Bellevue Baseball loses to Saint Francis in NAIA National Tournament to end year

Bellevue Baseball loses to Saint Francis in NAIA National Tournament to end year
May 14th, 2024 | Bellevue Athletics

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — A four-run second gave fourth-seeded University of Saint Francis an early lead as the Cougars eliminated the 14th-ranked and second-seeded Bellevue University baseball team 6-4 on Tuesday in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round – Williamsburg Bracket.

Bellevue wraps up their season with a 39-14 overall record.

Saint Francis improves to 38-18 and will face fifth-seeded Park University in an elimination game at 4 p.m. this afternoon.

A scoreless first gave way to a big second inning for the Cougars. The first three batters of the frame all reached before Callan Stauffer drew a bases loaded walk to open the scoring. Jayden Lepper followed with a two-run single and Xavier Croxton drove home another with a run-scoring knock for a 4-0 USF lead.

That inning spelled the end of the day for starter Brock Townsend (5-3). Brady Toth came on in relief and, aside from a mistake that Nick Parsons blasted out in the fifth, threw 6.2 solid innings of relief work to keep BU in the ballgame.

USF starter Perry Stow was on cruise control, allowing just one hit through 6.1 before running into trouble in the seventh as Bellevue rallied for three runs. He finished with seven strikeouts while allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and a pair of walks.

Anthony Lind narrowly avoided a tag as he reached on an error. A brief discussion among the umpires ensued and the call at first stood. Tyler Monroe then took the very next pitch deep over the right field wall to get the Bruins on the board. Nick Grade followed by dumping a double into right and scored on Takumi Maeno‘s single up the middle.

Graham Kelham came on and induced a double play as Saint Francis avoided further damage.

After Toth stranded runners on second and third in the eighth, Logan Grant pulled BU within two with his 20th home run of the year leading off the bottom of the inning. Kelham struck out the side to keep the Cougars in front headed to the ninth.

Parsons delivered a two-out single for USF but Cade Herrmann got a pop end to bring the Bruins to the dish one more time, however, Kelham retired the side in order to lock down his 12th save.


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