By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information
LEWISTON, Idaho - (Box Score) Taylor Oldham had three hits and drove in two runs to pace a 16-hit attack as No. 4 Tennessee Wesleyan thumped No. 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), 17-3, in game three of the Avista-NAIA World Series on Friday at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho. The victory is the first in program history for Tennessee Wesleyan in World Series play - 0-4 in two previous trips.
With the win, the Bulldogs (49-11) advance to play the winner of No. 1 LSU Shreveport (La.) and No. 9 Rogers State (Okla.) at 6:30 p.m. PDT on Monday, May 28. The Hillcats advanced earlier in the day with a victory over No. 8 South Carolina Beaufort. Embry-Riddle falls into the loser's bracket to face The Sun Conference rival South Carolina Beaufort in a win-or-out game at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Tennessee Wesleyan came out swinging in the top of the first, scoring five runs on four hits and taking advantage of two Eagle errors. The Bulldogs sent all nine hitters to the plate before leadoff batter Travis Burnside, who also scored Tennessee Wesleyan's first run of the game, closed the inning with a ground out to the short stop.
Embry-Riddle cut the deficit to 5-3 in the bottom of the third, but it proved as close as the Eagles would come as the Bulldogs responded with one run in the third, three in the fifth, one in the sixth, three in the seventh and four in the eighth.
The 14-run loss is the second largest margin of defeat for the Eagles in their Worlds Series history.
Tennessee Wesleyan's Jeremy Fitzgerald (11-0) allowed three runs on nine hits, while striking out four and walking one en route to the victory. Embry-Riddle's Adam Paulencu took the loss after surrendering a season-high eight runs in just four innings.
In addition to Oldham, Stephen Branca, Drew Levi, Jake Stone and Dale Ricketts homered for the Bulldogs.
Greg Smith went 3-for-5 with a double and one RBI for the Eagles, while JT Warmoth added two hits and one RBI.