely, piling up 17 hits in the stretch
– McNeely is hitting .500 in the World Series, leading all players with 11 hits
– McKay has a hit in 12 of Wingate’s 13 postseason games this season
– Mellett has a team-high 30 extra-base hits and 60 runs scored this season
– Simpson has a hit in 13 of Wingate’s last 15 games, piling up 21 hits and 17 RBI in the stretch
– McCullough went six strong after allowing just a run in eight innings Tuesday, throwing 121 pitches
– The All-American has allowed just four runs in 14 innings of work, striking out 15

FIRST INNING

– Mellett ripped a double to center on the first pitch of the game
– He scored on McNeely’s RBI single to give the ‘Dogs the early lead
– Nick Seginowic answered with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame to tie it

SECOND INNING

– An RBI single from Josh Elvir put the Rams on top 2-1

THIRD INNING

– Guy ripped a one-out single to center in the third, then stole second
– McNeely’s RBI single plated Guy to tie it at two
– Simpson moved to third on the single after drawing a walk
– He scored on a wild pitch to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead

FOURTH INNING

– The ‘Dogs scored three more in the fourth to push the lead to four
– It all started with two outs and the bases empty
– McKay and Simpson started it with singles, while Guy reached on an error to load the bases
– McKay scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2
– Mellett ripped an RBI single to right to plate Simpson, while Guy scored on an error on the play

FIFTH INNING

– An RBI triple from Koby Kelton pulled Angelo State back within three at 6-3

SEVENTH INNING

– McNeely ripped a one-out single up the middle
– Gehrig Christopher and Hunter Dula drew back-to-back walks to load the bases
– McNeely scored on a wild pitch to give Wingate a 7-3 advantage

EIGHTH INNING

– Elvir cut the lead in half with a two-out, two-run single to make it 7-5

NINTH INNING

– An error, single and double steal put runners on second and third for ASU
– Parker Bramlett’s two-out RBI single tied it at seven

TENTH INNING

– A two-out double from Aaron Walters in the bottom of the 10th put the winning run in scoring position for ASU
– McCollum came in and struck out Seginowic on three pitches to send it to the 11th

ELEVENTH INNING

– Dansky started things with a one-out single
– McNeely’s fourth hit of the day was a single to right center, moving Dansky to third
– Bryant hit the first pitch into center, deep enough to plate Dansky on the sacrifice fly to make it 8-7
– McCollum worked a 1-2-3 inning to end it, striking out the final batter of the game to send WU to the championship

WRAPUP

– McCollum got the win, moving to 2-0
– He retired all four batters he faced, striking out two
– Aaron Munson took the loss, allowing a run on three hits in four innings, falling to 1-1

UP NEXT

– Wingate will play for the national title Saturday at 2 p.m.
– The Bulldogs will face either Tampa or Central Missouri
– Those two teams meet Friday night, with both having one loss
– There will be only one game Saturday, with the winner claiming the championship
– First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. in Cary – free admission