The field for the NAIA Baseball National Championship has been completed with Cumberland, Lubbock Christian, Embry-Riddle, and Tennessee Wesleyan.
Cumberland defeated #21 Campbellsville in Joliet, IL, in a game postponed by rain from Thursday. These two teams went into extra innings on Wednesday, and this one was close, too; the Bulldogs won 3-0. Aaron Wilkerson got the complete-game shutout; he allowed only three hits, and struck out 17. The Tigers’ starter, Rusty Devitt, had a perfect game going into the seventh inning, but Sam Kikla of the Bulldogs hit a double to end the perfect game, then scored the winning run on a double by Matt Greener. Devitt also went seven innings, allowed only three hits, struck out 12.
Lubbock Christian avenged their loss yesterday against ISR #56 Mount Marty by beating them 23-5 in Lubbock, TX. C Dan Neumann went 4-4 with four RBI for the defending national champions, and 2B Richard Bohlken went 3-4 with two home runs and five RBI. Mount Marty actually led 3-0 going into the bottom of the third.
Embry-Riddle trailed ISR #42 Saint Thomas (FL) 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, but the Eagles came up with a walk-off two-RBI double by Branden Roper-Hubbert. The Eagles will be making their seventh appearance in Lewiston in eight years.
Tennessee Wesleyan defeated #13 Southern Polytechnic 12-11 in Columbus, GA. The lead in this game changed several times. The Hornets led 8-5 after 6 1/2 innings, but the Bulldogs got two runs in the bottom of the seventh and five more in the eighth; the winning run came on a sacrifice fly by the same Rafael Carlot who batted in the winning run in two games yesterday. The Hornets got three runs in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game, and they had the bases loaded when the game ended on a ground out.
The schedule has been set for the first two days of the Baseball National Championship in Lewiston, ID, and it looks like this:
Friday, May 28 (all times PDT):
8:30 AM: #8 Embry-Riddle vs. #24 Tennessee Wesleyan
noon: #14 Belhaven vs. #17 Point Loma Nazarene
3 PM: #4 Lee vs. #5 Lubbock Christian
7:30 PM: #3 Cal Baptist vs. #6 Oklahoma City
Saturday, May 29:
3 PM: #2 Cumberland vs. Embry-Riddle-Tennessee Wesleyan winner
7 PM: #1 Lewis-Clark State vs. Belhaven-Point Loma Nazarene winner
As in past years, all games with be video webcast, for a price of $8.95 per day, or $24.95 for the entire tournament; click here. As usual, KOZE radio in Lewiston will be doing audio webcasts of the entire tournament. Also as usual, CBB will be publishing a tournament preview next week.