@uttylerbaseball season ends with loss in regional
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Texas-Tyler (32-19)
Pacific Lutheran (29-18)
5/20/2016 | Spokane, Wash. | Attendance: 86
Pacific Lutheran00011010X3141
Win: Cory Nelson (7-2) 1.210001
Loss: Jacob Clark (0-3) 2.242230
Graham Welch (UTT) 301010
Alex Bishop (UTT) 201000
Sam Lane (UTT) 311010
Josh Burns (UTT) 401200
Tyler Thomps (PLU) 424010

Saturday, May 21, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

SPOKANE, Wash. – Josh Burns slashed a two-run triple in the seventh to tie the game at two but would go down swinging in the ninth with two runners on as UT Tyler fell 3-2 to Pacific Lutheran in an elimination game at the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Spokane Regional on Friday at Avista Stadium.

The Patriots finish their season with a 32-19 record after having won their fifth American Southwest Conference championship and advanced to their sixth NCAA tournament. UT Tyler started this year’s regional tournament 2-0 with wins over Cal Lutheran on Wednesday and Whitworth on Thursday, but would take a 14-2 loss to Trinity on Friday afternoon before falling to the Lutes in their second game of the day. PLU, which is the sixth seed in the regional tournament, advances to the regional final where it will need to beat Trinity twice on Saturday to advance. The Tigers, who are 3-0 in Spokane, need only one win to take the regional.

Burns, who drove the ball into the right-center field gap with two outs in the seventh, gave the Patriots life in the game after the team had been limited to one hit through the first six innings of the game. A freshman from Center, Burns would step up in the seventh with Trenton Buchhorn on second and Sam Lane at first and tied the game with his first triple of the season. The Lutes, who knocked out Whitworth on Friday to get to the game against the Patriots, would regain the lead in the bottom of the seventh with a Cole Johnson single up the middle. Johnson, who was the starting pitcher for the Lutes, went 6 2/3 innings with only three hits allowed on the mound, and also went 3-for-4 with two RBI at the plate.

Down 3-2 in the ninth inning, UT Tyler sophomore Alex Bishop stepped up and hit his 22nd double of the season. Buchhorn would foul out to the catcher for the first out and then Bishop was caught on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Lane for the second out. After a Daniel Williams walk, Burns stepped up with two outs and runners on first and second. He would battle to a 2-2 count, but strike out swinging to end the game.

UT Tyler finished the game with only four hits with Burns, Lane, Bishop and Graham Welch each having hits. Welch, who saved a run by throwing out a runner at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, was 1-for-3 and completed his freshman season with a .340 batting average. Lane, who finished his UT Tyler career by playing in 173 games which is the most in program history, went 1-for-3 and had 203 hits and scored 138 runs as a Patriot. Bishop’s 22 doubles are the most ever in a season at UT Tyler and he finished his sophomore year leading the Patriots with a .407 average and having 53 RBI.

Jacob Clark (0-3) would take the loss for the Patriots after allowing two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief, while starting pitcher Tyler Stallings had two strikeouts and allowed only one run in four innings. Stallings would scatter seven hits before turning the ball over to Clark and the bullpen which would also see Collin Belcher and Chris Stodolka pitch.

PLU, which earned the NWC Championship to advance to the regional tournament, finished the game with 14 hits. Tyler Thompson led the Lutes by going 4-for-4 against the Patriots. PLU and Trinity will play at 2 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday with an if-necessary game to follow if the Lutes can upend the Tigers.