PITTSBURG, Kan. -- Todd Nicks hit the game-tying home run in the top of the seventh and Ross Feeley drove in Kevin Rodriguez with the game-winning run in the tenth to back a strong pitching performance by Braulio Torres-Perez as the 12th-ranked Bellevue University baseball team ran their win streak to six with a 3-2 victory over York College on Friday afternoon.
The Bruins' sixth-straight win puts them at 7-1 on the year (7-0 against ranked/receiving vote opposition) and sets a new program record for best start through eight games.
York (6-5), who has now lost three straight, struck first in the opening inning with an unearned run. Billy Johnson reached on a dropped third strike and ended up coming home from second on a two-out base hit by Nick Carney.
The Panthers doubled their advantage an inning later. Michael Johnson was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, advanced to second on a sacrifice, took third on a groundout, and scored on a double to left by Timmeon Hughes.
From there Torres-Perez settled down and gave his offense a chance to find their bearings. Over the next seven innings he limited York to just five singles and struck out five batters to allow the offense time to tie the game and, eventually, pull ahead.
The rally commenced in the fourth when Matt Evans reached base to open the inning via a hit by pitch. He was sacrificed to second by Jake Browne, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and came in to score on a sac fly by Nicks.
Bellevue was down to their last ups in the seventh when Nicks came through with his heroics. He drove a pitch over the left field wall with one out to tie the game at 2-2 and force extra innings. It didn't get there without some activity, however. York loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning before Torres-Perez was able to induce a 1-2-3 double play from Carney.
Neither team was able to scratch across a run in the eighth or ninth innings. In the tenth, Rodriguez led off with a single to left and stole second to put himself in scoring position. A single by Trevor Jones advanced Rodriguez to third where he would come in to score a batter later on a sac fly by Ross Feeley.
Leland Tilley came on in relief in the tenth, and after runners reached the corners, he was able to retire Joseph Terazon to end the game.
Torres-Perez (2-0, 2.57) picked up the victory in nine solid innings, allowing two runs (one earned) while scattering eight hits and striking out five. Tilley (2 Saves, 1.69) came on in relief to record the save with his second scoreless outing in three appearances.
Bryan Faucher (0-1, 5.79) took the loss for York, allowing a run on three hits in 2.1 innings of relief work.
These two teams lock horns again tomorrow at 11 a.m. It will be the first of two games on the day for the Bruins who also play Saint Mary (Kan.) at 2:30 p.m.