Wright State edges Valpo, wins Championship

Raiders find out NCAA Regional destination and opponents Monday at 12:30 on ESPN

((Contributed by Wright State Sports Information))

For the third time in the last six years, the Wright State baseball team is heading to the NCAA Regionals as the Raiders rallied from a 3-1 deficit to nip Valparaiso 4-3 in the championship game of the Horizon League Tournament Sunday at Nischwitz Stadium.

Watch the Raiders celebrate on the field.

The Crusaders scored a run in the first on a Will Hagel sacrifice fly, only to see WSU tie it in the second.  With two outs and no one on base, Zach Tanner started the rally with a hit up the middle and after Ryan Ashe reached on an error, Justin Kopale drove in Tanner with a single through the left side of the infield.

Valparaiso (25-32) went back in front in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk by Andrew Bain and extended the lead to 3-1 in the sixth with an unearned run as Chris Manning singled in Steven Scoby.

The Raiders, however, answered right back to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth.  Tanner tripled to left center with one out and Kopale followed with a two-run home run to left, his third of the season.

Wright State then tallied the game-winner an inning later as Dan Marsh doubled down the right field line, moved to third on a Jake Hibberd bunt and scored as Tristan Moore singled through a drawn-in infield.

It was then left to closer Michael Schum (9-2) as the junior righty retired nine of the 10 batters he faced over the final three innings to pick up the win.  He, along with Jordan Marker, held the Crusaders to an unearned run over the final 4.2 innings, allowing just one hit.

Offensively, Kopale had two hits and three RBI while Tanner had two hits and two runs scored.  Marsh also added two hits.

Five Raiders were selected to the All-Tournament Team in Schum, Corey Davis, Tanner, Kopale and Moore.  Tanner was named the tournament MVP after hitting .538 (7 for 13) with two doubles, a triple, four RBI and four runs scored in three games.

All-Tournament Team

Position Name School
P Damon McCormick Valparaiso
p Michael Schum Wright State
C Corey Davis Wright State
1B Will Hagel Valparaiso
2B Michael Morman Valparaiso
3B Zach Tanner (MVP) Wright State
SS Justin Kopale Wright State
OF Joe Iacobucci Youngstown State
OF Chris Manning Valparaiso
OF Tristan Moore Wright State
DH Robbie Robinson Valparaiso

Wright State (36-17) will find out its destination and opponents for the NCAA Regionals on Monday as the selections are televised live on ESPN starting at 12:30. On Sunday, the NCAA announced the 16 regional sites. They are:

City Host Institution
Atlanta, GA Georgia Tech
Austin, TX Texas
Fullerton, CA Cal State Fullerton
Chapel Hill, NC North Carolina
Charlottesville, VA Virginia
Clemson, SC Clemson
College Station, TX Texas A&M
Columbia, SC South Carolina
Corvallis, OR Oregon State
Fort Worth, TX TCU
Gainesville, FL Florida
Houston, TX Rice
Los Angeles, CA UCLA
Nashville, TN Vanderbilt
Tallahassee, FL Florida State
Tempe, AZ Arizona State

The Raiders will be making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Division I Regionals (1994 Knoxville, Tennessee; 2006 Corvallis, Oregon; 2009 Fort Worth, Texas) and their 11 NCAA appearance overall (1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1987 in Division II).

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