INDIANAPOLIS – All-American Blaze Shade toughed out a 3-2 decision over Lake Erie’s Nick Vandermeer in Saturday’s semifinal round to punch his third ticket in four years to the NCAA Division II National Championships and highlight action for the UNC Pembroke wrestling team on Saturday at the NCAA Midwest Super Regional in the University of Indianapolis’s Nicoson Hall.
Shade was joined on the podium by three of his teammates as Eric Milks (149 pounds), Brach Walker (197) and Stuart Nadeau (285) all finished in sixth place in their respective tournaments. The results helped the Black & Gold claim 45-1/2 points and a ninth place finish among the 14 teams at the event.
Sixth-ranked Wisconsin-Parkside tacked up 121 points and ran away with the team title at the event, besting second place Ashland (106-1/2 points) by 14-1/2 points. Fourteenth-ranked Newberry came away in third place with 97 points, while Tiffin and the host Greyhounds shared fourth place honors with 79-1/2 points apiece.
Shade trailed 1-0 heading into the final period against Vandermeer, but logged a couple of insurance points on a 2-point near fall with 1:46 left and then held off the Lake Erie sophomore down the stretch. Shade’s regional run would end in the final via a 9-1 major decision to top-ranked Nick Becker of Wisconsin-Parkside.
The most exciting match of the day for the Braves, however, came in the consolation quarterfinals at 197 pounds. Walker found himself staring at a 14-2 deficit to Findlay’s Dalton Ishmal early in the second period, but registered a pin to advance.
Braves baseball completes weekend sweep
PEMBROKE – Nick Salisbury’s RBI double in the bottom of the third to spark the first of two-straight 2-run innings for The University of North Carolin at Pembroke baseball team as the Braves finished off a weekend sweep of visiting Shippensburg on Sunday with a 4-2 win over the Raiders at Sammy Cox Field.
Salisbury finished the day with a perfect 2-for-2 hitting line for the Braves (10-3) who finished off a season-opening 13-game homestand on Sunday. Six other players notched base knocks for UNCP, including Stibel Aleman Saba who doubled and scored on a 1-for-4 outing.
Mike Marcinko (2-for-4) homered and scored twice for Shippensburg (3-7) who came into the series fresh off an 8-5 win at Catawba last Sunday. Grant Hoover walked and singled twice on a 2-for-4 outing for the visitors as well.
Logan Cook (2-1) picked up his second win of the season after surrendering just four hits and one earned run in six innings from the hill, while Alex Britt notched his second save of the season by working the game’s final five outs. Rich Michaud (1-2) allowed four earned runs on seven hits in 3-2/3 innings for the Raiders.
C.J. White singled to lead off the third and came around to score on Salisbury’s double to the gap in right field two batters later. Drew Beaver’s run-scoring single in the following at-bat would increase UNCP’s lead out to 2-0, but the hosts would tack on two more runs in the fourth thanks to run-scoring knocks by both Hayden Buffkin and White.
The Raiders cut into their deficit on Hoover’s RBI single with two outs in the fifth, and looked to do even further damage after putting a pair of runners into position in the eighth, but Britt struck out the final two batters of the frame to slam the door on the rally. Marcinko hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth to provide the final run of the contest.
The Braves will hit the road for the first time today when they travel to Wilson to take on region rival Barton (9-2) in a 2 p.m. outing at Nixon Field. UNCP will open up a five-game homestand on Friday at 6 p.m. when they open up a weekend series against Belt Conference rival Flagler (6-6, 2-4 PBC) at Sammy Cox Field.