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The Master's Gives Ground, Takes First-Round Victory

May 27, 2000|From Staff Reports

The Master's College and Birmingham-Southern gave each other plenty of chances Friday in a first-round game of the NAIA World Series at Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, Idaho.

Mike Ploharz came up with a gift of his own and the Mustangs stole a 6-5 victory to earn a second-round bye.

Ploharz, who has an 11-1 record as a starter, faced one batter to earn his first save. Ploharz got Graham Burgess to hit a game-ending ground out with a runner on second base after Josh Higgins (13-4) nearly lost a 6-2 lead.

Birmingham-Southern's comeback was highlighted by Joe Prince's two-run pinch double and a run-scoring double by Doug Bates.

The teams combined for five errors that led to four unearned runs.

Higgins allowed five runs--four earned--on 14 hits, with four strikeouts and three walks.

Seth Bobbitt (10-5) allowed three earned runs on 10 hits with no strikeouts and one walk.

The Panthers (46-19) took a 1-0 lead in the sixth on Shane Mackanin's run-scoring single with two-out, immediately following an error by Ploharz--who was playing shortstop.

Birmingham-Southern returned the favor in the bottom of the inning.

Center fielder John Stewart Jackson committed an error on a single by Ploharz, allowing Andy Salazar and Chris Kollmann--who reached base on an error by first baseman Jason Avery--to score.

Master's (36-13) extended its lead to 6-1 in the seventh on a two-run double by Kurt Fillmore, a run-scoring single by Kollmann and a run-scoring double by Salazar.

Birmingham-Southern fueled the rally with an error by second-baseman John Driskill and a passed ball by Burgess.

Fillmore finished with three hits and two runs batted in, and Salazar had two hits and one RBI.

Matt Lambert led off the eighth with a home run for the Panthers.

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