SPRINGFIELD, ILL. -- For the second straight day, the Apprentice School baseball team pulled a dramatic comeback to advance to the championship game of the 2012 U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association Small College World Series.
Trailing 8-0 in the top of the fifth, the Builders score a run in the fifth, three in the sixth and put five across in the top of the seventh – the final two on a Trevin Wilson single to knock off top-seeded Spalding University 9-8 at Robin Roberts Stadium.
With the win, the Builders advance to a 2:30 pm CST national title game with having to win one of potentially two games to claim the national title.
Spalding (27-10-1) opened with a five-run first as the Builders struggled on the mound walking five in the inning. Eric Johnson had a two-run single to right-center for the big hit in the opening outburst. They pushed a run across in the second as Bryan Clemmons opened with a walk, stole second and went to third on a single from Zane Wheatley. He scored on a Cameron Norris flyball to right for a 6-0 lead.
The Golden Eagles got a pair more in the third on a RBI single from Clemmons and a RBI double from Wheatley.
Apprentice School (29-16) started the come back with a run in the fifth as Chris Scarola tripled to center and scored on a Chris Aldridge single. In the sixth, the Builders got RBI singles from Andrew Hooper, Matt Zapf and a RBI double from Travis Franklin to sneak back into the game down 8-4.
In the seventh, a pair of walks sandwiching a Franklin single loaded the bases with no outs. Hooper scratched the first run across with a single up the middle before Zach Harding scored Franklin with a single to cut it down to 8-6. Zapf followed with a bases loaded walk to bring the Builders to within one. After a lineout by Scarola, Wilson's single into right plated Justin Hike and Hooper to put the Builders up 9-8.
Spalding made a threat in the seventh as Kyle Just started the inning with a single and went to third on an errant pickoff throw from relief pitcher Sam Massie. After enducing a groundout, Massie struck out the next batter before Johnson's soft liner just cleared third base before Wilson laid out to snag the ball and end the game.
Franklin was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Hooper was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI to lead a 16-hit attack for the Builders. David Sebera earned the win with a scoreless sixth inning allowing one hit, while Massie picked up the save.
Video Clip Of Wilson Two-Run Single - Courtesy of USCAA