LEWISTON, Idaho – Tennessee Wesleylan and Georgia Gwinnett put on a display of power Monday afternoon in the 2019 Avista NAIA World Series with the Bulldogs having the final say in their 15-9 victory in a game that included a grand slam home run by each team.
Georgia Gwinnett struck first with three runs in the second but TWU evened the score and went ahead in the fifth on Anthony Williams grand slam over the right-center fence. With that blast – and a pair of runs from catcher Shamoy Christopher’s two-run shot in the fourth, the Bulldogs took a 6-3 lead.
They added one more in the sixth before Christopher struck again with a two-run shot in TWU’s six-run seventh. Two more in the eighth gave the Bulldogs what looked to be a comfortable 15-3 lead.
While it wound up being enough, it was a far from comfortable finish as the Grizzlies used Nick Barnes’ eighth-inning grand slam along with RBI singles by Ali LaPread and Brandon Robinson to cut the gap to 15-9. It wasn’t until a one-two-three double play ended a one-out, bases-loaded threat by the Grizzlies in the bottom of the ninth that the Bulldog faithful could celebrate.
TWU (54-9 and the top-seeded team in the tournament) advances to Tuesday night’s game against the winner of Monday’s nightcap between No. 2 Science & Arts and No. 6 St. Thomas. Georgia Gwinnett (47-12) heads to the long route to the champion game.