|Bellevue (Neb.) (52-11)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||1||3||8||1|
|Tennessee Wesleyan Colleg (50-13)||0||3||0||2||0||0||2||2||0||9||12||3|
|Lewiston, ID Harris Field|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||Pitching||Tennessee Wesleyan Colleg|
|Bellevue (Neb.)||Indv. Stats||Tennessee Wesleyan Colleg|
|3 Players||Doubles||2 Players (#4,#18)|
|None||Home Runs||#2 Rios Reyes, Sully|
Written by World Series Media Staff
LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Strong starting pitching and timely hitting propels No. 2 Tennessee Wesleyan to a 9-3 victory over No. 3 Bellevue (Neb.) Monday evening in winner's bracket action at the 2016 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series. The 60th annual event is being played at Harris Field for the 17th-straight season and 25th time in NAIA history.
Despite not appearing in a game since May 19, Tennessee Wesleyan starter Tyler Thornton tossed seven innings of three-hit, shutout baseball to improve to 7-2 on the year. The junior right-hander struck out seven Bruins – one shy of tying a season-high – and walked none.
Relief pitchers Reed Bright and Danny Guido closed the door on the game for Tennessee Wesleyan. Bright was credited with surrendering the two Bellevue runs on two hits, while Guido scattered three hits and allowed one run.
The Bulldogs took a lead that they'd never relinquish with a three-run second inning, highlighted a Sully Rios Reyes two-run home run. The junior infielder deposited the 1-2 pitch into the leftfield bleachers, scoring Chevis Hoover who reached previously via a walk. The homer is Reyes' sixth of the season and first at the World Series.
Tennessee Wesleyan pushed its lead to 5-0 in the fourth on a two-RBI double by Pedro Barrios. A native of Venezuela, Barrios stole third in the inning – his 12th theft of the year – but was stranded.
Two insurance runs were tacked on in bottom of the seventh to extend the Bulldogs' advantage to 7-0.
Bellevue avoided its first nine inning shutout since May 14, 2014 – a string of 126 games – with two runs in the top of the eight on Trevor Jones' 10th double of the season. The senior outfielder was hitless (0-for-9) entering that at-bat.
However, the Bulldogs kept their foot on the gas, matching the Bruins with two runs in the bottom half. Tennessee Wesleyan loaded the bases, and Omar Gomez sent a screaming ground ball under the outstretched glove of a diving infielder for his sixth and seventh RBI of the World Series.
Bellevue scored one run in the ninth en route to the final spread.
Eight of the nine starters in the Tennessee Wesleyan lineup recorded at least one hit, highlighted by a 2-for-5 and three RBI effort by Gomez. Barrios (2-for-5), Stroud (2-for-4), and Malik Stephens (2-for-4) were the other notable performances. As a team, the Bulldogs are hitting .403 (29-for-72) with six doubles and five home runs at this year's World Series.
Bellevue starter Todd Nicks fell to 11-2 on the season after surrendering five runs (all earned) on seven hits. He did strike out seven Bulldogs.
Colton Nash was the bright spot for the Bruins on offense, registering a 3-for-4 performance with one run score and one RBI.
With the win, Tennessee Wesleyan improves to 50-13 on the year, marking the first time the Bulldogs have reached the 50-win plateau since 2012 – the same season they won the World Series title. The club from Athens, Tenn., plays the winner of No. 1 Faulkner (Ala.) and No. 4 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. PDT.
Conversely, the loss drops Bellevue to 52-11 on the season, and drops the club into the elimination bracket. The Bruins play No. 8 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) tomorrow at 12 p.m.
Stretch Internet, the NAIA's official video streaming company, is broadcasting the first 15 games of the 2016 Avista-NAIA World Series. An All-World Series package can be purchased for $29.95, while a day pass is available for $9.95. For more information, visit www.NAIANetwork.com.
The Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). For more information on the 60th annual event, click HERE.