Comeback kids clip Falcons

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The University of Montevallo Falcons were starting to look like a group of guys who thrived off second chances, earning a late night bid to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional and battling from behind in two-of-three games to advance to Sunday&8217;s regional championship.

However, Angelo State University emerged as the &8220;comeback kids&8221; in this year&8217;s regional. The Angelo Rams pushed their way back from the losers&8217; bracket and knocked off the reigning regional champion Falcons 8-1 Sunday and 3-2 on Monday to advance to the Division II World Series for the first time in their short three-year history.

The Rams charged forward on Sunday with a run in the first inning and six in the fourth inning to jump on top of the Falcons. Ryan Norman drove in the only UM run in the seventh inning.

The win forced an &8220;if necessary&8221; championship game on Monday.

J.D. Pruitt scored an unearned run for the Falcons in the top of the third to get UM on the board first, however, the Rams responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning with the help of an RBI double by Jimmy Cox, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by Steven Allred to take the lead.

Chris Cooper drove in the tying run for UM in the fifth, but Angelo regained the lead, 3-2, in the seventh on a fielding error by Cooper.

UM left two runners on base in the ninth and stranded 14 for the game.

&8220;Our offense is pretty opportunistic. When you&8217;re in a tournament situation facing good pitching you have to take advantage of every opportunity, and today we couldn&8217;t do it,&8221; UM head coach Greg Goff said.

Last Thursday, Montevallo opened the tournament with a 7-4 come-from-behind win over St. Edward&8217;s University. They went on to defeat the University of West Florida 11-6 and rallied from behind to send the Rams to the losers&8217; bracket in a 5-4 win Saturday.

Travis Fultz and Brantly Clay were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Montevallo concludes the season with a school record 47 wins and 17 losses.

&8220;Our kids set the standard high for the number of wins in a season. I take my hat off to them and the dedication to the program,&8221; said Goff.

Angelo State (50-18) becomes the first team in more than 10 years to advance to the DII World Series from the losers&8217; bracket of the South Central Regional