2023 Avista NAIA World Series – Game 18 Recap

Westmont (Calif.) outlasts defending NAIA Champion Fire



No. 3 Westmont (Calif.) (47-9) def. No. 1 Southeastern (Fla.) (58-6), 6-4 | Box Score

  • Westmont will play No. 9 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (37-17) tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. PT/8:35 p.m. CT
  • Southeastern has been eliminated from championship play



  • Punching two Warrior runners out on a double play, a single by Ryan DeSaegher and Bryce McFeely being hit by the pitch created the scenario where Darien Smith had to work himself out of a jam – a strikeout swinging by Parker O’Neil allowed SEU to preserve the 0-0 score
  • Leading off the bottom of the second, Chayce Bryant launched his fourth homer of the week – into the left bleachers – giving the Fire a 1-0 lead and recording the 250th run of the 2023 World Series
  • Four straight walks by the SEU starter – Darien Smith – allowed Westmont to tie the game and led to Olvis Genao entering the contest in the top of the third
  • In the bottom of the inning, the Fire retook the lead as the game was initially tied on the Adonys Herrera sacrifice fly and then the 3-2 margin was built on Gary Lora singling to right field
  • The double play executed by 3B DeSaegher, 2B Brady Renck, and 1B Liam Critchett ended the fourth inning and kept the Warriors in striking distance
  • That was crucial as Westmont tied the contest 3-3 in their next at-bat, as McFeely scored on Critchett’s deep sac-fly to left
  • After nearly being picked off at second base, Pigozzo scored off Herrera’s single to give Southeastern the 4-3 lead – the fourth lead change in five innings
  • Bases loaded in the top of the sixth, set the table for DeSaegher to single through the left side and once again put the Warriors on top, 5-4
  • A routine fly ball, that would have ended the inning, was dropped by Bryant and pushed the Westmont lead to 6-4 after 7.5 innings
  • The Warrior defense escaped the two runners on the bags, as reliever Lucas Wechsberg ended the inning with a strikeout looking and a high infield pop up
  • Trailing by two runs, Bryant led off the bottom of the eighth with a double to right, but a strikeout and two deep fly outs allowed the Warriors to head to the ninth with their 6-4 margin
  • Down to their final three outs, Wechsberg got a lead off fly out, but the play of the tournament to date was McFeely sprinting deep into foul territory and reaching out over the bullpen wall to grab the second out; the game ended on the relievers third strikeout of his 2.2 innings on the hill
  • Starting on short rest, Bryan Peck (W, 10-1) went five full innings while Wechsburg got his fourth save of the season
  • DeSaegher had two hits and two RBI – both team leads in the biggest game in Westmont program history
  • The Fire’s quest for a second consecutive National Championship falls short, meaning there hasn’t been a repeat champion since LC State won three straight from 2015-2017





# NAIA #

ABOUT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INTERCOLLEGIATE ATHLETICS (NAIA) The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of small athletics programs that are dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 77,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $800 million in scholarships and compete in 28 national championships. naia.org | @NAIA