LEWISTON, Idaho -- The dream season met an appropriate, if untimely, ending Monday for the USC Beaufort baseball team, as the Sand Sharks clawed back to erase most of a nine-run deficit before falling 12-8 to No. 7 seed Point Park (Pa.) in the Avista-NAIA World Series at Harris Field.
USCB (41-19) set a school record for victories and reached the NAIA World Series for the first time by winning five consecutive elimination games in the Opening Round tournament in Hardeeville, but the Sand Sharks ran out of steam Monday. The Pioneers scored nine runs -- five earned -- on five hits in the third inning to build a 10-1 lead and knock starter Miles Galvin (6-1) out of the game.
But USCB didn't go quietly. The Sand Sharks chipped away with two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, then chased starter Derek Peluso (10-1) in the midst of a four-run sixth.
Meanwhile, junior right-hander Kyle McCullough kept USCB in it, pitching five innings in relief and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits.
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The four-run outburst got the Sand Sharks within 11-8, but Point Park added one run in the eighth and closer Mike Tullio pitched four scoreless innings for his 15th save to close out USCB's remarkable postseason run.
Seniors accounted for all 13 of USCB's hits, with Gabe Torres and Brandon Collins leading the way with three apiece. David O'Neil and Dom Hayes added two hits apiece.
The Sand Sharks went 1-2 in their trip to Lewiston, eliminating Sun Conference rival Embry-Riddle on Saturday.
The team will remain in Idaho through Tuesday and return home Wednesday.