By Brian Adamowsky, Avista-NAIA World Series Communications Assistant
LEWISTON, Idaho (Box Score) – Embry-Riddle (Fla.), the third seed in the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series, pulled off a stunning comeback in the late innings against No. 2 seed Lee (Tenn.) on Monday night with the help of a crushing outfield error, advancing to play top-seeded Faulkner (Ala.) in the winner’s bracket on Tuesday.
The Eagles (50-13), scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a two-run deficit and send the Flames (50-11) into an elimination game with No. 9 seed Missouri Baptist on Tuesday.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and Lee hanging onto a 4-2 advantage with the bases loaded, Embry-Riddle catcher Adam Cellini lofted a routine fly ball into shallow right field that was dropped, clearing the bases and putting the Eagles on top for the first time in the game.
Lee got the potential tying run in scoring position in the top of the ninth, but Embry-Riddle’s Jon Rapose got the Flames’ Justin Silver to ground out to second base and end the game.
Rapose (5-1) got the victory with 1.2 innings of relief of starter Stetson Nelson, who tossed 7.1 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits.
Embry-Riddle got the victory with only two base hits -- a pair of singles by third baseman Jeff Lemon in the first and eighth innings – and all five of its runs were unearned.
Lee pitchers walked four batters and hit three others, and both teams ran themselves out of rallies on the basepaths.
After both teams scored single runs in their first at-bats, Lee went ahead in the top of the fifth on Corey Davis’ screaming two-run double off the left field wall that drove home Silver and Brady Renner to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
Embry-Riddle got a run back in the seventh, but could have had more as an Eagle runner was doubled off after straying too far from second base on a fly ball off the bat of Kyle Chastain.
Lee widened its lead to 4-2 in the top of the eighth when Karsten Strieby’s RBI single up the middle drove home Davis, who doubled to right-center. Strieby advanced to third on a single by Derrick Pitts, but this time it was the Flames who had a runner doubled off to end a rally.
Davis and Pitts each had two hits for Lee, which got 6.1 innings of one-hit ball from starter Jose Samayoa in a no-decision. Alex Moore fell to 1-3 with the loss and did not record an out in the seventh inning, allowing three unearned runs and walking a pair.
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.