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Golden Bears hold off, eliminate Shawnee; will face IU-Southeast at 4 p.m.

May 4—CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Starter Braedan Pakkala pitched five solid innings, Francesco Calderon hit two more home runs and No. 6 WVU Tech survived No. 3 Shawnee State's furious ninth-inning rally for a 12-9 victory Saturday morning in the River States Conference Tournament.

The Golden Bears (29-21) eliminated Shawnee, which fell to No. 2 Indiana Southeast on Friday. Shawnee defeated Tech 16-6 Thursday morning in the first game of the tournament.

Down 1-0 after Hunter Warner's solo home run one out into the game, Tech turned the offense on in the fourth.

It started with Calderon's one-out, two-run homer that put the Golden Bears ahead for good. And they kept going.

Logan Spurlock walked, Will Gray singled and they both moved up on a wild pitch. Logan Stump then walked to load the bases.

Tyler Wilkinson then drilled a pitch over the wall in right center for a grand slam and 6-1 Tech lead.

Wilkinson also hit a grand slam in last week's Game 1 win over IUP-Columbus in a tournament play-in series.

Noah Cummings added a solo homer in the fifth to make Tech's lead 7-1.

It stayed that way until the eighth, when the Golden Bears went back to the long ball.

Hunter Fansler hit his 10th homer of the season to make it 8-1 with one out. Cummings walked one out later, and Calderon drove him home with his second two-run homer of the game to put the Golden Bears ahead 10-1.

Calderon is 8 for 14 (.571) with two doubles, four homers and seven RBIs in the series.

Sacrifice flies by Fansler and Cummings scored Ryan Miler and Jordan Thurmond to send the Golden Bears into the bottom of the ninth with an 11-run lead.

They needed every one of the five runs they scored in the final two innings.

After Pedro Henrique Luciano kept Shawnee State off the board for three innings, Tech turned the game over to Chase Herndon in the bottom of the ninth. It was a short stay.

They loaded the bases and scored for the first time since Warner's homer when Noah Sniadach was hit by a pitch to drive Warner in and chase Herndon after facing four batters.

Zack Reid took over and walked Eric Oakes to force in another run. Luis Mejia then got hit to send in the third run of the inning, and Reid's day was done after nine pitches and two batters faced.

Dakota Aspinwall relieved Reid and gave up Michael De Jesus' RBI single that drove in Zach Gaspar. The bases remained loaded.

Kyle Eslick reached on a fielder's choice to drive in Oakes and make it 12-6, but De Jesus was forced at second for the first out of the inning. Tyler Lund singled to drive in Gaspar and R Scott was hit by a pitch to once again load the bases.

Nolan Tressler reached on a fielder's choice scoring E Jones and Lund was forced at third for the second out. Warner then walked in his second plate appearance of the inning to load the bases and chase Aspinwall.

Logan Stump came in and gave up Sniadach's RBI single to make it 12-9. But Stump struck out Oakes for the third out and Tech escaped.

Pakkala (2-1) recovered from Warner's homer and got the win. He held Shawnee to four hits and earned run over five innings while striking out six and walking three.

Luciano was dominant in his three shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, struck out five and walked one.

Tech will take on Indiana Southeast at 4 p.m. If the Golden Bears win, the two will play again Sunday at 9 a.m. The winner will win the pod and earn a trip to the NAIA Tournament.