Panthers go out a Winner - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Panthers go out a Winner

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WATERLOO, Iowa - Jason Summers singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give the University of Northern Iowa baseball team a 3-2 win over Bradley in the season finale.

The Panthers trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth, but Cory Ege hit an RBI single in the eight to tie it, and Summers' single in the ninth gave UNI its first lead of the game.

Ege was 2-of-3 with a pair of RBIs for UNI. Kalvin Johnson and Jeff Taliaferro each notched a pair of hits for the Panthers (23-26, 7-15 MVC). Shuhei Fujiya earned the win for the Panthers after pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Nick Mitidiero led Bradley (17-31, 4-17 MVC) with two hits, including a double. Brad Altbach was charged with the loss for the Braves.

Lucas O'Rear retired the side in order in the top of the first. Travis Bennett singled into left with two out in the bottom half of the inning.

He stole second, but Collin Brennan got Summers to ground out to end the inning.

Bradley loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the second. O'Rear got Jordan Colvin to fly out to left to escape the inning without allowing a run.

The Braves used a pair of full-count walks and a single into shallow right to load the bases with one out in the top of the third. Kevin Sullivan drew a walk to send home a run and put Bradley on the board first, 1-0. Colin Rea fielded a bunt and made the force out at home for the second out of the inning. Gabe Schultz made a diving snag at second and threw Jim Clayton out and first to end the inning.

Colvin reached on an infield single in the top of the sixth. With two out, Colby Luttrell swung and missed on a third strike, but the ball got past catcher Jeff Taliaferro on the wild pitch to keep the inning alive.

Nick Mitidiero singled through the right side to score Colvin from second and extend the Bradley lead to 2-0.

Bennett and Summers drew walks to lead off the bottom of the sixth.

Taliaferro reached on a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out.

Kalvin Johnson struck out swinging to record the first out of the inning. Cory Ege hit a long fly into center, scoring Bennett on the sacrifice. Summers and Taliaferro moved to second and third on a passed ball, but Schultz popped out to first to end the inning with UNI trailing, 2-1.

Zach Zirbel retired the side in order in the top of the seventh, notching a pair of strikeouts in the process.

Grant Grgurich roped a line drive into right to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but Luttrell was able to track it down to retire the third baseman. Levi Ferguson doubled into right center to put the tying run in scoring position. Douglas drew a walk to put runners on first and second, but BU reliever Brad Altbach got Bennett and Summers to fly out to end the inning.

Zirbel sat the side down in order again in the top of the eighth.

Taliaferro singled through the right side to lead off the bottom of the eighth, and Johnson singled up the middle to give the Panthers runners on first and second with nobody out. Ege sent a 3-1 pitch into right field to score Taliaferro and move Johnson to third. Schultz could not connect on a bunt attempt, and Johnson was caught in between third and home to record the first out of the inning. Schultz was able to reach on a bunt single on the next pitch, putting runners on the corners with one out. Grgurich hit a chopper to third, but Colvin was able to field it and turn the double play to end the inning with the score tied, 2-2.

Shuhei Fujiya struck out Luttrell to lead off the top of the ninth.

Mitidiero doubled into right center to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Adam Kimble grounded out to second, and Schultz was able to look back Mitidiero to keep him from advancing. Kevin Sullivan hit a fly ball into shallow right center, but Ferguson was able to make a sliding catch to end the frame.

Ferguson drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Chad Arp followed with a single down the left field line that moved Ferguson to third. Bradley elected to walk Bennett, loading the bases with nobody out. Jason Summers drove an 0-1 pitch over the head of centerfielder Mitidiero, scoring Ferguson and giving the Panthers the 3-2 victory.

The Panthers outhit Bradley, 11-7, collecting six of those hits in the final two innings. Bradley left 12 men on base, while the Panthers stranded 10.

UNI ends the season with a 23-26 overall mark and a 7-15 record in conference play. The Panthers won eight of their last 10 contests.

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