NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round Day One Recap
Day One Highlights
- There were 24 games scheduled on day one of the 2021 Baseball National Championship Opening Round.
- Three teams – McPherson (Kan.), Ottawa (Kan.) and Saint Katherine (Calif.) – claimed their first-ever victories in the opening round.
- The Kingsport bracket again proved to be among the most exciting as it tends to this time of year. Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) led early, but needed a ninth-inning tally to complete the victory. Toby Walker singled-in Hogan Heck to vide the Cougars the lead as Cruz McFadden entered in the bottom-half to pick-up the save in a 15-pitch outing.
- IU Southeast (Ind.) grabbed the win in the highest scoring affair by both teams, and in the most thrilling fashion. The Grenadiers erased a six-run deficit after the first inning to come back to win it in the ninth. Four runs in the final frame was capped-off with a two-run walk-off home run by Brody Tanksley to give his team the win.
- In perhaps the most stunning upset of the day, Bellevue (Neb.) knocked-off Science & Arts (Okla.) 4-2. The Bruins were able to get a run in the first off 2019 NAIA Pitcher of the Year Colton Williams, and added another in the sixth and a pair in the eighth. Bellevue’s Corey Jackson went the distance and struck-out 16 in a 127-pitch effort.
- Point Park (Pa.) ruined the day for another No. 1-seed as the Pioneers grabbed a 6-2 win over Cumberlands (Ky.). The team from Pittsburgh jumped-out to a 4-0 lead in the second and never looked back. Jouseph Renovales hit a grand slam to right on a 3-1 pitch to give his team a commanding early lead. Ryan Huber struck-out nine in seven and a third innings.
- Records by seeds through day one
- No. 1 seed: 4-2
- No. 2 seed: 8-1
- No. 3 seed: 1-8
- No. 4 seed: 8-6
- No. 5 seed: 3-7
- 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.