LEWISTON, Idaho - (Box Score) The second-seeded Lee (Tenn.) Flames came out on the winning end of a slugfest with No. 7 seed Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), taking the winner’s bracket matchup 14-11 before 4,790 fans on Saturday evening at Harris Field.
The game punctuated the second day of competition at the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
The win, which featured four lead changes, 25 combined runs and 27 combined hits, sent Lee (50-10) into a winner’s bracket matchup with No. 3 seed Embry-Riddle (Fla.) on Monday at 6:30 p.m. PDT.
Lewis-Clark State (42-14) drops into the loser’s bracket, and will take on No. 4 seeded Northwood (Texas) in an elimination game at noon on Monday.
The battle between two NAIA baseball heavyweights turned into a battle of the bullpens early on, as neither team’s starting pitcher made it beyond the fourth inning.
Lewis-Clark State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a wild pitch and sacrifice fly by senior catcher Kyle Blackwell, but Lee immediately answered back with six runs in the top of the second, taking advantage of a Warrior error to jump-start the rally.
Unfazed, LCSC fought back from the four-run deficit, chasing Lee starter Myles Smith with a six-spot of its own in the bottom of the third to retake the lead 8-6. Smith lost his command in the frame, hitting two batters to force in one run and walking home another.
It was Lewis-Clark State starter Carsen Nylund’s turn to make an early exit in the fourth inning, exiting with arm tightness after giving up a two-out walk to Danny Canela to load the bases. Designated hitter Corey Davis cleared them with a triple down the right field line to greet reliever Garrett Wilson as the Flames regained a 9-8 advantage.
That lead widened to 10-8 in the fifth on a mammoth home run by Lee first baseman Karsten Strieby, his third of the season. The solo shot cleared the fence in straightaway center field.
The Warriors fought back yet again in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game back up at 10 apiece after an RBI single by Bobby Joe Tannehill and another run-scoring knock off the bat of first baseman Eric Peterson.
It would be the last advantage Lewis-Clark State would enjoy, as Canela greeted Sal Arena, the third Warrior pitcher of the night, with a two-run homer to right-center in the sixth. The Flames also added two more runs in the seventh off Arena.
LCSC got one run in the eighth off Lee closer Andy Hillis, who had allowed just two runs in 28 appearances all season, but the 6-foot-7 Hillis slammed the door in the ninth.
Keegan Yool (4-1) worked four innings of relief to earn the victory for Lee, while Arena dropped to 1-4 after surrendering three runs on six hits in 3.2 innings of work.
Canela went 3-for-4 with four RBI for the Flames, and Josh Silver also had three base hits, driving in three.
Jake Shirley and Tannehill each had three-hit days atop the Lewis-Clark State batting order.
The 57th annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double elimination event hosted by Lewis-Clark State College. For more information on the World Series, click here.