Top seed Ashland pushed across the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth and then held off a Drury rally to defeat the second-seeded Panthers 3-2 in an NCAA-II Midwest Regional elimination game Friday afternoon at Meador Park in Springfield. The Panthers (39-17) saw their season come to a close with their third consecutive loss.
In the ninth, the Panthers loaded the bases with two out after Spencer Wilmes reached on an error, Colton Jones singled and Nick Thimesch walked. But Zach Botjer, in picking up his sixth save, struck out Caleb Cole looking to end the game and put an end to the most productive season in Panther history. The 39 victories topped the previous school mark of 35 set in 2011 as Drury made just its second NCAA-II tourney appearance in the program’s seven-year history, and first time as host.