HATTIESBURG, Miss. — For the second straight day, a late push by William Carey gave it a win over Southeastern in the NAIA Baseball Opening Round.
Trailing 8-3 in the fifth, the Crusaders scored seven in the last five innings, including a run in the bottom of the ninth Thursday to defeat the Fire 10-9.
The win sends William Carey to the Avista NAIA World Series for the first time since 1978.
WCU took the lead back for the first time since the first inning in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs on four hits to take a 9-8 advantage.
Southeastern answered in the next half inning on a sacrifice fly by Kianalu Pitoy, scoring De’John Suber to tie the game at nine.
Kade Wagner then retired the next six hitters he faced to keep the game knotted heading to the ninth.
The Fire had runners on first and third after singles by Mike D’Acunti and Derek Martin with one out. A strikeout, then a close play at first resulted in an inning-ending groundout.
A one-out single to left in the bottom of the ninth scored the winning run from second.
Marcus Stump finished the game 4-for-5 with two RBIs, three runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base. Martin added three hits, three RBIs and a walk.
The Fire conclude the 2017 season setting the new program record for wins with 50.