KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Smashing three home runs and 15 hits, second-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan walloped top-seeded Union College 16-2 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference baseball tournament championship game Saturday.
It was the fifth AAC tournament title in a row for the Athens school, which was the No. 1 seed the previous four times.
Wesleyan, which reached the NAIA World Series last year, earned the AAC's automatic bid to the NAIA playoffs as Sam Munson went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs and league player of the year David Bergin was 2-for-3 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs scored. Bergin batted .540 with seven hits and 11 total bases in the Bulldogs' four wins at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Anthony Boix homered and singled for TWC (38-18), and Stephen Branca matched his two hits, two RBIs and two runs. Wesleyan scored five unearned runs in the first two innings, and winning pitcher Josh McDaniel allowed only eight hits and one run in his six innings.
Tim DeVito was 3-for-4 and Joe Engle was 2-for-3 with an RBI for Union (45-11), which made four errors. The Kentucky team also should make the NAIA field with its No. 7 national ranking. Opening-round participants will be announced today.
Former Chattanooga Christian standout Seth Blevins, an All-AAC pitcher with the league's best earned run average (1.88), was honored as Montreat's overall male athlete of the year. He is ranked in the NAIA in ERA, opponents' batting average (.207), innings pitched (91), total strikeouts (79), walks per nine innings (1.38) and hits allowed per nine innings (6.63).
Blevins, who graduates Saturday with a degree in environmental studies and a minor in biology, has served on the Athletic Advisory Committee and the FCA leadership team at the North Carolina school. He has a 3.4 grade point average.