NAIA Opening Round Recap for May 19th

NAIA Baseball National Championship

Two top seeds were defeated, and two more were taken to extra innings.

The game of the day was in Joliet, IL, where #2-ranked Cumberland was taken to 10 innings by #21 Campbellsville. (Campbellsville was the team that won an Opening Round tournament last year on the 21-consecutive-inning performance by Bryan Fuller.)

Campbellsville scored all their runs in the first inning. Cumberland tied it in the third with an RBI Triple by DH Max Kautz, who went 4-5 for the game. The Bulldogs started the top of the tenth with a single by C David Fanshawe. Kautz beat out a chopper between the mound and third base, but pinch-hitter Jesse Bowman lined out to rightfield on a great sliding catch by the Tigers’ Logan Smith. CF Dave Weyer singled sharply up the middle. 2B Luke Gadow gloved the ball, but it bounced into short centerfield, allowing pinch-runner Jason Frost to score from second. 1B Greg Appleton followed with a single to center, scoring Kautz for a 6-4 advantage.

1B Brian Chase and Smith both singled with two outs in the 10th for the Tigers, but Richie Rowland, who homered and singled earlier in the contest, bounced out to first to end the game.

LHP Shawn Schaefer went the 10-inning distance for the Bulldogs, and his record is now 13-0. He threw 138 pitches. Tiger starter Jared Lunardi went 9 2/3 innings, threw 160 pitches.

#4 Lee also survived a scare, from #20 South Carolina-Beaufort, in Cleveland, TN. The Flames won 3-2 in ten innings. In the tenth, Trey Burstrom reached on a error, was bunted to second by J.J. Costantino, then scored on a single by Tanner Moore.

Scott Swinson went nine innings for the Flames, allowed only one earned run on five hits. He was replaced in the tenth inning by Aaron Everett, who struck out all three batters he faced. Adam Miller pitched a complete game for the Sand Sharks, allowed seven hits.

The Upsets: In Columbus, GA, #13 Southern Polytechnic defeated #9 LSU-Shreveport 6-4. The Pilots led 4-2 after six innings, but the Hornets tied it with solo home runs by Mason Heller in the seventh and Brandon Chastain in the eighth. The winning run came from a sacrifice fly by Heller. Tucker Stone got the win in relief for the Hornets.

In Jackson, MS, #14 Belhaven defeated #12 Missouri Baptist 9-6. The Blazers scored six runs in the third inning, led by a two-RBI double by Timmy Foster.

In Fresno, CA, #7 British Columbia recovered from their loss on Tuesday to take host Fresno Pacific out of the tournament with a 6-3 win. The Thunderbirds got a solid performance from Mark Hardy; he scattered ten hits over 8+ innings, struck out 11. Kelyn Schellenberg, who pitched six innings for the Sunbirds in a win over Ohio Dominican earlier in the day, went the distance in this one. The Thunderbirds get a rematch with Houston-Victoria on Thursday, and the winner plays Point Loma Nazarene, who defeated Houston-Victoria 10-7 today.

#5 and defending champion Lubbock Christian and #6 Oklahoma City got easy wins.