Tennessee Wesleyan Advances to Title Game
LEWISTON, Idaho - (Box Score) Fourth-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan tallied five home runs including an NAIA record tying three by senior right fielder Jordan Guida to out-slug No. 1 LSU Shreveport (La.), 17-10, in Avista-NAIA World Series action on Thursday night at Harris Field.
With the victory, the Bulldogs, who were winless in two prior trips to Lewiston (2010, 2011), improve to 4-1 in the tournament and 52-12 overall. Tennessee Wesleyan advances to play No. 9 Rogers State (Okla.) at 6:35 p.m. PDT on Friday. The Hillcats were the only squad out of the final three that had not received an earlier round bye, giving them a direct spot in the championship game.
The Bulldog offense, which entered the contest leading the Series in batting average (.318), runs (41), home runs (9) and hits (49), continued its torrid pace with 16 hits, including five home runs and four doubles. Jordan Guida's three hits - all home runs -- six RBIs and four run effort paced the squad. The last individual to hit three home runs in a World Series game was Beau Mills of Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) against Spring Arbor (Mich.) in 2007. The other two bombs were hit by third baseman Taylor Oldham and first baseman Jake Stone.
On the mound, three Bulldogs covered the nine innings with starter Zach Fleshman earning his seventh win of the season, despite allowing seven runs (four earned) on nine hits. He also walked one and struck out one. Corey Collins, one of the two Tennessee Wesleyan relievers, finished the contest with a game-high five strikeouts in only 2.1 innings of work.
For LSU Shreveport, Greg Friesen had another solid game, going 2-for-5 from the dish including a two-run home run. He also had three RBIs and two runs scored. Other notable performances included Manny Estrada (2-for-4) and Brandon Cooksey (2-for-4), who finished with two hits each, respectively.
Cam Ellis (2-1) took the loss for the Pilots. Ellis, who was making his first start of the season, allowed six runs on six hits in just two innings. Despite the deficit, LSU Shreveport received four strong innings of relief by Jake Knight, who struck out four.
Tennessee Wesleyan wasted little time in jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on wild pitch that scored Travis Burnside and a three-run home run by Guida.
The Pilots broke through with a pair of their own in the second to make it 4-2. Back-to-back singles by Devin Greco and Estrada set the table before a throwing error by the Bulldog left fielder and double by Cooksey plated the pair.
The Bulldogs, however, rallied back with four runs in the third and five runs in the fourth to extend their advantage to 13-2. The stretch was highlighted by back-to-back-to-back home runs by Stone, Oldham and Guida. The fourth inning rally was aided by a barrage of Pilot miscues, as Tennessee Wesleyan scored the five runs only three hits, while LSU Shreveport committed three errors.
Despite the 11-run deficit, LSU Shreveport powered back with a three-run fifth on an RBI single by Fiesen followed by a two-RBI double from Estrada. A pair of wild pitches and a two-run home run by Friesen made it 13-9 by the end of the sixth.
The Bulldogs added another four runs in the top of the eighth when Guida smashed a two-run bomb to open the frame. Tennessee Wesleyan's other two runs that inning were scored on a Burnside double and an Anthony Boix single. LSU Shreveport managed to score a run in the bottom of the frame to make it 17-10, but pulled no closer.