Source: National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) No. 2 Georgia Gwinnett’s tremendous offense was on display again Tuesday afternoon as the Grizzlies powered past No. 1 Faulkner (Ala.), 20-9, in elimination play at the 2018 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
“We did a good job of just putting the ball in play,” said Georgia Gwinnett head coach Brad Stromdahl. “They’re such a good team and we were fortunate to put some good balls in play. You’ve got to tip the cap to them (Faulkner). They battled the whole way. We’re fortunate to come out on top in a World Series elimination game and that’s all we’re concerned about right now.”
Georgia Gwinnett’s 20-run performance is the most runs scored in a game at the World Series since British Columbia downed Lubbock Christian (Texas), 23-5, in 2006.
The win pushes the Grizzlies to 50-11 on the year – the third 50-win season in the program’s six-year history. The pairings for game 16 and 17 of the World Series are determined by the World Series Tournament Committee.
Senior outfielder Kade Carrigan was the star of the day for Georgia Gwinnett. The Morgan, Utah, native ended the day 2-for-4 at the dish, including a triple and a grand slam home run. Carrigan is hitting .444 (4-for-9) at this year’s tournament with three
Overall, six different Grizzlies had multi-hit performances. Both C.J. Ballard and Brandon Frazier posted three-hits, three runs scored and three RBI.
Cole Uvila earned the victory for the Grizzlies after relieving starter Hunter Dollander in the fourth inning. Uvila (4-2) allowed four runs on five hits through 5.1 innings. He also struck out 10, which ties a season-best.
Back-to-back doubles by Alex Garland and Onassis Matos in the top of the second set the table for a five-run frame for the Grizzlies. Arguably the biggest hit of the inning was a bases-clearing triple by Carrigan – his fourth of the season – that scored Cord Johnson and Brandon Frazier.
Georgia Gwinnett pushed its advantage to 8-0 with a three-run third. Walter Coursey, who entered the World Series riding a 26-game hitting streak, slapped a double into the left-center gap to drive in two of the three runs in the stanza. The double is his ninth of the season.
Faulkner’s bats came alive with two runs in the bottom of the second when Tekwaan Whyte sent the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence. The home run, which cut the Eagle deficit to 8-2, is his fourth of the season.
A pair of long-balls in the bottom of the fourth closed the gap to 8-5. Faulkner’s Austin Paschke mashed a two-run home run to open the scoring before Reid Long followed suit four pitches later with a solo shot. Paschke and Long are the first two individuals to hit back-to-back home runs since it occurred twice in the 2016 World Series.
Georgia Gwinnett broke the game open with seven runs in the sixth to push its advantage to 13-5. The rally was highlighted by a grand slam by Carrigan. The home run is his second of the World Series and fourth this season. It’s also the third grand slam at this year’s tournament.
Faulkner added another three runs to its total when Ryan Rosa and Reese Cooley posted back-to-back home runs.
Georgia Gwinnett added three runs in the seventh and two in the eight to put the game to rest.
Faulkner ends the season with a 54-9 record. The Eagles had not been eliminated this early in the tournament since going 1-2 in 2014.