yotes stop shorter, win NAIA Opener
The College of Idaho pounded out 16 hits, using a four-run ninth inning to defeat No. 18 ranked Shorter University, 6-4, in Game 2 of the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round in Azusa, Calif.
The Coyotes (39-18) move on to meet for a rematch with NAIA West rival Menlo College tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. (PT) in the tournament semifinals - as the Oaks defeated Arizona Christian, 8-5, then upset host Azusa Pacific, 11-7. Fans can watch the game live (Pay-Per-View) online at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/apu.portal or view Live Stats at http://www.apu.edu/athletics/live/baseball/.
The C of I never trailed in the game, but led just 2-1 heading into the ninth inning. Parker Vernon led off with a walk, moving to third on an errant pickoff throw and a wild pitch, scoring on a Jarel Lewis RBI double. Jeffrey Harris followed with an RBI triple to make it 4-1, with Jesse Dodd plating a run with a sacrifice fly. Brett Ward capped the inning with a two-out RBI single.
The Yotes would need every run, as Taylor Nicholson tired in the ninth inning - giving up back-to-back two-out solo home runs to the Hawks (38-18) Cal Hardie and Willie Lewis. Michael Garza came in and allowed a double to Antonio Walcott and an RBI single to Bobby Triglia to bring the tying run to the plate. However, Todd Griffiths came in and got Blake McCullers to ground out to third to end the game - picking up his team-high seventh save of the year. Nicholson picked up his eighth win of the year, allowing just three earned runs and striking out six.
A double by Harris in the second was followed by a run-scoring single by Dodd to give the Yotes a 1-0 lead, but it could have been more, as The C of I had a runner thrown out at the plate in the thrid and stranding the bases loaded in the fourth. SU drew even in the fifth, putting runners and second and third with one out, with Walcott delivering a run with a fielders' choice. The Coyotes took the lead for good in the seventh on a Tanner Hodges RBI single.
Hodges, Griffiths, and Zach Fabricius each had three hits for the Coyotes, with Dodd driving in two runs. Lewis and Triglia had three hits for the Hawks - who were playing their first-ever NAIA Tournament game.