Santa Barbara, Calif.- No. 25 William Carey University season came to an end as they fall to No. 24 The Master's College, 5-4 in the championship game of the Santa Barbara Bracket in the 2016 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round.
To advance to the championship game the Crusaders first had to get past No. 7 Westmont (Calif.) in an elimination game and Carey did just that defeating the Warriors, 10-3.
The Crusaders got the party started in the bottom of the second inning as James Land (JR/Saucier, MS) belted a two run home run and Mitch Little (SR/Crystal Springs, Miss.) followed with a RBI single to put WCU up 3-0. In the bottom of the third inning Land struck again with a solo homerun and in the fourth inning Tyler Odom (JR/Hattiesburg, MS)'s two run double helped WCU open a 6-0 lead.
Leading 7-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning WCU put the game away for good with three runs.
J.D. Little (SR/Destin, FL) gave the Crusaders the performance it need on the hill as he went the distance with 10 strikeouts to improve to 8-1 on the year.
Carey now faced the task of needing to defeat The Master's College to force a winner take all game on Friday however it wasn't meant to be as they dropped a 5-4 heartbreaker to the Mustangs.
Things didn't start well for the Crusaders and the Master's pushed across four runs in the top of the first inning but WCU answered back in the third inning as Nick Lowe (SR/Satsuma, AL) belted a three run home run to cut the lead to 4-3.
Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning Land made it a one run game as he belted his third homer of the day but that would be as close as WCU would get.
WCU finishes the season at 40-21.