GAME 4: No. 10 Grenadiers tough it out

May 25—Inclement weather earlier in the day delayed the start of Game 4 of the Avista NAIA World Series between seventh-seeded William Carey (Miss.) and 10th-seeded Indiana Southeast on Friday at Harris Field in Lewiston.

The contest began 56 minutes late, and whether it was because of the postponed start or the absence of a popular local team, the stands were sparsely populated.

Either way, the 790 fans in attendance witnessed the lower-seeded team from Indiana put on an explosive performance, overwhelming the Crusaders in a 6-5 victory.

"I felt we did a great job," Indiana Southeast coach Brett Neffendorf said. "We had some tough innings there where we left some guys on base, but the pitching did a good job holding it down the line. We started off well offensively and scrapped for some runs when we needed them."

Indiana Southeast will next play second-seeded Georgia Gwinnett at 6:35 p.m. today at the same site.

William Carey plays Cumberlands at 11:35 a.m. today, also at the same site, in a loser-out game.

White starts things off with a bang

Despite the late hour, the Grenadiers (37-18) opened the game with energy as senior utility player Mason White crushed the fourth pitch of his at-bat over the right field wall, giving Southeast Indiana an early 1-0 lead and extending his hitting streak to 18 games.

In the top of the fourth inning, White hit his second home run, blasting the ball deep into center field to bolster Indiana Southeast's lead to 5-0.

"It feels really good to win game one," White said. "A lot of people are saying we're like a Cinderella story, but I don't believe it. I think we're meant to be here. It's our second time here in four years, and we're spreading the message that we deserve to be here."

Early struggles for Crusaders' starter

Andrew Shirah's outing on the mound for William Carey (37-15) was cut short after White's second bomb. In his time pitching, Shirah gave up three home runs, accounting for all of the hits he allowed.

The Crusaders' pitcher continued to struggle in the top of the first. He issued four more walks and, with the bases loaded, allowed another runner to score, giving Indiana Southeast an early 2-0 lead.

In the opening 20 minutes of the game, the pitcher threw 46 pitches, walked four batters and gave up three earned runs.

The Grenadiers completed their batting order and finished the first inning with a 3-0 lead.

Shriah regained his composure in the second inning, needing only 10 pitches to get through it.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Grenadiers executed an infield double play, thwarting the William Carey offense's scoring opportunity, even though they allowed a runner to reach base.

In the top of the third inning, Trevor Goodwin hit another home run for Indiana Southeast, increasing their lead to 4-0.

"I thought we did a really good job of capitalizing and having long at-bats," Neffendorf said. "Shriah has been a good arm the last few years for William Carey and I thought our guys did a really good job of making them go deep in the counts and being patient and getting balls that we can drive."

Dingers on dingers on dingers

Both teams relied heavily on the long ball to score their runs during the game's first four innings.

Bailee Hendon's dinger over the center-field wall cut William Carey's deficit to 5-2, scoring the team's first runs of the game.

Solid defense and pitching from Southeast

The Grenadiers' defense was stifling, retiring the side in order in the bottom of the third and recording a few more quick four-up, four-down innings to swiftly subdue the Crusaders.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Grenadiers maintained their 5-2 lead thanks to second baseman Brayden Hazelton, who fielded a ground ball and made an impressive, timely throw to third base to get the courtesy runner, Ty Little, out.

"They've been tremendous," Neffendorf said. "Those guys are all older guys; we're starting four seniors in the infield; they have experience; they know what to do; and the moment is not too big for them."

Luke Schafer's outing ended in the sixth inning; he allowed five earned runs on five hits while striking out eight batters on 111 pitches.

"I thought he did a great job of mixing four pitches and battling," Neffendorf said. "Against a team that's been really hot and a team that has experience, he did a tremendous job getting us into the middle third of the game so we could both align for the last third."

A scare from the Crusaders

In the bottom of the sixth inning, William Carey loaded the bases. Then, two consecutive groundouts and a balk by Schafer reduced the Crusaders' deficit to 6-5.

A Brady Logan single and a fielding error put runners on first and second, but RJ Stinson's lineout temporarily halted the scoring threat. That's as close as William Carey got the rest of the game.

"Huge nine outs of the bullpen," Neffendorf said. "The bullpen was huge for us and holding the lead there because we started to slow down a bit."


ab r h bi ab r h bi

Long lf 5 0 0 0 Stinson 3b/lf 5 0 1 0

White cf 4 2 3 2 Thomas ss 5 0 0 0

Powell rf 3 1 0 0 Lycette 1b 4 2 1 0

Putnam ss 3 1 1 0 Ratliff dh 3 1 1 0

Goodwin dh 2 1 1 1 Hendon lf/rf 3 2 2 2

Flock 1b 4 0 0 1 Garrity rf/cf 3 0 0 1

Murphy c 3 0 0 0 Laird 2b/3b 4 0 1 1

Yurt ph 1 0 0 0 Williams cf 2 0 0 0

Hazelwood 2b 3 0 0 1 Hernandez 2b 2 0 0 0

Schield 3b 5 1 1 0 Logan c 3 0 1 0

Little pr 0 0 0 0

Totals 33 6 6 5 Totals 34 5 7 4

Indiana Southeast 301 101 000—6 6 1

William Carey 000 203 000—5 7 3

Indiana Southeast ip h r er bb so

Schafer (W, 10-3) 6.0 5 5 5 5 8

Cheek 2.0 2 0 0 0 2

Hill (S, 8) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1

William Carey ip h r er bb so

Shirah (L, 8-5) 3.1 3 5 5 5 4

Magee 2.2 2 1 1 2 3

Lycette 3.0 1 0 0 2 2

Attendance — 790