NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round Day Four Recap
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Day Four Highlights
- There were seven games played on day four of the 2021 Baseball National Championship Opening Round. The remainder of the field was determined as Concordia (Neb.), Oklahoma Wesleyan, Georgia Gwinnett, Keiser (Fla), Faulkner (Ala.), Central Methodist (Mo.) and LSU Shreveport (La.) earned wins on Thursday.
- The most thrilling finish of the day came in Bellevue, Neb., as the Concordia (Neb.) needed late-inning heroics to punch its ticket to Idaho. The Bulldogs were down 5-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but plated four to take a 7-5 lead. That advantage stood as Concordia will head to the World Series for the first time in program history.
- Concordia hit three home runs in the bottom of the eighth including the one that gave the Bulldogs the lead for good. Jakob Faulk hit his second homer of the day to give his team a 6-5 lead. Nathan Buckallew got the final four outs on the mound for the Bellevue Bracket champs.
- Georgia Gwinnett jumped-out to a 4-0 lead with a four-run second inning and never looked back as the team from Lawrenceville, Ga., is set to return to Lewiston, Idaho. The Grizzlies began the inning with a leadoff homerun from Nick Barnes and plated three with two outs in the inning.
- Faulkner (Ala.) won the day’s most lopsided game in a 20-10 win over Vanguard (Calif.). Center fielder Sam Anthony went four-for-five at the plate with two home runs and seven RBI.
- Central Methodist (Mo.) will make its first trip to the World Series after a 7-2 win over William Carey (Miss.). The Eagles scored all seven of their runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings while their pitching held the Crusaders to two runs on just five hits. Kenny Otero improved his record to 9-2 after allowing one run on five hits in five innings of work.
- Oklahoma Wesleyan was hot at the plate yet again and completed its Marion Bracket play with a 12-4 win over Indiana Tech. The Eagles were led at the plate by Cody Muncy. The first baseman went four-for-five at the plate with five RBI, including a double and a home run. Billy Wall went the distance on the hill and allowed four runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in his nine-innings of work.
- LSU Shreveport (La.) got solid pitching from all four hurlers it rolled-out on Thursday. The Pilots allowed just one run on seven hits. The staff as a whole combined for eight strikeouts. Payton Robertson led the way at the plate and recorded two RBI with a double in his three-hit day.
- Central Methodist, Keiser and Concordia will all be making its first trip to the World Series.
- Of the opening round champions, Faulkner leads the list in making its eighth appearance at the World Series.
- Records by seeds through day four
- No. 1 seed: 18-12
- No. 2 seed: 22-12
- No. 3 seed: 16-17
- No. 4 seed: 13-18
- No. 5 seed: 8-18
- Records by seeds on day four
- No. 1 seed: 3-1
- No. 2 seed: 3-2
- No. 3 seed: 1-1
- No. 4 seed: 0-2
- No. 5 seed: 0-1
- The 12th annual opening round event takes place from May 17-20 at nine host locations. The format is a five-team, double-elimination tournament.
- The nine opening round champions join Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at the 64th annual Avista NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho, May 28 – June 4. For World Series fan and visitor information, click here.