BECKLEY, W.Va. - University of Charleston baseball Coach Lee Bradley preaches the merits of playing your best at the end of the season.
On Wednesday at Linda K. Epling Field in Beckley, Bradley can say, at least offensively, the Golden Eagles did just that.
The University of Charleston scored four runs in the first inning, then scored 11 in the middle three innings to secure a 16-14 victory over North Division regular-season champion Seton Hill (37-14) in the first round of the WVC Tournament.
Bradley's Golden Eagles (20-27) move to today's 3:30 p.m. winner's bracket game against Concord, a 5-1 winner over West Liberty.
"It's conference tournament time and anything can happen," said Bradley, whose team led 4-0 and trailed 5-4 before taking command of the game. "We just don't play one inning and quit. The last couple weeks, even though we haven't won a lot, we have been playing more consistently. That's what we try to emphasize and try to stress."
Charleston led 16-14 after seven innings, but relief pitcher Tyler Itnyre did something neither Josh Weinberg or Jake Colfi could do, shut down the Griffins' bats.
Itnyre gave up two hits in 21/ 3 innings to compete the upset.
Nick Sell homered for Seton Hill, and Brad Comport had four hits for the Griffins. Every position player except two had a hit for Seton Hill.
Every position player had a hit for UC and all but two had an RBI. Robert Collin knocked in four runs to lead the Golden Eagles.
"I don't want to call it underachieving, but we feel like we haven't shown what we're capable of all spring," Bradley said. "I think we went into this with a chip on our shoulders.
"Our first goal was to get to the conference tournament. Once we get there, we know anything can happen."
The winner of today's game returns at 6:30 p.m. Friday to face a loser's bracket winner from earlier on Friday.
The loser of today's game plays at 9:30 a.m. Friday against the winner of today's West Liberty-Seton Hill game.