ST. LOUIS, Mo./RIVER FOREST, Ill. --- After extending its season with a come-from-behind victory over Cornell College Saturday morning, the Aurora University baseball team saw its run at the NCAA Division III Regional at Kelly Field draw to a close later in the day with an extra-inning loss to host Washington University.
The Spartans (35-11) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Rams to win 3-2 in the opening game of the day. In the day's finale, Aurora took advantage of three WashU errors in the 11th to take a 9-8 lead only to see the Bears rally for a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame to sideline AU.
Concordia University Chicago led Baldwin Wallace University, 6-5, in the seventh inning of its winner's bracket game at the River Forest regional before the game was suspended by inclement weather. The game will be resumed at 9 a.m. Sunday with the loser to play Buena Vista University 30 minutes following the conclusion of that game.
Aurora 3, Cornell 2 (Box Score)
Both teams stranded a runner at third in the opening frame, but it wasn't until the sixth inning that either team was able to break through for a run.
Cornell struck first as Caleb Wichman led off the frame with a solo home run. After a fly-out to center, the Rams followed with three straight singles to load the bases but Aurora reliever Nicholas Mathey struck out Lucas Larson and Sage Sutter to get out of the inning.
The Spartans had an opportunity to match in the bottom half of the sixth as Davis Purviance rapped a leadoff double and was sacrificed to third, but a strikeout and a groundout followed to strand him at third base.
The Rams doubled the lead with a run in the seventh. Caleb Sass drew a leadoff walk, then stole second and moved to third on a groundout before coming home on a wild pitch by Mathey. Cornell managed to put runners on second and third later in the frame, but Mathey was able to get out of the jam.
Aurora countered with three runs in the bottom half of the seventh, loading the bases on a pair of walks and a bunt single to open the inning before Purviance cleared the bags with a two-out triple to center field.
Mathey retired the Rams in order in the eighth, then worked around a leadoff error and a two-out single in the ninth to lock up the victory. He scattered three hits and a pair of walks while striking out three over the final 3 2/3 innings to get the pitching win.
Purviance and Colin Rivard each had two hits to lead the Spartans offensively.
Wichman led Cornell with three of the Rams' eight hits. Starting pitcher Sam Kornstad took the loss after allowing three runs on six hits and a pair of walks over seven innings.
Washington-St. Louis 10, Aurora 9, 11 innings (Box Score)
Aurora and Washington-St. Louis combined for 19 runs and 30 hits in their elimination game.
The Spartans had taken the lead with a run in the top of the 11th. Colin Rivard reached on an error with two outs, then came around to score on a pair of errant WashU throws after stealing second. In the bottom half of the inning, the first two WashU batters reached on a hit-by-pitch and a walk before Sean Robinson scored on an RBI single that plated Jackson Gray to tie the game. Pinch-hitter Henry Singer followed with a single up the middle that Evan Nagel for the winning run.
Aurora grabbed the initial lead of the game on a two-run single by Dylan White in the third, only to see the Bears respond with four runs with two outs in the bottom half of the inning to grab a 4-2 lead.
The Spartans cut into the WashU lead with an RBI single by Davis Purviance in the fourth, then grabbed a 7-4 lead on a Cole Davis grand slam in the fifth.
The hosts drew within one with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Aurora made it 8-6 on a White RBI groundout in the sixth after AJ Gill had reached on a leadoff triple.
WashU posted RBI singles in both the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at 8-8 heading to the ninth.
Aurora threatened in the ninth, getting a pair of runners on with just one out, but a line-out and a strikeout ended the threat. The Bears were retired in order in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings. Each team stranded a runner in the 10th inning, extending the game to the 11th.
Six different Spartans had two hits as Aurora finished with 14 overall.
Gray led WashU with a 3-for-6 effort, driving in four and scoring twice. Nagel added three hits and three runs scored for the Bears.