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Newcomer Southeastern Downs Oklahoma City, 8-3

Source: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Fueled by a steady offense that included 13 hits, No. 5 Southeastern (Fla.) downed No. 4 Oklahoma City, 8-3, Friday afternoon in game two of the 2018 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.

“Getting the lead off guy on was huge for us,” said Southeastern head coach Adrian Dinkel. “Every single inning it felt like we had the front guy on. I thought we did a really good job capitalizing on their mistakes. Jonathan (Bermudez) gave us a shot from the get-go, so our offense was able to get moving.”

The World Series victory is the first-ever in program history for Southeastern.

Standout performances
• Southeastern starting pitcher Jonathan Bermudez chose a perfect time to have one of his best pitching performances of the season, as the senior posted his second complete game of the year. The Coamo, Puerto Rico, native allowed three runs on eight hits, while also striking out eight. Bermudez improved to 14-2 on the season, which is a new single-season program record.
• Three Fire players had three-hit games, including a 3-for-5 effort from centerfielder Manuel Mesa. Mesa also scored three runs and had two stolen bases.
• The other notable Fire performances were from Marvin Malone (3-for-4) and Ivan Nunez (3-for-5).
• Oklahoma City leadoff hitter Branden Grieger was 2-for-4 in the game with a run scored, while Garrett Foster was 2-for-4.

How it happened
• After trading runs in the first inning, the Fire pushed its lead out to 3-1 with a run in both the top of the third and fourth. Oklahoma City answered with a run of their own via a Hunter Aguirre single to right field.
• Southeastern made it 4-2 with another run in the fifth on an Oklahoma City error. Manuel Mesa, who scored three runs on the afternoon, reached home via a Shaun Corso wild throw.
• Southeastern broke the game wide open with four runs in the top of the seventh to make it an 8-2 ballgame. Mesa sparked the rally with a one-out infield single. He then proceeded to steal second and third before a single by Vince Volpatti scored him.
• Oklahoma City cut the deficit to 8-3 but failed to get any closer.

What’s next?
• Southeastern (55-7), which is making its first-ever appearance in the World Series, advances to play the winner of No. 1 Faulkner (Ala.) and No. 8 Antelope Valley (Calif.) Monday at 3 p.m. PDT.
• Oklahoma City (50-9) falls into the elimination bracket and will play No. 9 Reinhardt (Ga.) tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Prior to today, the Stars had won their World Series opening game 10-straight times with the last first-game defeat coming in 1999.

Championship Information

NAIA Baseball Championship
Sports Rules - Baseball