The magic continued for the TFC baseball team this past weekend as the Eagles captured the NCCAA Division II South Regional Championship winning the final game of the tournament 8-3. After a receiving a bye on Thursday, the Eagles started the tournament on Friday by defeating Florida Christian College 7-3. With the win, the Eagles extended their 12 game winning streak and improved to 28-15-1 on the season. Sophomore Justin Key pitched a complete game for the Eagles and Junior Corey Warner dominated at the plate as he hit three doubles in the game. Senior Cory Klassen also had a great day at the plate driving in 3 runs.
The Eagles then lost their first game on Saturday of the double elimination tournament falling 7-5 to FCC, as FCC had advanced through the loser’s bracket. The loss set up the championship game against FCC which the Eagles won 8-3. Junior Micah Ellington started the game pitching for the Eagles and senior Nate Bowen relieved Ellington with one out in the fourth. In the fourth inning, with the score tied 2-2, with two outs, freshman, Zach Warner nailed a two-run double scoring Wesley Warren and Josh Ward. Senior Cam Fulcher then drove in Warner with a single and the Eagles led 5-2. Bowen gave up a solo homerun in the top of the 6th inning, but the Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the inning when junior, Andrew Thorne and Cory Klassen both hit shots to deep left doubling off the wall giving the Eagles an 8-3 lead. After the game Bowen commented on the season and the regional championship. “I have had a great year on the mound, but I know it’s nothing more than God blessing me my last year of ball. The championship game was a lot of fun, but I knew I couldn’t make a lot of mistakes because Florida Christian is well coached and disciplined team.” Bowen also was sure to give credit to Thorne and Sophomore Jordan Coullaird for making awesome defensive plays along with giving credit to the rest of the defense for their outstanding play.
After the game, the Eagles were presented with their first Regional championship banner since 1995 and All-Conference honors were given. Thorne received All-Conference Honorable Mention. Sophomore Dylan Charles, Couillard, Bowen and Zach Warner were named to the All-Conference first team. Zach Warner was also named Freshman of the Year and Bowen received Pitcher of the Year. TFC Head Coach Justin Pollock also earned Coach of the Year.
The Eagles have now earned the right to defend their NCCAA Division II championship from a year ago as they will be traveling to Ohio for NCCAA Division II World Series. When asked about going to nationals with a chance to repeat Bowen said, “The team needs to stay focused and humble because all the teams there are great and are fighting for the same title. Expectations for the team are high this year, but nothing will be met if we forget the basic fundamentals of the game. As a team we realize this is an awesome opportunity and will never forget to give God the glory for the talent he has blessed us with this year.” GO EAGLES!