LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) No. 9 Missouri Baptist blew the game open with a six-run third inning to win game one of the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series 8-3 over No. 8 Sterling (Kan.) Friday at Harris Field. The victory is the first-ever at the World Series for the Spartans.
With the win, Missouri Baptist (36-12) advances to play No. 1 Faulkner (Ala.) (51-11) Saturday at 3 p.m. PDT. Sterling (48-13) falls into the elimination bracket and awaits the loser of No. 4 Northwood (Texas) and No. 5 The Master’s (Calif.) at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
A single and hit batter set the table for the Spartan’s in the bottom of the third. Pier Oliver-Dostaler opened the scoring with an RBI single that dropped over the head of the Sterling second baseman and into shallow right-center field. Two hitters later, Garrett Vail lined a bases loaded, one out single to left that bounced away from the Warrior defender to clear the bases.
Vail, one of two Spartans to record a multi-hit performance, struck again the following inning with an opposite field single that scored Joseph Taylor and Oliver-Dostaler. Both runs were unearned as Oliver-Dostaler reached on Sterling’s second error of the game.
Spartan starter Ethan Gibbons got in trouble in the first inning as Sterling loaded the bases, but escaped after inducing a pop out and double play. Gibbons, who improved to 11-0 on the season, allowed two runs – both earned – on five hits over eight innings. He struck out and walked three in the contest.
Sterling scored two of its three runs in the sixth when designated hitter Andrew Clark singled down the left field line, scoring Jared Forbush and Anthony Stewart. The Warriors added another run in the top of the ninth, but never threatened the Spartan advantage.
Sterling’s Daniel Cloteaux received the loss to fall to 10-4.
The Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination even hosted by Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho). This year is the 57th annual event. For more information on the World Series, click here.