Warriors Hold Off Stars, 8-7

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Top seed Oklahoma City and No. 5 seed Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) decided to flirt with disaster in their winner’s bracket game at the 61st annual Avista-NAIA World Series on Monday night.

Coming up with the key plays when needed, the Warriors stayed in the winner’s bracket with an 8-7 win over the Stars at Harris Field in Ed Cheff Stadium. LCSC is one of two undefeated teams left in the tournament along with No. 2 seed Faulkner, and the two will meet up at 6:30 p.m. PDT. Tuesday night. Oklahoma City falls into the loser’s bracket where it will face The Master’s (Calif.) in loser-out play at 3 p.m.

LCSC was out-hit 15-10 in the contest, but came up with the hits when it had runners in scoring position. Combined with some excellent catches in the outfield by center-fielder Raymond Pedrina and left-fielder Tyler McDowell, along with a solid relief appearance by Henry McAree, the Warriors were able to capture the tight win.

“We made some big plays when we needed to,” LCSC coach Jeremiah Robbins said. “We didn’t pitch all that well, but we got the quality pitch when we needed it. This time of year, that is huge. The plays by McDowell in left and Ray in center, those are game-changing plays. That kind of kept momentum on our side.”

The bottom of the first and top of the second typified the game for both teams. Oklahoma City collected four-straight hits in the bottom of the first, but had two baserunners thrown out and wound up with only one run. In the top of the second, LCSC used six hits, two errors and a hit batter to push across six runs and leave only one baserunner stranded.

“This thing could have blown open easily for them, but we made some big plays,” Robbins said.

LCSC, 37-13 overall, took a 6-1 lead in the top of the second. With runners on first and second, Gunnar Buhner bunted and a late throw to first wound up down the right-field line. That allowed two runs to score and Buhner to reach third. Cooper Goldby’s sacrifice fly scored Buhner. J.J. Robinson later singled in two runs and scored on a double by McDowell.

OCU, 49-9 overall, threatened again in the second as the Stars loaded the bases with one out. However, OCU could only muster one run again on Joe Lytle’s RBI single.

LCSC countered with two runs in the fourth for an 8-2 lead on Seaver Whalen’s two-run home run that cleared the bleachers in left field. It was his 11th home run of the season.

OCU, however, wouldn’t go away quietly. The Stars scored three runs in the fourth. Jared Baker, who is on a tear in the tournament, doubled in a run and Cory Linn added a two-run single.

OCU added two more in the fifth to cut the lead to 8-7. Skyler Bean and Lane Milligan hit back-to-back doubles to score a run. Lytle then singled in a run.

After both teams pounded the ball for the first five innings, the final four turned into a pitcher’s duel between relievers McAree and Bryce Milligan. Neither team could score after the fifth inning.

McAree, a senior right-hander, pitched 5.2 innings of relief and allowed four hits and two runs. He struck out eight and walked one. He picked up the win to improve to 3-0 on the season.

“Henry gutted it up for us,” Robbins said. “We extended his pitch count a little bit so he’s going to need a couple of days rest but we got this one and that’s all that matters.”

Bryce Milligan pitched five innings and allowed just two hits. He struck out five and walked one in relief of Mark Simon, who gave up the eight runs on eight hits and took the loss to fall to 10-2 on the season.

Logan Griffin finished with two hits for LCSC while Whalen and Robinson both drove in two runs.

Lytle went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored for OCU, while Lane Milligan added three hits and Linn two RBI.

Faulkner Powers Past Missouri Baptist, 16-2

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) No. 2 Faulkner (Ala.) continued its tremendous offensive effort with 14 hits en route to a 16-2 victory over No. 6 Missouri Baptist Monday afternoon at the 61st annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.With the win, the Eagles advance in the winner’s side of the bracket and will play the winner between No. 1 Oklahoma City and No. 5 Lewis-Clarke State (Idaho) tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. PDT. Faulkner, which is now owns the NAIA’s most wins at 52-10, improves to 15-8 all-time at the event. The Eagles are searching for their second national title.

Nine different Eagles recorded at least one hit in the contest, highlighted by a three-hit day by T.J. Condon. The performance is his 21st multi-hit game of the season.

Through two games at this year’s World Series, Faulkner is hitting .377 (29-for-77) with five home runs.

Faulkner plated five runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by Ryan Rosa. The home run is his fifth of the season and first at the event.

The Eagles extended their advantage to 13-0 in the top of the fifth inning with eight runs on five hits. Tra’mayne Holmes sparked the rally with his seventh home run of the season, a solo blast on the second pitch of the inning. Later in the frame, Austin Paschke hit a bases clearing, three RBI double off the center field fence.

A few batters later, Holmes struck again with an RBI double.

The eight-run inning is the 2017 World Series single-game high for runs scored in an inning. The previous mark was five runs, which was accomplished twice by Science & Arts (Okla.).

The Spartans lit the scoreboard for the first time in the bottom of the fifth when Aaron Collazo doubled to deep right-center field, scoring Angel Cruz from second base. Cruz opened the inning with a single. With that run, Missouri Baptist extended its streak of not being shutout to 180-straight games.

Paolo Montezuma made it a 14-1 game in favor of Faulkner when the senior catcher hit his third home run at this year’s World Series.

Faulkner plated an additional two runs in the seventh inning, extending its lead out to 16-1.

Missouri Baptist’s John Hagan deposited a solo home run into the left field bleachers to make it a 16-2 Faulkner lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. However, that would be the highlight for the Spartans in the final four innings of the contest.

Missouri Baptist falls to 45-15 on the year and will play No. 10 The Master’s (Calif.) tomorrow at 11 a.m. PDT.

The Master’s Eliminates Keiser, 9-2

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) The Master’s (Calif.) Michael Sexton drove in four runs to lift the No. 10 Mustangs to a 9-2 win over No. 4 Keiser (Fla.) Monday afternoon in elimination play at the 61st annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.

The senior third baseman showed why he has been an All-Golden State Athletic Conference First Team member two-straight seasons, as he ended the day 3-for-5 at the plate with a two extra base hits, four RBI and one run scored.

With the win, the Master’s improves to 41-22 on the season and advances to play the loser of No. 1 Oklahoma City and No. 5 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at 3 p.m. PDT tomorrow.

The Master’s also got strong performances from their pitching staff. Starter Robert Winslow threw 68 total pitches and scattered four hits and allowed two runs over the course of five innings. With the victory, he improves to 9-5 on the season.

Danny Lutz finished the game, tossing four innings of scoreless relief en route to his third save of the season and second at the World Series.

Keiser drew first blood in the contest, as the club claimed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth on a pair of wild pitches.

The Master’s cut the deficit to 2-1 when Sexton lifted a home run over the left field fence. The home run is his 17th of the year and first at this year’s World Series.

The Mustangs took their first lead, 5-2, in the bottom of the fourth. Max Maitland sparked the rally with a RBI double, before Jonah Jarrard extended his current hitting streak to 17-straight games with a three-run home run. The long-ball is his 13th of the season and first at the event.

The Master’s were able to put to game away in the bottom of the sixth with four runs on two hits. Sexton had the key hit in the inning with a bases clearing, two out double. The initial run in the frame was plated via a bases loaded walk.

Keiser threaten to cut into The Master’s 9-2 lead in the top of the eighth with a runner on third base with no outs, however failed to score as relief pitcher Danny Lutz struck out Carlos Lopez before a double play ended the inning.

Dylan Dore was the lone Seahawk with more than one hit – both singles.

Kyle Keatts took the loss for Keiser and ends the year with a 7-5 record.

The loss gives the Seahawks a 43-21 record to end the year. Keiser was appearing in the World Series for the first time in program history.

William Carey Walks Off Science & Arts, 6-5

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate No. 7 Science & Arts (Okla.), 6-5, in elimination bracket play at the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.The Crusaders were relatively quiet offensively up until the ninth when a walk and pair of singles loaded the bases with one out. Back-to-back bases loaded walks to Tyler Graves and James Land narrowed the Science & Arts’ lead to 5-4, while keeping the bases loaded for Tyler Odom – arguably the hottest hitter for William Carey at this year’s World Series.

The senior from Hattiesburg, Miss., shot a grounder up the middle that had the potential of ending the game via a double play. However, Odom’s hustle out of the box forced a wild throw that slid under the outstretched first baseman’s glove to allow Garrett Shano – the courtesy runner for Graves – to score the winning run and keep William Carey’s title hopes alive.

With the win, the Crusaders advance to play the loser of No. 6 Missouri Baptist-No. 2 Faulkner (Ala.) tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. PDT. William Carey is now 44-19 on the year and 6-4 all-time at the event.

Relief pitcher Braden Smith earned the win for William Carey, tossing 7.1 innings of scoreless relief to improve to 7-3 on the season.

William Carey opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when an errant throw on a potential double-play plated Christian Smith. Odom loaded the bases with a single, however Drover starter Carson Corff surrendered the next two hitters to keep the game at 1-0.

Science & Arts took its first lead, 5-1, in the top of the second when back-to-back walks and a single loaded the bases with one out. Henry Rodriguez, Alexander Cortes and Frankely Gonzalez each drove in one run on a fielder’s choice, single and double, respectively. The RBI were the first at the World Series for Cortes and Gonzalez.

The final two runs of the stanza were scored on a bases clearing double down the left field line by Christian Perez. Similar to Cortes and Gonzalez, Perez entered the contest without an RBI at this year’s World Series.

The five run frame ties the 2017 World Series single-game high for most runs scored in an inning, which was originally set by the Drovers on Saturday against Oklahoma Wesleyan.

William Carey made it 5-2 in the bottom of the third when Graves blasted his seventh home run of the season and second at the World Series.

Christian Smith and Graves each had three hits in the contest, while Odom ended the day 2-for-5.

Corff took a no-decision in the game, allowing five runs and 10 hits over the course of 8.1 innings of work. Drovers’ closer Carlos Pimental (4-5) took the loss.

Two days after earning the club’s first-ever win at the World Series, Science & Arts ends its season with a 45-17 record. The Drovers, who were appearing in the event for the second time in program history, are now 1-4 all-time at the World Series.

Stars shine bright in 8-3 win over Crusaders

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Oklahoma City’s Jared Baker drove in five runs to help the top seed Stars kick off action with an 8-3 win over No. 9 seed William Carey (Miss.) Saturday night at the 61st annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.

The senior outfielder showed why he was the Sooner Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year as he went 3-of-5 at the plate with two doubles to drive in five of the Stars’ first six runs. Baker, who hit .405 during the season, upped his RBI total to 90 on the season, which ranks him second in the NAIA.

Baker struck out his first time up but then drove in runs on his next three at bats.

“I’m always learning,” Baker said. “I try to take every at bat and learn from it. I just got good pitches to hit tonight.”

Oklahoma City had plenty of baserunners early but it seemed it was only Baker who could get the key hit as the Stars stranded 11 on base.

“Honestly it’s just the hard work and dedication every day,” Baker said of his clutch hitting this season. “My teammates have my back every day. They motivate me to strive to be good.”

Matt Young, a junior right-hander, also was good on Saturday night. He threw 161 pitches in a complete game seven-hitter for the Stars. He struck out six and walked five in the contest.

The Stars, 49-8 overall, will face No 5 seed and host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), 36-13, in Monday night’s late game at 6:30 p.m. in winner’s bracket play. William Carey, 43-19, will play at 8:30 a.m. Monday against No. 7 seed Science & Arts (Okla.) in a loser-out game.

William Carey took the lead at 2-0 in the second inning. Tyler Odom hit a single through the hole at shortstop and Cody Christian followed with a home run to deep right field. It was his second home run of the season.

Oklahoma City got its first run in the top of the third when an error, a walk and a single loaded the bases with one out. Baker then singled to right to bring in the run, but William Carey starter Connor McWilliams got out of the jam with a pop up and a ground out.

William Carey made it 3-1 in the bottom of the third when Tyler Graves hit his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center field.

Oklahoma City battled back in the top of the fourth. A one out walk started the rally and despite striking out, Jerame Littell reached base on a wild pitch, which put runners on first and third. Lane Milligan then singled up the middle to score a run and then a misplayed grounder again loaded the bases for the Stars for the second straight inning with one out. This time, however, the Stars took advantage as Baker cleared the bases with a double to left-center field. The hit put OCU ahead 5-3.

Baker added to his RBI total in the sixth inning. Joe Lytle singled up the middle with two outs and scored on Baker’s double down the right-field line. That hit ended the night for McWilliams.

The Stars were able to put the game away in the eighth with two runs on three hits and an error. Baker nearly had another RBI in the eighth, but Milligan was thrown out at home trying to score on a grounder to second. Shaun Corso did single in a run in the eighth and Cory Linn added an RBI double.

Oklahoma City, which is seeking its second NAIA baseball title in its 15th year at the Series, had two hits apiece from Milligan, Lytle and Corso.

William Carey, which is making its first Series appearance since 1978, had two hits and two RBI from Christian.

McWilliams wound up taking the loss to fall to 7-2 on the season.