PBC Tournament: Ryan’s Gem Moves No. 24 Baseball Into PBC Championship Game

UNC Pembroke's River Ryan
UNC Pembroke's River Ryan

FLORENCE, S.C. – Freshman River Ryan struck out seven on the way to registering the program's first 9-inning complete game shutout in five years as the 24th-ranked UNC Pembroke baseball team notched its 40th win for just the second time in program history with a 5-0 victory over Flagler on Saturday in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals.

The victory moves the Braves (40-14) into Saturday afternoon's championship game against third-seeded Georgia College (34-13) who has yet to taste defeat in this year's PBC Tournament. First pitch for that contest is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Francis Marion's Sparrow Stadium. Flagler (31-24) saw its season come to an end with the setback.

Coincidentally, the Braves are making their second appearance in the championship game. The Black & Gold put up 40 wins for the first time in school history on the way to capturing the 2011 PBC Tournament crown.

Jarratt Mobley (RBI, R) and Stibel Aleman Saba (RBI) both turned in 2-for-4 days at the plate to lead UNCP, while Nick Debo drove in a run and scored once on a 1-for-3 hitting line. Cole Ondrejka walked and tallied a pair of singles on a 2-for-3 outing for the Saints. 

Making just the second start of his rookie season, Ryan (2-0) was electric, allowing just four hits and one walk over his nine innings of work and facing four or less batters in each of the last five innings of the contest. He retired 11-straight to close out his ninth appearance of the campaign as well. Jordan Doyle (0-1) yielded two earned runs on as many hits in just one full inning of work to saddle the loss for the Saints. 

Debo (hit by pitch) and Mobley (infield single) both reached to lead off the second, and the Braves cashed in a short minute later on a RBI single to centerfield by Aleman Saba. Doyle plunked Drew Beaver to load the bases, and Alex Simpson made it a 2-0 game two batters later when he punched a ball into right field.

UNCP used an unconventional method to stretch its lead out to three runs in the third, getting Ethan Baucom aboard via a dropped third strike and, after a stolen base by the redshirt freshman, Mobley's two-out single finished off the scoring opportunity. The Braves got a pair of RBI singles with two outs in the seventh to tack up two more insurance runs.