Todd Griffiths singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, then worked out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the ninth to pick up his sixth save, as The College of Idaho won a 7-5 victory over host Concordia University in Game 3 of the Verizon Wireless-NAIA West Tournament in Portland, Ore.
The Coyotes (37-16) will meet Menlo College tomorrow at Noon (PT) with a berth in Friday's championship game on the line.
Deadlocked at 4-4 in the seventh, Jesse Dodd was hit by a pitch and Zach Fabricius walked. Griffiths followed with a base hit through the middle, scoring pinch runner Jake Vincent with the go-ahead run. Dodd added a sacrifice fly in the eight, with Izaac Garsez blasted a mammoth home run in the ninth to give The C of I a 7-4 lead. The Cavaliers (24-27) made it interesting in the ninth, as C.J. Watson and Blake Drake singled to chase starter, Chad Yeggy. Griffiths was summoned from the pen and gave up a single to Sheldon Austria to load the bases. However, Jordan Keeker grounded into a double play (scoring a run), and Mike Cero lined out to short to end the game.
CU took a 1-0 lead in the first, tallying an unearned run on a Sean Myrom run-scoring single. The Yotes battled back, stringing together four two-out hits in the second - including an RBI single from Fabricius, an RBI double from Griffiths, and an RBI single from Brett Ward to make it 3-1. The Cavs tied the game in the bottom half on a Drake RBI double and an Austria RBI single. The C of I regained the lead in the third on a Jeffrey Harris RBI groundout, but CU evened the score in the sixth on a Drake fielders' choice.
Yeggy got the win for the Yotes, going eight-plus innings, allowing 10 hits and four earned runs - notching his team-leading eighth win. Garsez went 3-for-6 with two runs scored, with Dodd, Griffiths, Jarel Lewis, and Tanner Hodges all recording two hits. The C of I had 15 hits in the win, but stranded 14 runners. Concordia starter Jason Snodgrass allowed five runs on 13 hits in seven innings of work, with Austria, Keeker, and Mike Dickman recording two hits.
Earlier in the day, Concordia defeated Corban 16-6, while Menlo held on for a 2-1 win over British Columbia. Corban and UBC will meet in an elimination game at 9 a.m. (PT), with the winner meeting Concordia at 3 p.m. The C of I-Menlo loser will meet the winner of the second elimination game at 6 p.m. (PT) tomorrow - with that winner meeting the Coyote-Menlo winner in the championship round on Friday.