HATTIESBURG, Miss. — With the game tied at two heading to the seventh, the Fire needed to string together some hits to regain the lead.
Southeastern did just that in the seventh, getting three runs on two hits to defeat host William Carey, 5-2, Tuesday to advance to the championship of the Hattiesburg Bracket in the NAIA opening round.
Walks to Jadan Garcia and De’John Suber set the stage for Luis Diaz, who has 16 hits in seven postseason games this year. The senior’s 96th hit of the year scored Garcia from second to give SEU the lead back.
Mike D’Acunti brought in Suber on an RBI single to shallow left field. A wild throw allowed Diaz to touch home as well.
Kade Wagner then retired five of the final seven hitters he faced, and John Jaeger earned his 11th save of the year, working a scoreless ninth, stranding a leadoff single and a walk.
Wagner picked up his 11th win of the year, allowing two runs on three hits, walking five and striking out nine. Ten of the 34 batters faced grounded out.
Southeastern held a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by D’Acunti which scored Suber, and a line drive up the middle by Luke Maher scored Diaz.
William Carey answered in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run homer by Tyler Graves to knot the game at two.
Diaz and Maher each had two hits for the Fire. Diaz added two runs scored and an RBI. Suber also had two runs scored.
The Fire will now await the winner of the consolation bracket on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Eastern.