Colt Loehrs' single in the bottom of the 11th inning drove in Madison Beaird with the winning run as Arkansas Tech outlasted North Alabama 4-3 in the longest Gulf South Conference Baseball Tournament game in five years on Sunday afternoon at USA Stadium in Millington, Tenn.
Loehrs sent Casey Jones' pitch slicing into right center field with one out in the last of the 11th. Beaird, who had walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Makris, sprinted home with the run that kept Arkansas Tech alive in the GSC Tournament.
The Wonder Boys (31-18) will face Southern Arkansas at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 9, in another elimination game. A win on Monday would allow Arkansas Tech to advance to championship Tuesday at the GSC Tournament.
North Alabama (35-12) was eliminated from the GSC Tournament with the loss, but the Lions are ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Division II South Region poll and are strong candidates to earn an at-large bid in the NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament.
Tech and UNA traded runs in the first inning, and the Wonder Boys took their first lead with two runs in the third. Beaird had an RBI double and Makris delivered a sacrifice fly to put Arkansas Tech in front 3-1.
North Alabama's Dale Ricketts scored on a Tech throwing error in the fourth inning and Josh Cyr notched an RBI single in the fifth to tie the score at 3-3.
Danny Parker pitched the first five innings for the Wonder Boys. Nate Wilder, who started the game as Tech's designated hitter, took over on the mound in the sixth inning.
Wilder (2-0), who had only pitched 10 and two-third innings all year before Sunday, tossed six shutout innings to earn the win. He allowed three hits, struck out four and walked none in his longest outing as a Wonder Boy pitcher.
His good work was rewarded in the bottom of the 11th. The Lions intentionally walked Landon Sullins to get to Loehrs, who was 0-for-2 on Sunday before sending that rocket into right center field to win it for Arkansas Tech.
UNA reliever Casey Jones (3-3) gave up the game-winning hit and took the loss.