LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Missouri Baptist outfielder Ryan Gunhouse slapped a single over the head of the Rogers State (Okla.) third baseman to score Patrick Johnson for second base, as the No. 9 Spartans rallied to knock off the defending national runner-up and tenth seeded Hillcats, 5-4, Monday afternoon in game nine of the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.
With the win, Missouri Baptist (37-13), who is making its first appearance at the World Series, advances to play the loser of No. 3 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) at 3 p.m. PDT on Tuesday. Rogers State (36-24) is eliminated from the championship and falls to 6-4 all-time in Lewiston.
Johnson, the American Midwest Conference Player of the Year, picked the perfect time to extend his hitting streak to eight games as the senior shortstop beat out a dribbler to first base for an infield single and advanced to second when the Rogers State first baseman threw it over the head of the covering pitcher to start the ninth. Gunhouse wasted no time driving in Johnson with a single on the next pitch.
Matt Marsh threw three innings of scoreless relief to earn the win and improve to 3-4 on the season. Marsh has now thrown four innings, allowed no runs and only two hits at this year’s World Series.
Rogers State drew first blood when Ramcy Lora deposited a 2-2 pitch over the center field fence for a 3-run home run. The deep ball is Ramcy’s team leading fifth of the season and first since March 30. Cody Campbell and Emmanuel De La Cruz, who reached previously on a walk and single, scored on the play giving the Hillcats a 3-0 lead after 3.5 innings.
Missouri Baptist cut the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a Mykol Sostarich RBI ground out to second base. Dan Harper set the table in the inning with a leadoff double – the Spartans first extra base hit in the World Series so far.
The Hillcats added another run in the top of the sixth, however the Spartans continued to charge, scoring two runs in the bottom of the frame when Joseph Stropp shot a bases loaded single up the middle to make it a one run game 4-3.
Missouri Baptist drew even in the eighth as pinch runner Geoff MacDonald reached home on Mykol Sostarich’s single through the left side. The RBI for Sostartich is his first since April 13.
Errors hampered Rogers State the entire game, as the Hillcats committed a season-high five.
Hillcat starting pitcher Kyle Duncan surrendered 12 of the first 14 batters he faced, but received no decision after being chased from the game with one out in the sixth. Mason Marquette and Jesse Baird made appearances in relief of Duncan. Baird (3-3) was credited with the loss.
Two bright spots for Rogers State were centerfielder Eric Baker and De La Cruz. Baker, who walked three times, reached base in his ninth-straight game at the World Series, while De La Cruz finished the game 3-for-4 with three singles. The three-hit performance is the third for De La Cruz in 80 career games with the Hillcats.
For Missouri Baptist, catcher Garrett Vail extended his hitting streak to nine games and finished 1-for-4.
The 57th annual Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double elimination event hosted by Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho). For more information on the World Series, click here.