MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Top-seeded and 10th-ranked Middle Georgia State (43-14) claimed a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning of this afternoon's Southern States Athletic Conference championship game, but second-seeded and fourth-ranked Faulkner (47-10) generated six runs, all on homers, through subsequent frames to claim the 6-4 victory and its second straight tournament title here at Paterson Field.
The Knights' first two hits of the the game were big ones and arrived in the top of the fourth inning. Andy Mocahbee drilled a solo homer to left field just four feet inside the foul pole and Will Golden followed with a two-run shot to the scoreboard soon after giving the team a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles went one better in the fifth, however, when Paolo Montezuma and Ryan Rosa hit solo bombs on full counts right out of the gate. Tra'mayne Holmes then put Faulkner into a permanent lead on a two-run smoker beyond the right field wall three batters later.
Tra'mayne Holmes gets animated after the two-run, fifth-inning jack
Montezuma went yard again the following inning, this time with a second run in tow. He was later named the tournament MVP.
Logan Smith chipped away at the Eagle lead with an RBI double in the seventh, but there was little the Knights could do to overcome Holmes on the flip side of play down the stretch. The third baseman took over on the mound for the final 2 1/3 innings and iced three batters while giving up just a single hit in the save.
Olivier Basabe, who went 2-for-4 and scored today, joined Holmes and Montezuma on the all-tournament team.
Tylier Campbell surrendered three earned runs on just three hits he scattered over 4 2/3 innings while tallying five strikeouts in the afternoon start.
Braden Olive (5-1) secured the final out of the fifth inning and ultimately earned the win as the pitcher of record in 1/3 inning of relief work. The junior left-hander allowed one hit while facing four batters.
Kolby Green tossed 1 2/3 for the Eagles and gave up an earned run on two hits.
Faulkner was undefeated in the tournament while overcoming three Top 20 opponents in four games and outscoring the opposition 47-11.
The team will next host the NAIA National Championship Opening Round at Harrison Field as the Montgomery Bracket site beginning May 15. The Eagles will be the top seed in the five-team, double-elimination tournament with the remaining four teams being announced on May 11. Faulkner has won four straight Opening Round championships as the host school and has recorded five in all, the most by any active NAIA member institution.