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.