KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Adam Panayotovich went the distance as No. 5 seed St. Francis (Ill.) rallied for a 6-3 win over No. 4 seed Campbellsville (Ky.) in the first game of the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round - Kingsport Bracket on Thursday.
Panayotovich threw 118 pitches, allowing three earned runs on six hits and one walk with one strikeout to get his 10th win of the season.
It appeared it was going to be a long day for Panayotovich and the Saints as Campbellsville scored two runs in the top of the first for the early 2-0 advantage. But he settled down after that, only giving up a Danny Lapchak RBI single in the sixth as the Tigers grabbed a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Panayotovich got the support he needed as St. Francis exploded for five runs. The Saints had four hits during the rally and took advantage of two Tiger errors in grabbing the 6-3 lead. Tim Reichert lined a two-run single during the outburst.
From that point on, Panayotovich took care of the rest, setting Campbellsville down quietly to secure the win.
St. Francis (38-15 overall) will now face top-seeded Tennessee Weslayan at 6 p.m. Thursday. Campbellsville (36-17 overall) plays Friday at 11 a.m. in the losers' bracket.
The Saints outhit the Tigers 14-6 with Reichert going 2-for-4 with two driven in. In all, six Saints had two basehits. Lapchak paced Campbellsville with a 2-for-4, one-run, one-RBI performance.