LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Jake Shirley lined a single through the hole at second base to plate the final run of the Warriors’ ninth inning comeback, as No. 7 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) eliminated No. 5 The Master’s (Calif.), 3-2, Tuesday afternoon at the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.
Lewis-Clark State (44-14) advances into the semifinals of the championship and will play at either 3 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. PDT tomorrow. Pairing for the semifinals will be determined by the World Series tournament committee and will be posted later today on www.NAIA.org. The Master’s (44-17), who is making its first World Series appearance since 2000 and second overall, is eliminated from the championship.
The Warrior bats had been held relatively in check through the first eight innings, with Lewis-Clark State grounding into four double plays – a season-high for The Master’s – and only mustering five hits. However, with their backs against the wall, the Warrior hitters came alive.
Kyle Blackwell, who extended his current hitting streak to a season-high eight games with a single in the fourth, took a pitch off the left shoulder to leadoff the frame. A walk and sacrifice bunt placed the tying run at second base with Kyle Knigge due up.
Knigge continued his hot hitting with a bullet up the middle that narrowly missed left foot of The Master’s pitcher. The second hit batsman of the inning placed pinch runner Kevin Knapp in scoring position as the winning run. Shirley worked the count to three balls and one strike before hitting the game-winner into right field.
The Mustangs scored first in the contest when Joe Riddle shot a single up the middle to plate Steve Karkenny, who reached two hitters earlier on his 22nd double of the year.
The Master’s added another insurance run in the top of the eighth, but it proved not enough.
James Scott (7-5) received the loss for The Master’s despite holding the Warriors in check for 8.1 innings. He scattered six hits and allowed three runs – all in the ninth.
David Murillo (5-0) earned the win in 2.2 innings of relief of Seth Haehl, who finished the game surrendering one run on five hits in 6.1 innings.
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.