Jim Volpe scores
SAUGET, Ill. - Steve
Braun’s two-run homer in the sixth inning snapped a 1-1 tie
and lifted Rockhurst to a 3-1 win over Northern Kentucky University
in the second round of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament
NKU (39-18-1) jumped
out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Josh Moulton tripled
down the left-field line to drive in Jim Volpe. Rockhurst countered
by scoring an unearned run in the top of the fourth to tie the game
It remained that way
until the sixth, when Braun lofted a fly ball to left field that
cleared the fence for a two-run homer. Braun’s second home
run of the season - which was aided by strong winds blowing out
to left - came off NKU starter Matt Marksbury, who went the distance
and struck out seven Rockhurst batters.
Rockhurst reliever Logan
McElwain came out of the bullpen to pitch the final three innings
and record his 10th save of the season. NKU put two runners on base
in the bottom of the ninth with one out, but McElwain retired Kenny
Wilson on a fly ball and Kory Lonergan on a grounder to end the
Rockhurst, the No. 3
seed in the GLVC Tournament, improved to 35-19. Earlier this season,
NKU defeated the Hawks three times during a four-game series at
Kansas City, Mo.
NKU, the No. 1 seed,
will meet Southern Illinois at Edwardsville at 1 p.m. Saturday in
an elimination game. If the Norse win, they will also play Saturday
at 7 p.m. in another elimination contest.
NKU and SIUE played
a four-game series at Florence, Ky., in March, and the Norse were
2-1-1 against the Cougars. In the first game of that series on March
4, SIUE’s Kyle Jones tossed a no-hitter in a 5-0 Cougar victory.
NKU is currently ranked
23rd nationally in the NCAA Division II poll. The Norse are No.
2 in the North Central Region rankings.