JACKSON, Miss.-Auburn University Montgomery scored three runs in the first inning and then held on for a 4-2 win over William Carey University Tuesday in the first round of the NAIA Region XIII tournament.
William Carey, the sixth seed, did not play like it as they had hit after hit, but could only muster two second inning runs. They did wind up out hitting AUM 14 to seven but left 13 runners on base. Clay Long (9-1) did just enough to keep WCU at bay as he gave up nine hits and both runs in five and two-thirds of an inning of work.
He gave way to Brett Bowen with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, as Bowen went one and two-thirds of four hit ball. Scott Mularz came in with one out and two men on in the bottom of the eighth and killed the Crusaders rally by recording the final two outs. He then came out in the ninth and gave up a lead off hit to Martin Roark, before recording the final three outs. The save was his first of the season.
Matt Arrighi led the attack with three of the Senators seven hits. He scored two of the runs. Michael Herndon got the Senators on the board in the first inning with a two-run single scoring Arrighi and Junior Kelley. WCU (29-29) cut the lead to one with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the second inning. Pat Barnes, who had two hits on the day, knocked in Will Dannelly, a courtesy runner for Louis Rolen, and Pat Burch who had earlier singled and walked.
AUM squeezed a single insurance run in the top of the seventh as Arrighi had a one-out single and moved to third on Kelley's single into right. The hit was his 100th of the season. Arrighi then came in to score on a wild pitch from WCU reliever Matt Carter, who had relieved starter and loser, Derrick Thomas (3-6) in the seventh inning. Even though only six runs were scored, the game lasted three hours as the two teams combined for 21 hits, which all went for singles. This was the third time this season these two teams have met on the diamond.