College Sports

James Land, William Carey rally to survive in NAIA World Series

James Land
James Land

LEWISTON, Idaho – William Carey scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate Science & Arts (Okla.), 6-5, in elimination bracket play during the NAIA Baseball World Series at Harris Field.

The Crusaders were relatively quiet offensively up until the ninth when a walk and pair of singles loaded the bases with one out.

Back-to-back walks to Tyler Graves and former Harrison Central star James Land with the bases loaded narrowed the Science & Arts’ lead to 5-4, while keeping the bases loaded for Tyler Odom.

The senior from Hattiesburg shot a grounder up the middle that had the potential of ending the game via a double play. However, Odom’s hustle out of the box forced a wild throw that slid under the outstretched first baseman’s glove to allow Garrett Shano – the courtesy runner for Graves – to score the winning run and keep William Carey’s title hopes alive.

With the win, the Crusaders advance to play the loser of No. 6 Missouri Baptist-No. 2 Faulkner (Ala.) 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. William Carey is now 44-19 on the year.

Relief pitcher Braden Smith earned the win for William Carey, tossing 7.1 innings of scoreless relief to improve to 7-3 on the season.

William Carey opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when an errant throw on a potential double-play plated former Pearl River Central standout Christian Smith. Odom loaded the bases with a single, however Drover starter Carson Corff surrendered the next two hitters to keep the game at 1-0.

Science & Arts took its first lead, 5-1, in the top of the second when back-to-back walks and a single loaded the bases with one out. Henry Rodriguez, Alexander Cortes and Frankely Gonzalez each drove in one run on a fielder’s choice, single and double, respectively.

The final two runs of the stanza were scored on a bases clearing double down the left field line by Christian Perez.

The five-run frame ties the 2017 World Series single-game high for most runs scored in an inning, which was originally set by the Drovers on Saturday against Oklahoma Wesleyan.

William Carey made it 5-2 in the bottom of the third when Graves blasted his seventh home run of the season and second at the World Series.

Christian Smith and Graves each had three hits in the contest, while Odom ended the day 2-for-5.

Two days after earning the club’s first-ever win at the World Series, Science & Arts ends its season with a 45-17 record.