GAME 2: Reinhardt comfortable in crunch time

May 25—Reinhardt senior Tucker Zdunich hit a three-run home run, junior Andrew Herbert pitched seven innings and the Eagles clawed their way back from two multi-run deficits to defeat Hope International 7-5 on Friday at Harris Field in Lewiston.

It's the first Avista NAIA World Series win in program history for Reinhardt (42-16), having made its debut in 2018 and going two-and-out.

"Throughout the whole playoffs we've been playing in close games, so we're kind of getting more comfortable being uncomfortable in those situations and that helped us," Zdunich said. "We know how to play from behind and it really showed today."

In front of a crowd of 895, Hope International (40-16) opened the scoring early. A single by senior Alex Moreno and an Alec Arnone double gave the Royals a 2-0 lead.

A walk with the bases loaded in the top of the third sent Zdunich home, and a solo home run by Eagles senior Dylan Lewis in the fifth tied the game 2-2. It's the 22nd home run of the season for Lewis.

"There's just no panic with this team if we get behind because our offense, we feel, is capable of playing with anybody," Reinhardt coach Jonathan Burton said. "We would like to start faster in some games but to their credit, their pitchers did a good job of keeping us off balance. We came through when it mattered at the end."

The effort didn't come without growing pains, however, as the Eagles left the bases loaded to end the first and third innings.

In the bottom of the fifth, Royals senior JJ Cruz hit a homer to the left side, and an error by Reinhardt left fielder Adrian Vargas allowed Alex Moreno and David Rivera to score.

A single by senior Ryan Maciel sent senior Derek Sims home in the bottom of the sixth to give Hope International a three-run lead.

"I feel like our schedule prepared us for that (staying in the game when down) because of who we played," Burton said. "We play good teams all year, and you're behind a lot and have to learn how to play from behind."

In the top of the seventh, Zdunich a three-run home run over the right-field fence to tie the game 5-5 and shifting the momentum in Reinhardt's favor. It was his 17th home run of the season.

"I was just trying to barrel something up and help our team out," Zdunich said. "We'd been trying to claw back all game and to get that barrel off and get us tied back up, that was huge."

Zdunich finished the game with two runs and three of Reinhardt's six RBI in his five at-bats.

In the top of the eighth, Reinhardt senior Jarrett Burney bunted and knocked the ball past Royals pitcher Boom Ward, driving home junior Amari Bartee to give the Eagles the go-ahead run. Senior Jamel Rookard scored moments later when he advanced home on a wild pitch to give Reinhardt its final 7-5 margin.

Ward (0-1) took the loss for the Royals, having given up the winning runs. Herbert (11-1) got the win for the Eagles, pitching seven innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, walking no runners and striking out four. Reinhardt junior Brett Allen earned the save, his eighth of the season, finishing out the last two innings.

"When (Allen) comes in, our confidence is through the roof," Zdunich said. "So, when he came in we were just confident with our defense, and with him throwing strikes, it just really worked out today."

Moreno and Maciel were the only multi-hit players of the game for Hope International.

The Royals will play eighth-seeded Kansas Wesleyan at 8:35 a.m. today in loser-out action.

Reinhardt will have a long break before its next game. The Eagles will next play at 3:05 p.m. Monday against the winner of today's clash between Arizona Christian and Southeastern.

"Whoever it is, Southeastern or Arizona, both teams are swinging well so whoever we play we got to find a way to start a little faster and take some pressure off our offense," Burton said. "We're going to be in the game, we do know that — we just got to be able to come through with some bigger hits early in the game."


ab r h bi ab r h bi

Burney 3b 4 1 2 1 Rivera ss 3 2 1 0

M. Allen 2b 2 0 0 0 Moreno 3b 4 2 2 1

Crowell 1b 5 0 0 0 Cruz 2b 4 0 1 1

Zdunich rf 5 2 1 3 Arnone c 4 0 1 1

Lewis dh 5 1 2 1 Jones pr 0 0 0 0

Vargas lf 4 0 1 0 Toigo lf 4 0 1 0

Kilgore pr 0 0 0 0 Sims rf 4 1 1 0

Mendoza ss 4 0 1 1 Lamastra dh 3 0 0 0

Maurer c 4 0 2 0 Tostado ph 1 0 0 0

Profit pr-2b 3 1 1 0 Maciel 1b 4 0 2 1

Rookard pr 0 1 0 0 Bartee cf 4 0 0 0

Dockery cf 4 1 2 0 Seeley p 0 0 0 0

Herbert p 0 0 0 0 Drury p 0 0 0 0

B. Allen p 0 0 0 0 Ward p 0 0 0 0

Ordorica p 0 0 0 0

Totals 40 7 12 6 Totals 35 5 9 4

Reinhardt 001 010 320—7 12 1

Hope International 200 021 000—5 9 1

Reinhardt ip h r er bb so

Herbert (W, 11-1) 7 9 5 4 0 4

B. Allen (S, 8) 2 0 0 0 0 2

Hope International ip h r er bb so

Seeley (W, 3-0) 4 5 1 0 2 2

Drury 2.2 3 4 4 0 1

Ward (L, 0-1) 1 3 2 1 0 1

Ordorica 1 1 0 0 0 1

Attendance — 895.


Reinardt 7, Hope International 5


Tucker Zdunich knocked a three-run home run over the right-field fence to tie the game in the seventh inning, giving the Eagles all the momentum they needed for the remainder of the game.

Reinhardt's Dylan Lewis hit his 22nd home run of the season, a solo blast in the top of the fifth to tie the game 2-2.


"When you have an older team, and they're mature about things, you don't feel like you have to be on them with every pitch of every game. When you got a guy like (relief pitcher Brett Allen) on the mound who pitches with that type of tempo and energy, it feeds to the team as well."

— Reinhardt coach Jonathan Burton