LEWISTON, Idaho – LSU-Shreveport hung around with top-seeded Southeastern (Fla.) for eight innings, but the Fire scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to post an 8-4 win in the Avista NAIA World Series Monday night.
LSUS (52-7) had to wait to see who won the late game between No. 3 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) and No. 7 Faulkner (Ala.) to know which of the two games in the loser’s bracket they would be slotted. The Pilots will play Faulkner (39-16) at 5 p.m. (CDT).
Monday’s game was quite the contrast to the only other meeting between the two schools that had Southeastern win in a 25-13 slugfest in last year’s World Series.
LSUS broke through to score its first three runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Josh Wunnenberg started it with a walk. Cameron Lewis came in to pinch run and advanced to third on a steal of second and error on the catcher. Following a walk to Julian Flores, Zyon Avery singled to right field to score Lewis. Ryan Major then followed a pair of ground outs with a single to drive in Flores and Avery.
The Fire came right back with two runs in the sixth on a Stephen Cullen 2-run home run to take a 4-3 lead.
The Pilots tied it 4-4 on an Allbry Major solo home run in the eighth inning.
Southeastern went back on top in the ninth on a Jose Marcano solo home run and added three more on a Brian Fuentes three-run home run.
Wunnenberg was the only Pilot with multiple hits going 2-for-3.
Bobby Vath started on the mound for LSUS, going six innings, giving up six hits and four runs. He walked two and struck out eight. Brad White suffered the loss, giving up two hits and two runs in a third of an inning.
Photo courtesy of LSUS Athletics