LSU Shreveport Edges Oklahoma City, 5-4
LEWISTON, Idaho - (Box Score) For the second time in as many days, No. 1 LSU Shreveport comes from behind to eliminate third-seeded Oklahoma City, 5-4, on Tuesday at the 2012 Avista-NAIA World Series. The victory propels the Pilots into the round of four for the second-straight season, while Oklahoma City's season comes to a close.
LSU Shreveport's upcoming opponent will be determined later this evening by the World Series Games Committee.
The Pilots' (53-5) late inning heroics began in the top of the eighth when Greg Friesen blasted a solo home run off the hitter's eye in center field, tying the game 4-4.
In the bottom half of the inning, Oklahoma City (48-12) had runners on first and second with no outs after the LSU Shreveport left fielder had a lazy fly ball bounce off his glove. However, the Stars were unable to capitalize as pinch hitter Kyle Lacy struck out on a high fastball and Chad Carman ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
LSU Shreveport threatened immediately in the ninth as Stephen Hobbins walked and Kade Billeaudeaux reached first via an infield hit, putting runners at first and second with only one out. Moments later, Jacob Lopez - pinch runner for Hobbins - stole third without a throw from Oklahoma City catcher Carman. Then with a 3-2 count, Brandon Cooksey rocketed a ball down the third baseline that was gloved by a diving Jonathan Sigado, who scrambled to his feet to get the out at second base. However, Brian Fisher's throw sailed high and out of play, allowing Lopez's to score from third and give the Pilots the 5-4 lead.
A one-out walk put the tying run on first for the Stars in the bottom of the ninth, but a ground out and strike out ended the threat, and the season, for Oklahoma City.
Pilot starter Logan Norris allowed four runs on seven hits over eight innings en route to his ninth victory of the season. He also struck out a game-high six batters, while walking four. Relief pitcher Cam Ellis and Jake Kight combined for a scoreless ninth inning. Kight, who recorded the final out on a strikeout, was credited with his fourth save.
LSU Shreveport edged Oklahoma City, 8-7, in the hit column, led by Friesen's two hits - both home runs. Additionally, Friesen posted a game-high four RBIs, while also scoring two runs. Billeaudeaux was the only other multi-hit performer for the Pilots.
Patrick Goelz fell to 2-2 on the year for Oklahoma City. He was pitching in relief of Cody Cradaugh who pitched 6.2 scoreless inning after taking over for starter Ryan Gibson.
The Pilots drew first blood in the first when Friesen sent a three-run home run over the right field wall. However, Oklahoma City would chip away with a run in the first and second before Miguel Beltran belted his NAIA-leading 27th home run of the season to give the Stars a 4-3 lead in the fifth. The score would remain 4-3 until the Pilots knotted the score in the eighth and took the lead in the ninth.
Chris Munoz led the Stars with two hits, while Beltran's two RBIs in the fifth were also a team-high.