Maple Leafs Drop Winners’ Bracket Final, To Play For Opening-Round Bid Tuesday Night
UPLAND, Ind. — Goshen College suffered its first loss of the Crossroads League baseball tournament, but the advancement of regular-season champion Huntington to the championship game ensures that the winner of tonight’s elimination game between Goshen and Marian or Bethel will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA tournament opening round.
The Maple Leafs will take on either the third-seeded Knights or the eighth-seeded Pilots at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Taylor University’s Winterholter Field. The game will be video-streamed at athletics.taylor.edu, with live play-by-play on Goshen College’s award-winning radio station, 91.1 The Globe.
The Crossroads League receives two automatic bids to the 46-team NAIA tournament, which culminates June 2 in Lewiston, Idaho. Regular-season champion Huntington receives the first; the second is reserved for the conference tournament champion. If the regular-season champion also wins the tournament championship, the tournament runner-up receives the second automatic bid.
Huntington’s 21-1 win over Goshen this afternoon in the winners’ bracket championship sends the Foresters into the tournament championship at noon on Wednesday: if HU loses, it will fall into a winner-take-all championship game at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The winner of the losers’ bracket final, set for Tuesday evening, will become Huntington’s opposition in the tournament championship; that team can do no worse than finish runner-up to the regular-season champion, which means they will clinch an opening-round bid before the championship game even begins.
Cody McCoy knocked Goshen’s run in the first game, the end result of three ninth-inning hits. The Maple Leafs used six pitchers while right fielder Dalton Combs led the team with four hits: first baseman Shea Beauchamp went 3 for 3 with 5 runs batted in.
Eighth-seeded Bethel and third-seeded Marian began their elimination game at 4:59 p.m. Tuesday: Goshen will play the winner of that game for a spot in the tournament championship. First pitch in the Goshen game will come 40 minutes after the end of the Marian-Bethel contest.