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Four Upsets Define Day One of 2024 Avista NAIA World Series

May 24, 2024

LEWISTON, Idaho –  The 2024 Avista NAIA World Series began Friday at Harris Field where all four lower seeds were victorious on Day One – the first time since 2017 that occurred and only the second time since seeding began in 2003. Arizona Christian and Reinhardt both picked up their program’s first ever win at the World Series.



No. 9 Arizona Christian (37-19) defeats No. 8 Kansas Wesleyan (48-11), 17-10

  • Jaylen Edmonds plated the first run of the World Series off a two-run homer by Andrew Ivy as Arizona Christian scored three in the third
  • Offense erupted for the Firestorm as they scored 13 runs across the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings where the whole lineup batted through each time
  • Marques Titialii scored three of the runs in the sixth on a home run out of the stadium in left field
  • ACU scored more traditionally in the seventh on a double, pair of drawn walks, and a fielder’s choice
  • In the eighth inning, both teams scored four runs
  • Arizona Christian scored their final four runs of the game on a fielding error which crossed a pair of unearned runs and then a two RBI single to center by Kane Kiaunis
  • Trailing 17-3, the bats came alive for the Coyotes; Cruz Oxford launched a three RBI homer to center field and Zack Beatty had an RBI double to left
  • Then in the bottom of the ninth, KWU added on a trio of runs as Oxford once again went yard for a three run shot
  • Jarrett Brannen (L, 11-2) was issued the loss after giving up nine runs and 11 hits in 5.2 innings on the hill
  • Eli Elliot (W, 8-4) threw the first six innings for ACU striking out nine batters
  • In total, Arizona Christian totaled 17 runs on 17 hits and netted 15 RBI with seven drawn walks; Titialii and Kiaunis each had four RBI in the game while Ivy had three and Trey Tarver a pair
  • Oxford and Beatty netted nine of the 10 RBI for the Coyotes including four of the eight hits

 No. 5 Reinhardt (Ga.) (42-16) defeats No. 4 Hope International (Calif.) (40-16), 7-5 

  • The Royals took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring off an Alex Moreno single and Alec Arnone double
  • After stranding runners on the bags in the first two innings, the Eagles finally plated a run as Tucker Zdunich crossed the plate on a four pitch walk
  • Dylan Lewis blasted a solo homer to left field to bring it to a 2-2 score in the top of the fifth
  • Hope International countered right back in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of singles to make the score 4-2 and added another run the following inning
  • Zdunich hit another home run, this time a three run jack to right field, which tied the game 5-5 in the top of the seventh
  • In the top of the 8th, the Eagles broke the stalemate and scored runs on two separate plays
  • Boom Ward (L, 0-1) was issued the decision for giving up the winning runs in the eighth
  • Andrew Herbert (W, 11-1) threw the first 7.0 innings before Brett Allen picked up his eighth save of the year rounding out the final six outs
  • Jarrett Burney, Matty Mauer, Lance Dockery, and Lewis each had a pair of hits in the game for RU while Zdunich had three of the teams’ six RBI
  • For the Royals, Moreno and Ryan Maciel were the only batters with multiple hits in the game

No. 6 Tennessee Wesleyan (41-16) defeats No. 3 Cumberlands (Ky.) (51-7), 7-4 

  • The Bulldogs scored in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly from Cayle Webster and added a second run in the top of the second from Braxton Turner
  • Cumberlands plated their first run in the bottom of the third on a throwing error and tied the game on a sacrifice fly
  • Dante Leach broke the tie, giving TWU a 4-2 edge in the top of the fourth
  • The Patriots tied the game in the fifth with a RBI double from Max Harper and then Jay Flynn scoring on an error
  • The winning run was scored in the eighth as Webster doubled down the line to score a pair
  • Gage Vailes (W, 4-2) was awarded the decision in 3.2 innings of relief; Cooper Morgan (L, 4-1) lost his first of the season allowing three runs in two innings on the bump
  • Turner led the Bulldogs with 3-4 hitting while Webster recorded three RBI and Leach a pair
  • Christian Thompson was 3-3 with a pair of scored runs and Alec Gonzalez was 2-4

No. 10 Indiana Southeast (37-18) defeats No. 7 William Carey (Miss.) (37-15), 6-5

  • The Grenadiers started the game hot with Mason White, the second batter, going yard to left field
  • They added two more runs in the top of the first off a sacrifice fly from Max Flock and a RBI walk from Brayden Hazelwood
  • In the third, Trevor Goodwin had a leadoff homer to center field to build a 4-0 IUS lead
  • White launched another one out of the ballpark, this time to right center, giving Indiana Southeast a 5-0 edge
  • In the bottom of the fourth, Bailee Hendon hit a two run jack over the batter’s eye in center field, to cut the margin to a three run game
  • Using a heads up play, Slater Schield scored on a wild pitch by the Crusaders to build a 6-2 edge
  • WCU did not back down, as they cut it to a 6-5 difference during their next at-bat
  • Billy Garrity had a RBI groundout to score the first one, Caleb Laird had a groundout to the pitcher to score the second run, and Hendon was plated on a balk
  • In the bottom of the seventh, the Crusaders had runners on 1st and 3rd before Kasey Cheek ended the inning with a strikeout looking to preserve the one run lead for the Grenadiers
  • Luke Schafer (W, 10-3) tossed 6.0 innings for IUS before Garrett Hill got the one inning save, his eighth of the year
  • For William Carey, Andrew Shirah (L, 8-5) was awarded the loss after allowing five runs in 3.1 innings in command
  • Offensively, White was the leader for Indiana Southeast with three hits, two RBI, and two runs scored in four plate appearances
  • For WCU, Hendon was the only player to have two hits, two runs, and two RBI
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