LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Senior first baseman Tyler Pittmon made program history Friday morning with a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth to propel No. 8 Antelope Valley (Calif.) to a 2-1 victory over No. 9 Reinhardt (Ga.) in game one of the 2018 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
“The guys really competed,” said Antelope Valley head coach Jacob Garsez. “They always keep playing hard. We got the big plays when we needed them and Castillo pitched extremely well for us. I think this game sets the tone. We squared up a lot of baseballs today, but they didn’t fall. I feel good about our offense and we have some momentum heading into tomorrow.”
The World Series victory is the first-ever in program history for Antelope Valley.
• Antelope Valley starting pitcher Jacob Castillo had arguably his best performance of the season, striking out eight – one short of a season-high – over eight innings of work. The Glendora, Calif., native scattered seven hits and walked four.
• Pittmon was the top offensive player for the Pioneers, finishing the day 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and the previously mentioned home run. The home run is his 10th of the season and first career at the World Series.
• Despite taking the loss, Reinhardt’s Dylan Powers was tremendous. The senior allowed only four hits and two runs in eight innings. He also struck out six.
• Second baseman Chandler Wold, who finished the day 2-for-4, was the only multi-hit player for the Eagles.
How it happened
• Reinhardt opened the scoring when Sherman Graves sent a 0-2 pitch out of the ballpark with one out in the top of the fourth inning. The home run is Graves 11th of the season and first since April 28.
• Antelope Valley knotted the score, 1-1, in the sixth on a
• Reinhardt looked to break the game open in the bottom of the eighth inning with bases loaded and one out. However, a double play two pitches later ended the threat for the Eagles.
• Antelope Valley (45-12-1) advances to play No. 1 Faulkner (Ala.) tomorrow at 3 p.m. PDT. The Pioneers, who are making their first-ever appearance in the event, improve to 1-0 all-time at the World Series.
• Reinhardt (41-19) drops into the elimination bracket and awaits the loser of No. 4 Oklahoma City and No. 5 Southeastern (Fla.). The Eagles are also making their first-ever appearance in Lewiston.