Midway baseball gets school’s first NAIA tourney win, beats Saint Xavier U. 6-5

The Eagles rallied three times - Hotchkiss homer in 8th inning is decisive blow
Midway Baseball team comes up short 9-20 against Cumberlands on , Tuesday April 11, 2023  in...
Midway Baseball team comes up short 9-20 against Cumberlands on , Tuesday April 11, 2023 in Midway, Ky. Photo by Jack Weaver Mahan Multimedia(MIDWAY UNIVERSITY)
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 4:02 PM EDT
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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- The Midway baseball team made history on Monday, May 15, when they picked up their first national tournament victory in program history against Saint Xavier (Ill.) in the opening game of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round.

With the game tied at five and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Grant Hotchkiss stepped to the dish and hit a solo home run that cleared the right field fence to lift Midway to a 6-5 victory over the Cougars.

Hotchkiss, a sophomore from Richmond, Ky., put a charge in a 2-2 fastball and sent it over the right field fence for his seventh home run of the season. The homer gave his squad a 6-5 lead and put Midway within three outs of history.

Dylan Burton, who entered the game in the seventh, tossed a perfect ninth inning to clinch the 6-5 victory. The sophomore from Somerset, Ky. pitched three perfect innings with a couple of strikeouts to improve to 8-3 on the season.

The right-hander entered the game in a tough spot in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Burton got a fielder’s choice force out at home before inducing an inning ending double play to keep the game tied at five.

The Cougars (31-26) struck first in the game, scoring a pair in the top of the first. The Eagles answered with single runs in the third and fifth innings.

In the third, Hotchkiss reached on a leadoff walk and later scored on a wild pitch. Then, in the fifth, Eli Glasscock (Danville, Ky.) recorded Midway’s first hit of the contest with an RBI single that tied the game at two.

Saint Xavier regained the lead with three in the top of the sixth, but the Eagles immediately answered with three in the bottom half. Noah Phillips (Greenville, Ky.) drove in a run with an RBI groundout, while two runs scored on an error to tie the game and set up the late game heroics by Hotchkiss.

Offensively, Midway had five hits with Hotchkiss, Glasscock, Barrett McGill (Bloomfield, Ky.), Shane Taylor (Morehead, Ky.), and Nick Eastham (Morehead, Ky.) each picking up one hit apiece.

On the mound, Tyler Pyles (Louisville, Ky.) struck out three and tossed two scoreless innings in relief.

With the win, Luther Bramblett’s team improves to 28-22.