LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) The Grizzlies offensive and starting pitcher Gregory Loukinen shined this morning, as No. 2 Georgia Gwinnett defeated No. 4 Oklahoma City, 13-3, Monday morning in elimination play at the 2018 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series.
“It was a really good bounce-back win for us against a really talented Oklahoma City team,” said Georgia Gwinnett head coach Brad Stromdahl. “It came down to Greg Loukinen on the mound. He did great work for us today, and we were able to put some balls in play and score some runs. I couldn’t be more happy for him to throw nearly a complete game in his first start at the World Series.”
The win is the second World Series victory in program history for the Grizzlies. Georgia Gwinnett (49-11) advances to play the loser of No. 1 Faulkner (Ala.) and No. 5 Southeastern (Fla.) tomorrow at 11 a.m. PDT.
As a team, Georgia Gwinnett ended the contest with 14 hits, including three from leadoff hitter C.J. Ballard. He also scored a game-high three times.
Loukinen (7-1), who pitched a complete game shutout his in the last start, allowed three runs and seven hits in 8.2 innings of work. The junior also struck out nine.
Georgia Gwinnett lit the scoreboard first with a five-run third inning, highlighted by a two-out double by Brandon Frazier that scored Alex Garland and Cord Johnson. The RBI were Frazier’s 40th and 41st of the season. A walk by Jordan Tylski followed by a pair of singles by Ballard and Walter Coursey sparked the rally.
A walk to Joe Lytle and a single by Lane Milligan gave Oklahoma City an opportunity to cut into the deficit in the top of the fourth. However, Loukinen retired the next three hitters to get out of the jam.
The hot hitting for Georgia Gwinnett continued into the fourth, as Kade Carrigan sent the fourth pitch of the frame over the right field fence. The home run sparked a four-run fourth inning for the Grizzlies to give them a 9-0 lead after four.
An error, an RBI single by Garland and a wild pitch accounted for the other three runs for Georgia Gwinnett.
Elliott Cary put Oklahoma City on the scoreboard, 9-2, with a two-run home run in the top of the fifth. The long-ball is his 10th of the season and first since May 14.
Georgia Gwinnett responded with a run in the bottom of the stanza via a solo home run by Chris Jones. The senior outfielder now has four home runs on the season with two of them coming at Harris Field – the other occurring in a regular-season game against Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) on March 7.
The Grizzlies added two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh, while Oklahoma City tacked on one in the ninth to round out the scoring.
Stars starting pitcher J.R. Holloway (9-1) received the loss. Overall, Oklahoma City three eight different pitchers in the game.
Milligan was the bright spot for the Stars’ offense, as the senior had three hits.
Oklahoma City ends the year with a 51-10 record and moves to 36-31 all-time at the World Series.