LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan had their impressive run at the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series come to an end after losing 9-5 to No. 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), Thursday evening.
The Eagles went into the game full of confidence, following the outstanding performances in the tournament leading up to the Thursday night’s game, but the Matt Parker coached team was unable to keep the hosts quiet.
Lewis-Clark State (47-8) drew first blood in the top of the first when Sells sent a 3-1 pitch into orbit for his first home run of the World Series – 11th of the year. Oklahoma Wesleyan starter Sam Haynes, who cruised through the first two Warrior hitters, struck out Cody Lavalli looking to end the inning.
Oklahoma Wesleyan, aided by two Lewis-Clark State errors, responded in the bottom of the third with four runs. Jeff Butler’s sacrifice bunt with runners on first and second plated the first run, as Warrior third baseman Brian Corliss’ throw went wide of first base.
Five pitches later, Jose Ruiz cleared the bases with a double down the left-field line, before coming home on a Will Price blooper over the head of the Lewis-Clark State second baseman to make it a 4-1 Eagle advantage.
Back-to-back singles by Sells and Lavalli set the table for a seven-run sixth – the most runs scored in a single inning at this year’s event – to give Lewis-Clark State an 8-4 lead. Following an RBI ground out by Sexton, Raymond Pedrina, who is making his first World Series start for the Warriors, ripped a double to deep right-center field.
A walk and hit-by-pitch, which ended the night for Haynes, loaded the bases with two outs. Jake Shirley took full advantage of the situation, blasting a 2-2 pitch over the outstretched glove of the Eagles’ centerfielder for a bases clearing double, giving Lewis-Clark State its first lead since the first inning, 6-4.
The Warriors added two more before the end of the inning on a Sells single, making it 8-4.
Oklahoma Wesleyan cut the deficit to 8-5 on an Avery Flores single that scored Garrett Easton. East had reached previously on a single of his own.
Lewis-Clark State added an insurance run in the seventh to close out the scoring.
Seven different Eagles accounted for the club’s eight hits, including two from Easton.
Haynes, who fell to 9-3 on the year, took the loss for Oklahoma Wesleyan.
OKWU, who was playing in its first-ever World Series, ends the season with a 58-8 record. The victory total is a single-season record for the university.