LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Defending World Series champion and fourth seeded Faulkner (Ala.) won its sixth-straight game at the event with a 5-4 walk-off victory against No. 5 Georgetown (Ky.) Friday afternoon at the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
“That was a nail biter of a first game,” said Faulkner head coach Patrick McCarthy. “The first couple of games you’re not going to play mistake free baseball. It’s such an awesome environment. I don’t think you can win the championship without winning the first game. It’s monumental for us.”
With the win, Faulkner (50-14), which has now won six-straight games at the World Series, advances to play the winner of No. 1 Oklahoma Baptist and No. 9 Tabor (Kan.) at 3 p.m. on Monday. Georgetown falls into the elimination bracket to play No. 8 Southern Poly (Ga.) at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Edgar Figueroa, who led the Eagles’ offense with a 2-for-2 effort at the plate, shot a one-out single to shortstop to open the bottom of the ninth inning. The speedy Figueroa advanced to second when an errant throw sailed over the head of the Georgetown first baseman. Figueroa scored the game-winning run two pitches later on a Luis Sanchez single up the middle.
Georgetown threatened in the top half of the inning, as Edwin Santiago was given first base after being hit by Labradford Griffis’ 0-2 pitch. Two batters later, Trey Gross looped a single into shallow right-field to move Santiago into scoring position with one out. However, the Tigers failed to capitalize, as the next two hitters struck out and ground out.
Four Eagles posted multi-hit performances, including a 2-for-5, two RBI and one run scored effort from Sanchez. The senior infielder entered the World Series as the team leader with 63 runs scored and has now scored at least one run in five of his last six games.
Faulkner, aided by two Tiger errors, seized momentum with four runs in the bottom of the third inning. The lead appeared to be untouchable, as Faulkner starting pitcher Thomas Dorminy was dominant through six innings, allowing only two hits and no runners past second base.
However, Georgetown posted back-to-back two-run innings in the seventh and eighth, highlighted by a two-run home run – the first of this year’s World Series – by Mid-South Conference Player of the Year Martin Lemus. The home run is his 13th of the season.
Six different Tigers accounted for Georgetown’s six hits. Starting pitcher Shaun Meyer (9-2) took the loss for Georgetown in relief.
The Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho). For more information on the 58th annual championship, click here.