By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications & Sports Information
LEWISTON, Idaho - (Box Score) No. 4 Tennessee Wesleyan stays among the unbeaten at the 2012 Avista-NAIA World Series with an 8-6 victory against No. 9 Rogers State (Okla.) on Monday afternoon at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 50-11 on the year and advance to play No. 2 Lee (Tenn.) at 6:30 p.m. PDT on Tuesday. Tennessee Wesleyan starter Josh Culler tossed 5.2 innings and struck out a game-high six hitters en route to the win. He allowed five runs (all earned) on four hits and also walked three. Culler was relieved by Zach Fleshman and Alfonso Yevoli. Yevoli, who pitched the final 2/3 of the ninth, earned his sixth save.
After three and a half innings the score was knotted at one apiece. However, Tennessee Wesleyan broke things open with five runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a 6-1 Bulldog advantage. Dale Ricketts opened the scoring with a double to plate Drew Levi. The Bulldogs also scored runs via a pair of singles, a hit-by-pitch and fielder's choice.
Tennessee Wesleyan added another in the fifth when Jordan Guida led off the inning with a first-pitch home run to left field.
Rogers State, who recorded come from behind victories in its first two games at the World Series, cut the deficit to 7-5 with a two out grand slam by Randy Ramirez. The home run is only his third of the season. The Hillcats would add another in the top of the seventh, but Tennessee Wesleyan answered with one in the bottom half to make it 8-6.
Tennessee Wesleyan was led offensively by Guida and Ricketts who both finished the contest 2-for-4 at the dish. Ricketts led the squad with two RBIs, while Guida tied teammate Anthony Box with two runs scored.
Kyle Duncan (8-2) took the loss for Rogers State. He allowed seven runs (sixth earned) and 10 hits over four innings of work.
Hector Rivera and Lance Rymel each recorded two hits for Rogers State, while Eric Baker had two runs scored in the effort.