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Science & Arts Earns First-Ever World Series Win

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) The trend of victories by lower seeds continued into the second day of the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, as No. 7 Science & Arts (Okla.) defeated No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan, 8-2, Saturday morning at Harris Field.

The win is the first-ever at the World Series for the Drovers, who are appearing in the event for the second time. Science & Arts jumps to 45-16 on the season and advance to face the loser of No. 1 Oklahoma City and No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) Monday at 8:30 a.m. PDT.

Science & Arts jumped on the board early when Randy Ventura singled to center in the bottom of the first to score Frankely Gonzalez from second. The rally continued when Dillon White, who entered the World Series as the Drovers’ leader in home runs and RBI, lifted a two-run home run over the left-center field fence to push the advantage to 3-0.

The Drovers made it 8-0 with a five-run, five-hit sixth inning. Kenniel Rivera had the highlight play of the frame, shooting a two-run, bases loaded double down the left field line. Back-to-back RBI singles by Hayden Sloane and Henry Rodriguez also played a key role in the rally.

Oklahoma Wesleyan made some noise in top of the ninth inning to cut the deficit to 8-2 on back-to-back home runs by Hunter Henry and Will Price. Both long-balls came on the first pitch of the at-bat. This is the first time that back-to-back home runs have been hit at the World Series since Jake Stone, Taylor Oldham and Jordan Guida of Tennessee Wesleyan hit three-straight in 2012.

White and Rivera led Science & Arts with two RBI each, while Rivera and Ventura were the lone multi-hit performers. In total, the Drovers had seven different hitters record at least one hit.

Jose Hidalgo (10-1) had a tremendous outing for Science & Arts en route to his 10th victory of the season. The San Diego, Calif., native scattered six hits and two runs over the course of 8.2 innings. Hidalgo tallied 11 strikeouts, which is one shy of tying a season-high.

Oklahoma Wesleyan, which entered the World Series, as one of the top hitting teams in the NAIA, was held to two runs-or-less for only the fourth time this season. The Eagles ended the day with six total hits – two from third baseman Trevor Achenbach – which snaps the team’s streak of 20-straight games with at least eight hits.

Oklahoma Wesleyan ends the year with a 51-12 record – the club’s first 50-win season since recording 58 victories in 2014. The Eagles, who were making their second all-time appearance at the event, fall to 3-4 all-time at the World Series.

Lewis-Clark State Downs Keiser, 7-4

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) picked up where it left off a year ago as the No. 5 Warriors hit three home runs to defeat No. 4 Keiser (Kan.) 7-4 in the 61st annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at LCSC’s Harris Field on Friday night.

The two-time defending champion Warriors, who used six home runs to defeat Faulkner (Ala.) 12-11 in last year’s championship game, hit three home runs against Keiser to account for its first four runs. LCSC’s win also meant all four of the lower seeds were victorious in Friday’s play.

With the win, the Warriors, 35-13, receive a bye on Saturday and will play the winner of the William Carey (Miss.)-Oklahoma City game on Monday. Keiser, 42-20, falls into loser-out play and will face Hope International (Calif.) at 11:30 a.m. PDT on Saturday.

The contest featured strong outings by starting pitchers Connor Brogdon of LCSC and Daniel Garmendia of Keiser. Brogdon, a 6-foot-6 senior right-hander, allowed just four hits and two earned runs over eight innings. He threw 125 pitches, 86 for strikes, and struck out 10 with three walks. Garmedia, 6-3 junior right-hander, threw 6.2 innings and allowed six hits and five earned runs. He also struck out eight and walked three.

The Warriors, seeking their NAIA-leading 19th national title, jumped on the board early when senior shortstop Seaver Whalen hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to put LCSC ahead 1-0. It’s his 10th home run of the season.

LCSC made it 2-0 in the second when Tyler McDowell, who had missed most of the season with an injury, hit a solo home run in his return for his second blast of the season. McDowell was injured in mid-March and didn’t start another game until LCSC’s final regular-season game. This was only the 19th game and 15th start for McDowell, who entered the game hitting .229 on the season.

“I was actually looking outside fastball and he threw a slider that started outside,” McDowell said of the pitch. “I thought it was a fastball and I just tried to keep my hands back, and it just broke right over the middle of the plate.”

The Seahawks battled back with a run in the top of the third. Miguel Casanueva drew a one-out walk and went to second on a single by Reyni Olivero. Zack Saldivar then singled up the middle to score Casanueva, but Olivero was thrown out at third by LCSC center fielder Raymond Pedrina. A fly out to center then ended the threat.

The Warriors put up two more via a home run in the fifth inning. Catcher Cooper Goldby, hitting in the ninth spot, drew a one-out walk and Pedrina followed with a two-run home run to left field, his sixth of the season.

LCSC made it 6-1 in the sixth with two runs. J.J. Robinson was hit by a pitch and scored on a double to deep left-center field by McDowell, who took third on a wild throw to home. Logan Griffin then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score McDowell.

“It was great having the crowd behind us,” said McDowell about the 3,010 fans in attendance. “I think the support just really calmed us down and allowed us to just let loose and swing.”

Keiser picked up its second run on a solo home run by Jack Curtis in the top of the seventh. It was the sixth home run of the season for Curtis.

The Warriors answered in the bottom of the seventh with a run to make it 7-2. Goldby singled and was replaced by courtesy runner Chase Hafer, who scored the Warriors’ final run on a wild pitch.

Keiser did make things interesting with two runs in the top of the of ninth, but LCSC turned a line drive into a double play and held on for the win.

Along with McDowell, Whalen finished with two hits for LCSC, which collected seven in the game.

William Carey Slugs to an 11-8 Win Over Hope International

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Year James Land capped a tremendous display of offense by both teams with a two-run ninth inning home run to give No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) an 11-8 victory over No. 8 Hope International (Calif.) Friday evening at the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series. The Crusaders are the third-straight lower seeded team to win in this year’s first round.

With the win, William Carey advances to play No. 1 Oklahoma City tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. PDT. The Crusaders, which are appearing in the World Series for the first time since 1978, had previously not won a game at the World Series since claiming the title in 1969.

Overall, the two teams combined for 28 hits, which is highest combined total through three games at the 61st annual event.

Right fielder Tyler Odom highlighted the offense for William Carey. The senior ended the game 4-for-5 from the dish, including a home run and a season-high tying five RBI. Tyler Graves (2-for-5), Land (2-for-4) and Larson Barkurn (2-for-5) also had multi-hit performances.

The two sides battled back and forth to a 4-4 tie through the first four innings of play, highlighted by a solo home run by Hope International’s Cameron Baranek – the first home run of the 2017 World Series and his 14th of the season.

William Carey added a home run of their own – this one of the three-run variety – by Odom. The Hattiesburg, Miss., native’s long-ball pushed the Crusader advantage 7-4 in the top of the fifth. Odom now has nine home runs this season.

The slugfest continued in the bottom of the fifth, as Brandon Gonzales crushed a solo home run over the right field fence on the first pitch of the inning to cut the deficit to 7-5. Three hitters later, including a walk by Sean David Clark, Nolan Kraemer ripped a double to left-center field to make it at 7-6 contest. Devan Schermerhorn then singled to knot the game at 7-7.

William Carey broke the tie once again when Barkurn shot a bases loaded single through the hole at second base to score Garrett Shano. A sacrifice fly by Wes Brown plated added an insurance run to make it 9-7 at the end of the top of the eighth inning.

Hope International brought the score back within one run, 9-8, in the bottom of the eighth, however failed to tie or take the lead.

Lane Fazende (7-5) earned the victory for William Carey, while George Castillo (8-4) received the loss for Hope International.

Baranek paced the offense for the Royals with a 3-for-5 effort at the plate, including two runs scored and two RBI.

Hope International, which is making its first-ever appearance at the World Series, plays again tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. The club’s opponent will be the loser of No. 4 Keiser (Fla.) and No. 5 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

Missouri Baptist holds off Oklahoma Wesleyan, 5-3

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Strong pitching propels No. 6 Missouri Baptist to a 5-3 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan Friday afternoon at the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series. The 61st annual event is taking place at Harris Field.With the victory, Missouri Baptist improves to 3-2 all-time at the World Series and 45-14 on the season. The Spartans, who also qualified in 2013, are also 2-0 in first round games at the event. In 2013, Missouri Baptist downed Sterling (Kan.), 8-3.

The Spartans’ pitching staff is the first to hold the hot-hitting Eagles under double-digit scoring since Friends (Kan.) accomplished the feat on April 23 – a span of 11-straight games.

Michael Syrett (8-1) earned the win for Missouri Baptist, allowing three runs and six hits across 6.1 innings. The Cyprus, Calif., native also struck out six to extend his streak of five strike outs-or-more to five games.

Miguel Ruiz and Nick Vichio handled the final 2.2 innings for Missouri Baptist, scattering three hits and allowing no runs. Vichio was credited with his 14th save of the season, which ties him for the NAIA lead.

The bulk of Missouri Baptist’s offense came in the bottom of the third inning, as the club scored four runs on six hits – its total for the contest – to take the initial 4-0 lead over Oklahoma Wesleyan. Back-to-back bunt singles loaded the bases for the Spartans with no outs for Aaron Collazo. The San Antonio, Texas, native wasted no time, shooting the first pitch into right field for a two-run RBI single.

Culver Plant followed suit with a single of his own, before a fielder’s choice by Drew Kitson plated the final run of the frame.

Oklahoma Wesleyan, which entered the day ranked among the top 10 nationally in 11 offensive categories, lit the scoreboard in the next half-inning. A one-out, bases loaded double past the diving Missouri Baptist first baseman by Alex Lugo cut to deficit to 4-2 in the top of the fourth.

A hit batter re-loaded the bases and continued the rally for the Eagles, as Trevor Achenbach’s single to left field pulled Oklahoma Wesleyan within one run, 4-3. However, Syrett got out of the jam on the next pitch, as Rudolfo Oleta ground out to the pitcher’s mound.

The run of bases loaded opportunities continued into the top of the fourth, as Missouri Baptist packed the bags with two outs. Kitson – the Spartans’ RBI leader on the season with 62 – failed to capitalize, chasing a slider in the dirt to become Oklahoma Wesleyan’s Zach Johnson’s third strike out on the afternoon.

The Spartans made it 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth on a ground out to second by Angel Cruz. Austin Rieman, who scored from third on the play, was hit-by-pitch to open the inning.

Oklahoma Wesleyan brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate in both the eighth and ninth inning, but failed to score.

Johnson (11-1) took the loss for the Eagles – his first of the season.

The Eagles drop to 51-11 on the season and fall into the loser’s side of the bracket. Oklahoma Wesleyan looks to keep its red banner hopes alive tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. against No. 7 Science & Arts (Okla.).

The Master’s Opens NAIA World Series with Win

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) No. 10 The Master’s (Calif.) continued its strong play during the postseason, as the Mustangs downed No. 7 Science & Arts (Okla.), 7-3, in the first game of the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series. The 61st annual event is taking place at Harris Field.

With the win, The Master’s extends its winning streak to 10-straight games and advances to play No. 2 Faulkner (Ala.) tomorrow at 3 p.m. PDT. The Mustangs are now 5-6 all-time at the World Series, including a 2-0 mark against Science & Arts at the event.

Jason Karkenny, who entered the game fresh off a complete game win in the title game of the 2017 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round Lawrenceville Bracket, earned the victory and improved to 6-2 on the year. The senior allowed four hits and three runs (one earned run) over the course of seven innings of work. Karkenny also struck out a season-high nine hitters.

The Master’s drew first blood in the second stanza when a Pearson Good bunt plated David Sheaffer, who set the table in the inning with a one-out double. The rally continued when Ryan Bricker singled to right-center to score Dalton Devries from second. Devries reached base via hit-by-pitch.

The Mustangs’ pushed its second inning lead to 3-0 when Bricker stole second base, but advanced all the way to home on a pair of throwing errors by the Drovers.

A third hit-by-pitch put Max Maitland at first for Jonah Jarrard. Jarrad did not waste the opportunity, shooting a double down the left field line to score Maitland and make it 4-0 in favor of the Mustangs. Jarrad’s double extends his current hitting streak to 15 games. During the run, the Rosemead, Calif., native is hitting .492 with eight doubles and 25 RBI.

Science & Arts cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the fourth on a Wyatt Hull double that cleared the bases and a Kenniel Rivera single. Christian Perez reached first base via a misplayed grounder to open the inning. Dillon White followed with a single to shallow center, placing runners on first and second with one out for Hull.

The Master’s added another run in the bottom of the frame, making it a 5-3 Mustangs advantage after four innings.

The Drovers loaded the bases in the sixth inning with two outs, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

The Mustangs tacked on additional runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

The Master’s had three individuals post multi-hit performances, highlighted by a 2-for-4 effort by Jarrard.

Science & Arts’ Francis Ventura took the loss to fall to 10-2 on the year. He surrendered a season-high seven runs (all earned) and nine hits through seven innings.

Science & Arts drops to 44-16 on the season and 0-3 at the World Series. The Drovers await the loser of No. 6 Missouri Baptist and No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.