LEWISTON, Idaho – No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate No. 7 Science & Arts (Okla.), 6-5, in elimination bracket play at the 2017 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.
The Crusaders were relatively quiet offensively up until the ninth when a walk and pair of singles loaded the bases with one out. Back-to-back bases loaded walks to Tyler Graves (SR/Petal, Miss.) and James Land (SR/Gulfport, Miss.) narrowed the Science & Arts' lead to 5-4, while keeping the bases loaded for Tyler Odom (SR/Hattiesburg, Miss.) – arguably the hottest hitter for William Carey at this year's World Series.
The senior from Hattiesburg, Miss., shot a grounder up the middle that had the potential of ending the game via a double play. However, Odom's hustle out of the box forced a wild throw that slid under the outstretched first baseman's glove to allow Garrett Shano (JR/Lafitte, La.) – the courtesy runner for Graves – to score the winning run and keep William Carey's title hopes alive.
With the win, the Crusaders advance to play the loser of No. 6 Missouri Baptist-No. 2 Faulkner (Ala.) tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. PDT. William Carey is now 44-19 on the year and 6-4 all-time at the event.
Relief pitcher Braden Smith (SO/Brookhaven, Miss.) earned the win for William Carey, tossing 7.1 innings of scoreless relief to improve to 7-3 on the season.
William Carey opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when an errant throw on a potential double-play plated Christian Smith (JR/Carriere, Miss.). Odom loaded the bases with a single, however Drover starter Carson Corff surrendered the next two hitters to keep the game at 1-0.
Science & Arts took its first lead, 5-1, in the top of the second when back-to-back walks and a single loaded the bases with one out. Henry Rodriguez, Alexander Cortes and Frankely Gonzalez each drove in one run on a fielder's choice, single and double, respectively. The RBI were the first at the World Series for Cortes and Gonzalez.
The final two runs of the stanza were scored on a bases clearing double down the left field line by Christian Perez. Similar to Cortes and Gonzalez, Perez entered the contest without an RBI at this year's World Series.
The five run frame ties the 2017 World Series single-game high for most runs scored in an inning, which was originally set by the Drovers on Saturday against Oklahoma Wesleyan.
William Carey made it 5-2 in the bottom of the third when Graves blasted his seventh home run of the season and second at the World Series.
Christian Smith and Graves each had three hits in the contest, while Odom ended the day 2-for-5.
Corff took a no-decision in the game, allowing five runs and 10 hits over the course of 8.1 innings of work. Drovers' closer Carlos Pimental (4-5) took the loss.
Two days after earning the club's first-ever win at the World Series, Science & Arts ends its season with a 45-17 record. The Drovers, who were appearing in the event for the second time in program history, are now 1-4 all-time at the World Series.