CARY, N.C. — The third-seeded Angelo State baseball team opened the 2023 Division II National Baseball Championship with a 2-1 victory over sixth-seeded Southern New Hampshire Sunday at the U.S.A. National Baseball Training Complex.

The Rams would find themselves down by a run in the second, but a key point in the game was when the Rams got out of a bases-loaded jam thanks to a strikeout by starter Aaron Munson, which would lead to ASU tying the game up at one.

“I think the momentum switched when we scored the run. We like to play with momentum a lot and I went up to Coach Foster, our pitching coach, and said let’s just start spinning breaking balls and see what happens and that’s what I did and it worked out pretty well,” said Munson.

Angelo State would get on the board in the third thanks to a Thomas Cain infield single that would score Kam Kelton.

The Rams would get their first lead of the game in the fourth, which would turn out to be the game-winning run off a Justin Harris RBI groundout scoring Tripp Clark.

After getting out of that bases-loaded jam in the third inning, Munson retired the next 12 batters for the Penmen in a row. He finished with seven innings of work with one run on four hits with 11 punchouts.

“We’ve been here so many times that this was a Cary game. You’ve got to get great pitching, you’ve got to get good defense which we were really solid, and you’ve got to get some leadoff guys on and get them in and we did that,” said Rams head coach Kevin Brooks.

With the win, the Rams improve their overall record to 53-9 on the season, which sets a new Lones Star Conference record for wins in a season.

Angelo State will play North Greenville Tuesday, June 4 at 5 p.m. CST in the winner’s bracket.