KINGSPORT, Tenn. – The No. 21-ranked IU Southeast baseball team used a six-run eighth inning and a gem from Ryne Underwood to defeat 10th-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan in the NAIA Opening Round Monday.
The Grenadiers (46-13) put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the second when Tanner Leenknecht doubled to left-center, but the next three Grenadiers batters were retired in order by Bulldog starter Chris Washington, who worked all eight innings.
IU Southeast would not threaten again until the eighth. Cody Maloon started the rally with a one-out single and Clay Benefield followed with a double down the right-field line. Pinch hitter Matt Volz hit a sacrifice fly to center to put the Grenadiers on the board. Zach Reboulet hit an RBI single to make it 2-0.
IU Southeast had the bases loaded after an error and a walk and Hector Marmol hit a ground ball to first that was misplayed by Dan Ward which allowed Reboulet and Richard Rodriguez to score. Tanner Lennknecht and Nicholas Lugo added RBI singles later in the inning.
Tennessee Wesleyan battled back with two runs in the top of the ninth to chase starter Ryne Underwood but the game was out of reach.
The Grenadier starter allowed eight hits and two runs in eight and two-thirds innings for his 10th win of the season. He struck out six and walked two.
Tanner Leenknecht went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the win.
IU Southeast will face No.5 Keiser (Fla.) University at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.