Bison Headed Back To NAIA World Series After Huge Comeback
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma - Oklahoma Baptist defeated LSU-Shreveport 17-12 Friday afternoon in the championship game of the Shawnee Bracket to earn a trip to the 2015 Avista-NAIA World Series for the second straight year.
The Bison (52-6) trailed by nine runs midway through the sixth inning, but outscored the Pilots (46-14) 15-1 over the final full three innings to win their second consecutive Opening Round tournament at Bison Field at Ford Park.
Both teams used offense to power their way through this game, scoring a combined 29 runs on 35 total hits. The Bison finished with 18 hits and the Pilots registered 17, both of which set a season high for hits allowed by each pitching staff.
LSUS scored two runs in the third to break the scoreless tie. OBU answered in the bottom of the inning to even up the score at 2-2.
Twelve batters came to the plate for the Pilots in the top of the sixth as LSUS scored nine runs on nine hits to take a commanding 11-2 lead. Kym Barthel belted a two RBI triple and Alex Montero hit a two-run home run to extend the lead. Reed Lavallee punctuated the inning with a three-run home run.
Yariel Gonzalez hit a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth to get one run back for the Bison. Gonzalez finished three-for-four with three RBI and was a triple shy of the cycle.
OBU tied up the game by bringing eight runs across the plate in the seventh. Keach Ballard hit a two RBI single and Ryan Joyce had an RBI double in the big inning for the Bison.
Barthel singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth, giving the Pilots a 12-11 lead.
Landon Coon knocked in the winning run for the Bison in the bottom of the inning, giving OBU the first lead of the game with a two RBI double. Joyce hit a towering three-run home run later in the inning as OBU scored six runs on five hits to take a five-run lead to the ninth.
A double play in the top of the ninth finally ended the game after 77 total plate appearances between the two teams.
Brandon Russell (6-4) of LSUS was credited with the loss, allowing six runs on six hits in one inning of relief. Four other pitchers saw action for the Pilots.
Three different Pilot batters had three-RBI games, and Lavallee finished four-for-five at the plate.
Kyle Fimbrez (7-1) picked up the win for OBU after pitching the final two innings, giving up one earned run. Jinny Parra and Les Northcutt combined to give up 11 runs on 15 hits in 5.1 innings. Brad Adams pitched 1.2 hitless innings of relief.
Joyce finished two-for-three with two runs scored and four RBI. Seven players had multiple-hit games for the Bison.
The win sends the Bison back to Lewiston, Idaho, for the fifth NAIA World Series appearance in school history. Action is scheduled to take place from May 22-29 at Lewis-Clark State.