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Northwestern Walks Off With GPAC Title



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HASTINGS, NE -- Top seeded Northwestern made it a clean sweep for the season by winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Baseball Tournament Championship on Saturday afternoon to go along with their regular season crown this spring.  The 2013 GPAC Baseball Tourmament was played in Hastings, Nebraska, at Duncan and Smith Fields and was hosted by Hastings College.

Day three play began with an 11am elimination game between Doane and Midland.  The game also served as a NAIA National Qualifiying game as the winner would be assured the league's second berth in the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round.  Doane took at 3-1 lead into the ninth before the Warriors plated three runs in the top half of the inning and posted the 5-3 win. 

 

The win gave Midland the NAIA berth and placed them in the title game against top seed Northwestern who already earned an NAIA berth by way of their regular season title.

 

In the final game of the tournament Midland and Northwestern went back and forth before the Red Raiders scored the winning run on a walk off single by Eric Widener in the bottom of the ninth for a 9-8 dramatic win.

 

One of the more wild plays of the game was an inside the park grandslam by Midland's Dylan Steyer in the fifth inning.  The ball hit the top of the fence in right center by the scoreboard in spacious and historic Duncan Field and rolled away from the Red Raiders outfielders.  The speedy Steyer beat the throw to the plate to cap off the rare feat.

 

Northwestern and Midland now await their NAIA Opening Round assignments which will be announced on Monday.

 

-Courtesy Great Plains Athletic Conference

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