Oklahoma Wesleyan Downs Georgia Gwinnett in Battle of World Series Newcomers
LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Two runs in the first inning proved all No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan would need, as the Eagles knocked off fellow event newcomer No. 6 Georgia Gwinnett, 2-1, in game three of the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series on Friday at Harris Field.
“I couldn’t be happier for our school and our guys,” said Oklahoma Wesleyan head coach Matt Parker. “Being aggressive has been who we are all year and I didn’t want to change that even though we got down one. We also pitched it and played tremendous defense. I’m just pumped to watch them continue to play the game here in Lewiston.”
With the win, Oklahoma Wesleyan (56-6) extends its NAIA-best winning streak to 29 games and advances to play the winner of No. 2 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and No. 7 San Diego Christian (Calif.)/No. 10 Cumberland (Tenn.) at 6:30 p.m. PDT on Monday. Georgia Gwinnett falls into the elimination bracket and will face either San Diego Christian or Cumberland at 12 p.m. on Friday.
Both offenses were the aggressors right out of the gate as the two teams scored all three runs and recorded 10 of the 14 combined hits in the first two innings.
Georgia Gwinnett lit the scoreboard first with back-to-back one-out doubles by Jake Fields and Robbie Payne. Fields scored what proved to be the squad’s only run, while Payne was stranded at third base.
Oklahoma Wesleyan, who entered the national championship ranked third in the NAIA with a 9.1 runs per game average, opened the bottom half of the frame with five-straight singles to load the bases and take a 2-1 lead. A double play, followed by a base running error ended a potential big inning early for the Eagles.
The Eagles loaded the bases again in the second inning, but failed to score.
Avery Flores highlighted the offense for Oklahoma Wesleyan, finishing the game 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. Other notable offensive performances came from Cody Riley and Garrett Easton, who recorded two hits each.
Oklahoma Wesleyan starting pitcher Diego Ibarra earned the win to improve to 13-1 on the year. The junior right-hander scattered four hits and struck out three in eight innings. CJ Gregory was credited with the save after facing the minimum in the ninth.
Tyler Carpenter (8-2) took the loss for Georgia Gwinnett.
The Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho). For more information on the 58th annual championship, click here.