GAME 3: Poised Bulldogs return to Series in style

May 25—First, Cayle Webster gave Tennessee Wesleyan its first lead of the game with a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Then he followed it up by giving the Bulldogs their final advantage against Cumberlands with a two-RBI double in the eighth.

Two years after Tennessee Wesleyan was one of the final four teams standing at the Avista NAIA World Series, the Bulldogs (41-16) are back in Lewiston and off to a hot start.

Sixth-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan upset No. 3 Cumberlands (Ky.) 7-4 on Friday in Game 3 of the tournament's first round at Harris Field in front of 515 fans.

It was an all-around solid pitching and hitting game by both teams, with ties at 2-2 and 4-4 before Webster ripped a ball all the way to the left-field wall for a standing double that scored Braxton Turner and Marco Martinez for the go-ahead runs.

"Cayle was here in 2022, man, and this is nothing new to him," Tennessee Wesleyan coach Billy Berry said. "He's been in big moments here in Lewiston, he's been in big moments in our uniform. For him to be in that spot, he's done that plenty of times for us."

Moments after Webster's knock, the Bulldogs' Kruise Newman hit a high-hopping grounder to Cumberlands first baseman Max Harper and beat him to the bag for an infield single. Newman gave a shrug to the dugout after being called safe and scoring teammate Evan Magill for what would be the final run of the 7-4 game.

Webster finished with a game-high three RBI for the winners.

Turner, Tennessee Wesleyan's leadoff man who scored the leading run, reached base five times with three singles and two hit-by-pitches, recording two runs and an RBI in the process.

"Braxton Turner is a dawg, man," Berry said.

On the mound, Bulldogs starter Blake Peyton fanned 10 batters in 5.1 innings and then reliever Gage Vailes entered and allowed one hit and zero runs the rest of the way.

For Cumberlands (51-7), Christian Thompson tallied three hits, two runs and a pair of walks, while Harper drove in two runs from his cleanup spot to lead the Patriots at the plate.

The loss means the Patriots are still searching for their first World Series victory. They went 0-2 in their first Series last year.

Cumberlands left 13 players on base Friday.

Singing in the rain

Strong winds and a sudden rainstorm halted play in the bottom of the third with Tennessee Wesleyan up 2-0 and Cumberlands batting.

Several drenched fans took to the exits, although many also chose to tough it out, as songs like "Umbrella" by Rihanna, "Purple Rain" by Prince and "Rain is a Good Thing" by Luke Bryan blared over the speakers.

Twenty minutes after the delay began, players warmed up and play resumed only for Cumberlands to immediately score two runs and tie it up at 2-2.

Up next

Tennessee Wesleyan gets two days off before playing an unknown opponent at 6:35 p.m. Monday at Harris Field.

Cumberlands will face William Carey at 11:35 a.m. today in an elimination game.

"The confidence will be there but it's same thing different day," Webster said. "You've gotta come back out here and play all 27 outs. The break is nice, you get two days under your belt and you get to enjoy some more time with your teammates and enjoy the World Series experience."


ab r h bi ab r h bi

Turner dh 4 2 3 1 Thompson lf 3 2 3 0

Stevens rf 5 0 2 0 Muniz c 1 0 0 0

Martinez ss 4 1 1 0 Flynn pr 0 1 0 0

Magill 1b 3 1 1 0 St. Claire cf 5 0 0 0

Webster 2b 4 0 1 3 Harper 1b 4 0 1 2

Newman cf 5 1 2 1 Rittenhse dh 5 0 0 1

Stewart c 5 0 0 0 Gonzalez ss 4 0 2 0

Leach 3b 5 1 1 0 Snapp 2b 4 0 0 0

Ford lf 5 1 1 0 Prokes rf 5 0 0 0

Petrey 3b 3 1 0 0

Totals 40 7 12 7 Totals 34 4 6 3

Tenn. Wesleyan 110 200 030—7 12 2

Cumberlands 002 020 000—4 6 3

Tennessee Wesleyan ip h r er bb so

Peyton 5.1 5 4 2 4 10

Vailes (W, 4-2) 3.2 1 0 0 3 2

Cumberlands ip h r er bb so

Billings 5.2 9 4 3 1 3

Morgan (L, 4-1) 2.0 3 3 3 1 1

Korbacher 1.1 0 0 0 0 0

Attendance — 515.

Wiebe may be contacted at (208) 848-2260, or on Twitter @StephanSports.


Tennessee Wesleyan 7, Cumberlands 4


Second baseman Cayle Webster hit a go-ahead, two-RBI double in the eighth and had three total RBI for the victorious Bulldogs. Designated hitter Braxton Turner reached first base five times (three hits, two hit-by-pitches) and scored two runs, including the leading run, for Tennessee Wesleyan. On the mound, Bulldogs starting pitcher Blake Peyton fanned 10 batters, including two straight in the second and all three in the fourth in a pair of three-up, three-down innings.


"(We) played really well, pitched really well — both teams — and we're just happy to get out of here with a win tonight." — Tennessee Wesleyan coach Billy Berry