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Belhaven Baseball Win Southern States Athletic Conference Championship

May 5, 2011 (Columbus, GA) -The Belhaven baseball team captured the 2011 SSAC Championship thanks to a 16-5 victory against William Carey University in the championship game on Wednesday afternoon. The Blazers, ranked 21st in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll, broke the game open with 10 runs in the third inning and never looked back on their way to the championship.

Belhaven (43-16) fell behind in the top of the second inning when Will White ripped a two out triple down the right field line plating Ronnie Camacho and Jared Rogers who had reached on singles ahead of him putting William Carey (30-25) in front 2-0. The Blazers answered quickly in the bottom of the second scoring a pair of two out runs of their own. With Ryan Saunders on first, Paul Moreno crushed his fourth home run of the season over the right center field wall to knot the game at 2-2.

Belhaven took control of the game in the third scoring 10 runs with two outs. The Blazers loaded the bases with the help of an error charged to Rogers that extended the inning and proved to be costly. With two outs, Saunders got a 3-1 fastball from Scotty Reese and deposited a grand slam over the right center field wall to put the Blazers in front. It was the second grand slam for Belhaven in the tournament as Tyler Wrinkle homered with the bases loaded against William Carey in game three of the tournament. Belhaven went on to score six more runs on RBI doubles by Jordan Brewer and Jimmy Gilford, a two run single by Drew Dillard, and run scoring singles off the bats of Lake Eiland and Anthony Doss.

“I'm proud of the way our ball club played and to win the SSAC Championship in our first year in the league is big for our program,” said Belhaven Head Coach Hill Denson. “We had solid pitching and our hitters came up with some clutch hits at key moments in ballgames that put us over the top.”

Belhaven had four players named to the SSAC All-Tournament Team when it was announced following the game. Derek Tortorich, Jimmy Gilford, Ryan Saunders, and Anthony Doss represented the Blazers on the squad. Doss also took home the MVP award and arguably had the biggest hit of the tournament when he launched a three run home run against Brewton-Parker that put Belhaven in front in game one of the tournament. Doss hit .480 for the tournament, Gilford hit .450, and Saunders along with Tortorich had a tournament high nine runs batted in.

Belhaven will find out where they will be headed for the NAIA National Championship Opening Round on Sunday when the final Top 25 Poll and opening round pairings are announced.

Belhaven proudly stands among the select Christian colleges and universities that offer a unique general core curriculum encouraging the development of a personal worldview. The university believes a Christian worldview is a key to preparing men and women academically and spiritually to serve Christ Jesus in their careers, in human relationships, and in the world of ideas.

Founded in 1883, Belhaven University now serves over 3,000 students from campuses in Jackson, Memphis, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, Atlanta and online, offering traditional undergraduate degrees, graduate and adult degree programs, and online degree programs.

For more breaking news, announcements, and upcoming events, visit the Belhaven University News and Information web site.