GREENVILLE, Ill. -- The baseball team is returning to its second NCAA tournament in three years as the SLIAC tournament champion. Greenville rallied from a 4-0 fifth inning deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the fifth and had to come from behind again in the seventh with three runs after allowing Westminster to regain the lead.
Greenville starting pitcher Austin Marsh faced trouble early, allowing two runs in each of the second and third innings. He settled down to work 5.2 innings with six runs allowed on seven hits and three walks. He struck out two.
The Panthers took the lead with five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sam Hodges delivered a two-run single, Shane Olmsted posted an RBI single, and both later scored on wild pitches.
After Westminster regained the lead, the Panthers fought back with three runs in the seventh. Danny Strohm hit a solo home run down the left field line to tie the game, and Ralls recorded a bases loaded two-run single.
Austin Rexroad was the winning pitcher and bridged the way to closer Klaiton Wolff with two scoreless innings of relief.
Wolff worked around a single to gain his ninth save of the season.
Following the tournament, the SLIAC honored tournament MVP shortstop Jesse Getz after he went 9-for-20 over five games in which he hit two home runs, picked up 10 RBI, and scored seven runs.
He was joined by all-tournament team members Bryce Pearce who went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, including a seven inning outing in a win over Spalding, Travis Ralls whose bases loaded single in the seventh inning plated the game-winning runs, and Wolff who had two saves over 4.1 scoreless innings. Pearce and Wolff also played in the field and each hit .273 with 3-for-11 tournaments.
With the win, the Panthers secured their first 30-win season in program history. The 30-15 Panthers will await news on their NCAA tournament destination which will be made known tonight.