CARY, N.C. — Carl O’Neal tossed a two-hitter in eight innings, while Mario Maldonado and Tyler Migl provided the offense with three runs batted in apiece as St. Mary’s (Texas) defeated Indianapolis 13-2 in an elimination game Tuesday at the 2012 NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals, being played at the USA Baseball National Training Center in Cary, N.C.
With the win, the Rattlers (49-10) advance to a 7 p.m. elimination game Wednesday. The loss ended the Greyhounds’ season at 46-16.
O’Neal, the 2012 Daktronics Division II National Pitcher of the Year, issued a walk to Mike Page to lead off the first, threw the ball into the outfield on Matt Maringer’s sacrifice bunt and threw a wild pitch to score Page with the game’s first run.
From there, however, O’Neal (14-0) looked very much the part of the nation’s best pitcher. The junior right-hander didn’t give up a hit until Brandon Stevens’ pitch-hit single to left in the sixth. Although the San Antonio native walked seven, he also struck out eight and didn’t allow another runner to reach second base until the Greyhounds’ second run in the eighth.
By then, the St. Mary’s offense had ramped up to full strength. Migl, the son of Rattlers’ head coach Charlie Migl, jump-started the attack, delivering a two-run homer to left in the fourth inning to break a 1-all tie, and an RBI triple in the sixth to increase the Rattlers’ lead to 5-1.
St. Mary’s ended the game with 15 hits, including three hits each for Maldonado and Josh McElroy. Migl, Esteban Raygoza and M.P. Cokinos each added a pair of hits, and Derek Moczygemba chipped in a pair of RBI.
Indianapolis starter JaVaun West, who also came into the game undefeated, suffered the loss, giving up seven runs, five of them earned, on seven hits over five innings to fall to 8-1 on the year.
Tyler O’Daniel produced the only RBI of the game for the Greyhounds, ripping a two-out double into the gap in left-center to score Jake Hartley, who had reached on a walk.
Both Indianapolis and St. Mary’s were making their first finals appearance in more than a decade. Indianapolis reached the 2000 finals, while St. Mary’s won the national championship in 2001, the school’s first year in NCAA Division II.