LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Johnny Shuttlesworth and Labradford Griffis combined for the complete-game shutout, as No. 1 Faulkner advances past No. 9 Missouri Baptist, 2-0, in game seven of the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series Saturday afternoon at Harris Field.
The victory is the first at the World Series for Faulkner, who moves on to play No. 5 The Master’s (Calif.) (44-15) Monday at 3 p.m. in winner’s bracket action. Missouri Baptist falls into the elimination bracket to face No. 10 Rogers State (Okla.) at 9 a.m. on Monday.
Shuttlesworth, the current wins leader in the NAIA, earned the victory to improve to 15-1 on the season. The senior right-hander scattered five hits, allowed no runs, walked two and struck out four over seven innings. Shuttlesworth has now thrown at least seven innings in 11-of-16 appearances in 2013.
Labradford allowed only one hit and struck out three en route to his team-high sixth save on the year after relieving Shuttlesworth to start the eighth.
Faulkner scored the only runs of the contest in the bottom of the seventh when leadoff hitter Zak Colby rocketed a two-run, two out single up the middle to score Esteban Paula and pinch runner Xavier Cunningham. Cayleb Coker, who Cunningham later pinch ran for, set the table with a two out single. Paula followed with a walk before Antonio Kendrick reached first on a bunt.
Missouri Baptist made some noise in the top of the eighth when a fielder’s choice and single placed runners on first and third with one out. However, Labradford shut the door on the threat with back-to-back pop outs in foul territory.
Despite being charged with the loss, Spartan starter Julien Soucy threw seven strong innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits while walking four and striking out seven.
American Midwest Conference Player of the Year Patrick Johnson extended his hitting streak to seven-straight with a single in the eighth. Johnson is hitting .563 during the streak.
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.