Brown, Thompson spark PLU to dramatic NCAA playoff win
Anchorage’s Garrett Brown earned the win and Tyler Thompson hit a home run in a 9-6 win over Emory on opening day of the NCAA D3 Tournament South Regional in Georgia.
Brown, of Service High fame, threw 5.1 innings of one-run relief to keep his team in the game after the Lutes fell behind 5-3 in the third inning. He allowed just four hits and two walks. He struck out five and the run he allowed wasn’t even earned.
“He gave us a chance to win,” Thompson told me.
After Brown got the final out in the top of the third inning, Thompson came up in the bottom half and hit a home run that pulled PLU within 5-4.
“When Tyler hit his home run it pumped me up especially since I was pitching at the time,” Brown told me. “He’s been clutch all year.”It was Thompson’s fifth homer of the season, which is the most among college players from Alaska this season.
But Brown was the story here.
The junior right-hander was a starter much of the season before getting moved to the bullpen for the NCAA playoffs. Rather than pout, he pounced on his opportunity, and shined bright when his team needed him most.
He pitched 5 scoreless innings before Emory – last year’s NCAA D3 runnerup –plated an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning.
“I just threw strikes and worked the ball to the outside of the plate. I threw majority all fastballs and was commanding both sides of the plate,” said Brown, who improved to 5-1 and lowered his ERA to 3.72 in 14 games.
“It felt amazing. I knew if I kept us close then we were gonna get some runs because we always come through late in games.”
And that’s exactly what happened. PLU rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eight to pull away, improving to 31-12 on the season and remain undefeated in the double-elimination tournament.
PLU plays again Thursday. First pitch is 3 p.m. AST.
“We need to take care of business tomorrow then we will be sitting in great position into the weekend,” Brown said.