CARY, N.C. — Henderson State’s Colton Lorance pitched six shutout innings and got a little help from his friends as the Reddies beat No. 10 Angelo State 4-0, Saturday at the NCAA Division II Baseball National Championships.
The 15th-ranked Reddies improved to 32-19 on the season winning their fifth straight game in the postseason.
Lorance recorded one of his best outings of the year as the senior southpaw gave up five hits and improved to 7-4 on the year.
The product of Texarkana, Texas, relied on some great defense by the Reddies including three great plays by catcher Andrew Reynolds that helped get Henderson out of some key innings.
"Drew deserves a lot of credit," said Lorance. "He caught a great game and made some big time plays for us. He was a big part of our victory."
Lorance found himself in a bit of trouble in the seventh-inning as the Rams got a single by JC Snyder with Dexter Tyner reaching on a walk.
Jordan Taylor entered the game for Lorance and would strike out the first two batters he faced. After walking Cody Semler to load the bases, Taylor got David Goggin to ground out to Hunter Mayall to end the inning.
Reddie closer Nick Vanthillo entered the game in the eighth but Angelo State would get two runners on in the eighth. The junior right-hander would get out of the inning when Tyner popped up to Mayall to end the inning.
In the ninth, Vanthillo would quickly retire the first two batters including striking out Jarryd Klem. After hitting Semler with a pitch, the Belgium product fanned David Goggin to end the game and pick up his 13th save of the year.
Henderson State scored in the first-inning for the fifth straight game as NCAA Central Region MVP Hunter Mayall led off the game with a single and stole second.
With two-outs, Tadarious Hawkins would single just over the outstretched arms of Angelo State third-baseman JC Snyder to score the first run.
The Reddies added a run in the fifth frame as Carlos Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and would move to second on a sacrifice bunt by Reynolds. Mayall then brought home Rodriguez with a single to right field.
Continuing to play solid fundamental baseball, The Reddies would tally another run in the seventh-inning as Conner Brackhahn singled to left field and would advance on a AJ Kruzel sacrifice bunt.
The Reddies would get aggressive on the bases as Brackhahn stole third and came home when ASU catcher Cameron Massengill threw the ball into left field.
Henderson again would get its leadoff runner on base in the eighth as Claude Johnson would single and advance to second when Jordan Taylor reached on an infield single.
Johnson would later score as Dillon Becker threw a pair of wild pitches to allow the Reddie lead to increase to 4-0.
Both teams had six hits each, but the Reddies made the most of their hits while the Rams would strand nine base runners.
Henderson State, making its first-ever NCAA postseason appearance, advanced to a winner’s bracket game on Monday to face the winner of Wilmington and Catawba.