The Bulldogs defeated the Trojans of Taylor, 12-3, in their first game of the NAIA Opening Round on Thursday. Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Trey Griffin singled, took second on a flyball out and scored on Logan Dalton's two-out hit. TWC added three runs in the third, starting with a single from Travis Burnside and walk to Aaron Stubblefield. A double steal resulted in a throwing error with Burnside scoring on the play and Stubblefield reaching third. Jake Stone then walked and stole second base. A ground out plated Stubblefield and Wes Minton drove Stone home with a hit to put the Bulldogs on top, 4-0. Jameson gave up three hits and run in the home half. Wesleyan responded with three more runs in the fourth, ignited by Josh McCray's one-out double. Brad Carpenter and Burnside followed with singles to chase Branden Walker (pinch-running for catcher McCray) home. Stubblefield earned another free pass and Stone singled Carpenter home. Griffin's sacrifice fly accounted for the final run, leaving TWC with a 7-1 advantage. The Bulldogs continued their onslaught with two more runs in the fifth. Consecutive hits by Dalton, McCray and Carpenter produced one run and a groundout the second score. Leading 9-2, Wesleyan put the game away in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Hunter Hall singled and Stone walked. Griffin doubled both runners home and scored on Luke Donald's hit. Jameson went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. Zach Fleshman pitched one inning of hitless relief and Brady Frey gave up the final two runs, surrendering four hits and striking out one in two innings of work. Griffin led the 19-hit Wesleyan attack, going 3-for-5 at the plate, driving in four runs and scoring twice. Burnside also had three hits with two RBIs and two runs scored; McCray three hits, two runs scored (by pinch-runner Walker); Dalton two hits, two RBIs and run scored; Carpenter two hits, an RBI and run scored and Minton two hits with an RBI.
On Friday, the Bulldogs faced Missouri Baptist, where they had to overcome a 5-2 deficit to get the 6-5 win.
Missouri Baptist (32-12) dug themselves into a two-run hole in the second inning, but exploded for three runs in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead. MBU extended the lead in the seventh with a solo homerun by Jo Jo Taylor, but was unable to hold the advantage. No. 1-seed Tennessee Wesleyan mounted a four-run comeback in the eighth inning and took a late lead 6-5 lead, putting Missouri Baptist on its heels for the final two trips to the plate. After loading the bases with two consecutive walks in the eighth inning, Julien Soucy was pulled with one out in favor Matt Marsh. The Spartan closer got Logan Dalton to fly out to right, which scored first baseman Jake Stone to make it 5-3. Three-straight Bulldog singles later, Tennessee Wesleyan finished its offensive outburst with four runs in the inning and the lead. The Bulldogs went 10-34 at the plate and held Missouri Baptist to just one hit in the final two innings. Designated hitter Josh McCray led Tennessee Wesleyan on the day. He went 3-4 with two RBI on the day. Tennessee Wesleyan's Tyler Wilson recorded the win in a relief effort. Wilson threw a solid seventh inning and held the Spartans to just one hit. Noah Piard recorded his 18th save of the season in a 13-pitch outing where he recorded two strikeouts. With the win, Tennessee Wesleyan will advance to the championship game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. as the final undefeated team in the Kingsport Bracket.
Missouri Baptist staved off elimination at the NAIA Baseball National Championship - Kingsport Bracket on Saturday afternoon with a 6-3 victory over top-seed Tennessee Wesleyan at Hunter Wright Stadium. With the win, the Spartans (34-12) force a winner take all Kingsport Bracket Championship Game on Monday afternoon at noon with the Bulldogs (45-17). The winner of that contest will advance to the 2013 Avista NAIA World Series. After four scoreless innings, MBU got on the board in the top of the fifth with two runs to take a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, Tennessee Wesleyan finally cracked the scoreboard with a run, cutting the Spartan lead in half at 2-1.
But, Missouri Baptist came back in the top of the seventh and tacked on a run to go back up by two at 3-1.
In the top of the ninth, the Spartans had a huge inning, scoring three runs with two outs to go up 6-1. Third baseman Joseph Taylor, who was 0-for-4 on the day entering his at-bat in the ninth, had a big two-RBI single with two away. It was followed up by a Garrett Vail RBI single, putting MBU up five. The runs scored by the Spartans in the top of the ninth proved to be crucial, as TWC rallied in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs to cut the MBU lead to three. But, pitcher Matt Marsh forced a ground out to first with two outs to end it, clinching the win to keep the Spartans alive in the tournament. Overall, Ryan Gunhouse led MBU on the day, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Patrick Johnson continued his strong tournament going 2-for-3 with three runs scored, while Pier Olivier-Dostaler and Taylor each had two RBI on the day. On the mound, starter Mike Avila earned the win after a strong effort. In eight and a third, Avila gave up just three runs on eight hits, striking out three in the process. For TWC, Josh McCray was 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Reliever Justin Sprenger (1-2) was the loser for TWC on the mound.