LEWISTON, Idaho - (Box Score) Rogers State (Okla.) avoids elimination and becomes the second-straight No. 9 seed to advance to the round of four with an 8-6 come from behind victory against No. 7 Point Park (Pa.) in 2012 Avista-NAIA World Series action Tuesday at Harris Field. Rogers State's next opponent will be determined later today by the Avista-NAIA World Series Games Committee.
Rogers State, who has come from behind in all three wins at the World Series, found themselves in familiar territory once again as the Hillcats trailed Point Park (Pa.), 6-5, late in the game. The Hillcats' rally began when Cade McKewon slapped a single through the hold on the left side that scored Taylor Estes from second and advanced Randy Ramirez to second, tying the score 6-6.
Two batters later, center fielder Eric Baker, whose diving catch earlier in the game halted a potential Pioneer big inning, stepped to the plate with bases loaded and one out. Baker took full advantage of the situation, blasting a single up the middle to score McKewon and Ramirez and give Rogers State an 8-6.
Hillcat hurler Shawn Spainhoward, who entered the game in the top of the seventh, retired Point Park in order in the ninth to close the door on the Pioneer's season. He allowed one run on three hits en route to his 11th victory of the season. He also struck out two and walked one. Eric Faust started the game for Rogers State. Faust was tagged for five runs on 11 hits.
Baker and McKewon paced the Rogers State offense with two hits apiece. As a team, Rogers State totaled seven hits and left six on base.
Five different Pioneers posted multi-hit performances with left fielder Rob Novia leading the way. He ended the contest 3-for-4 from the dish with two runs scored. Designated hitter Marlon Leyva recorded the game's lone home run, a two-run blast in the third.
Rogers State held the early 2-1 lead, but Point Park answered with a three-run top of the third, highlighted by Leyva's previously mentioned home run to make it 4-2. The Hillcats tied the game in the bottom of the frame with two of their own, 4-4.
Both sides traded scores in the sixth with Point Park taking a 6-5 lead in the seventh when Tom Pasinski's evaded the Hillcat catcher's tag on a play at the plate. However, the Pioneer proved unable to hold the Hillcats down.
Point Park's Mike Tullio took the loss to fall to 6-5. Tullio entered the game with one out in the sixth and surrendered three runs (all earned) on four hits. Pioneer starter Manny Perdomo held the Hillcat offense to only three hits, but struggled with his command, walking five.