FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Bradley rising senior outfielder Mike Tauchman did it all to help the Fayetteville SwampDogs stave off elimination in the second round of the Coastal Plain League 2012 Petitt Cup Playoffs and ultimately advance to the championship series.
After Fayetteville dropped the first game in its best-of-three series against the Forest City Owls, Tauchman scored a walk-off run in the 12th inning for a 2-1 victory Thursday night at J.P. Riddle Stadium. Tauchman’s heroics began two innings earlier when the centerfielder threw out the go-ahead run at the plate to end the top of the 10th. Tauchman later led off the home half of the 12th with a single. The CPL’s stolen base leader then swiped second and third, allowing him to score on a passed ball and force a deciding game three.
Tauchman helped the SwampDogs to an 11-6 win in Friday’s series-clincher by going 2-for-5 with a double, three runs batted in and two runs scored. Through five playoff games, Tauchman is batting .417 (10-24) with six stolen bases in as many attempts, five runs batted in and four runs scored.
Fayetteville will face the fourth-seeded Columbia (S.C.) Blowfish in the Petitt Cup’s best-of-three championship series, which will begin Sunday at Columbia. Game two is scheduled for Monday at second-seeded Fayetteville, which also will host the third game Tuesday, if necessary.
Tauchman is trying to join a pair of Bradley teammates as a summer league champion. Rising sophomore pitcher David Koll and rising junior catcher Derek Sprout helped the Licking County (Ohio) Settlers to the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League title with a 2-game sweep against Cincinnati Steam in the championship series earlier this week.
Koll was the starting pitcher in Monday’s title-clinching game, allowing two runs on six hits in his 5.0 innings, though he left the game trailing 2-0. The Settlers earned the championship by erupting for six runs in the eighth inning.
Sprout did not play in the clinching win, but he was the starting catcher in the series-opener and scored what proved to be the winning run in the seventh inning of a 5-3 victory. Sprout led off the seventh with a walk and scored on Matt Parisi’s 2-out single.