BELLEVUE, Neb. -- In a game that started nearly nine hours after it was originally scheduled, the Bellevue University baseball team stayed alive in the NAIA Opening Round (Bellevue Bracket) with a 3-2 win over Davenport University Wednesday night at Roddy Field.
The Bruins (51-10) will battle the University of Science & Arts (Okla.) at noon on Thursday in the championship game of the tournament. Bellevue needs to beat USAO twice tomorrow to advance to the Avista-NAIA World Series on May 26-June 2.
The Drovers defeated Bellevue, 15-4, on Tuesday in a winner's bracket contest.
Austin Petravicius led off the game with a homer over the left field fence to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. The Bruins responded in the bottom of the first with an RBI single to right field by Riley Baach to knot the contest at 1-1.
The Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second after Diego Iribarren scored following a throwing error by DU third baseman Justin Palmbos. Bellevue loaded the bases later in the inning with no outs, but Jonathan Cheshire got out of the jam after Derik Bontempo struck out and Baasch grounded out into a double play.
Browne's perfectly executed squeeze bunt scored Irribaren from third to increase the BU advantage to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
Nolan Page scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch by BU starter Reid Feeley to slice the deficit to 3-2 in the top of the fifth frame.
After two hit batsmen and an intentional walk, the Bruins loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Cheshire struck out Todd Nicks and induced a groundout to keep the score at 3-2.
Dylan Thorp, relieved Feeley in the eighth inning and allowed just one hit with one walk to earn his first save of the season.
Feeley improved to 9-0 on the season, scattering six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings on the mound.
Justin Palmbos (3-5) was tagged with the loss, after allowing two runs on five hits with two strikeouts in one inning of work. Cheshire allowed four hits with two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.