LEWISTON, Idaho - (Box Score) Junior lefthander Shawn Spainhoward tossed his fourth complete game of the season as No. 9 Rogers State (Okla.) knocked off fellow newcomer No. 8 South Carolina Beaufort, 3-2, in game two of the Avista-NAIA World Series.
With the win, the Hillcats improve to a program record 46-14 on the season and advance to play No. 1 LSU Shreveport (La.) at 6:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday. South Carolina Beaufort falls to 40-18 overall and will play the loser of No. 4 Tennessee Wesleyan and No. 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in an elimination game on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Spainhoward allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits, while striking out four to improve to 10-2.
South Carolina Beaufort drew first blood in the bottom of the first when Dylan Nasiatka tripled to right center with two outs. He scored just two pitches later on a Ty Main double down the left field line.
Rogers State threatened with bases loaded in the bottom of the third, but Sand Shark starter Michael Heesch worked out of the jam, closing the inning with one of his 10 strikeouts.
The score remained 1-0 until the top of the eighth when Rogers State tied the game on a Hector Rivera RBI single that scored Brandon Bargas. Bargas led off the inning with a grounder up the middle. However, South Carolina Beaufort regained the lead in the bottom half, 2-1, on Main sacrifice fly.
Rogers State opened the ninth inning with three consecutive singles to load the bases. Heesch surrendered the next batter on what would prove to be his final strikeout on the afternoon, bringing Hillcat batting average leader Eric Baker to the plate. Baker took full advantage of the opportunity, driving the first pitch through the hole at second base to score Randy Ramirez and Cade McKewon, giving the Hillcats their first lead of the contest 3-2.
South Carolina Beaufort got the tying run to second base in the bottom of the ninth, but failed to tie the score.
Heesch (9-3) allowed three runs on 13 hits to take the loss for the Sand Sharks.
Baker and McKewon paced the Rogers State offense with three hits apiece.