Philadelphia, PA – The Columbia Lions rallied to score five runs in the eighth inning and then outlasted New Mexico in extra innings to earn a 6-5 victory in the first game of the day.
Trailing 5-0 heading into the eighth inning the Lions' (28-20) bats finally woke up as Alex Black launched a two-run home run, Nick Crucet laced a two-run single to right and Mike Fischer knotted the game at 5-5 with an RBI single.
The two teams would remain tied all the way until the 13th inning when Crucet knocked in a run with a RBI single in the top half of the inning. Black then came in for the bottom half and by now allowing the run earned the save. Joey Donino got the win after pitching 6 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
New Mexico (37-22) got a strong effort from starter Sam Wolff (7 1/3 innings, one run, seven strikeouts) but the Lobos bullpen blew the lead in the eighth. With the loss New Mexico is eliminated from the tournament.
Justin Garza nearly tossed a complete game shutout for Cal State Fullerton as the Titans escaped with a 1-0 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils in the winner's bracket.
Garza lasted 8 1/3 innings before being relieved by Michael Lorenzen after allowing a single in the top of the ninth inning. Lorenzen then struck out the next two batters to lock up the save for the Titans (50-8). Richy Pedroza hit a sacrifice fly for an RBI in the seventh inning that proved to be the game- winning run.
Ryan Kellogg allowed a single run in 6 1/3 innings of work but took the loss for Arizona State (36-21-1). The Sun Devils will play Columbia on Sunday in an elimination game with the winner facing off later in the day in the regional final against Cal State Fullerton.