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LEWISTON, Idaho—The fourth game in five days on the warmest day of the tournament took a toll on the defending NAIA World Series champions as Southeastern was eliminated with an 8-4 loss to second-seeded Science & Arts (Okla.).
A rough start saw the Drovers take a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, sending eight to the plate. Ryan Munoz came on in relief after five hitters and kept the damage to a minimum over the next 6.2 innings of work, striking out three and walking three, tossing 88 pitches.
USAO added a run in the sixth on a bunt single, then added two more in the seventh to hold a 7-0 lead.
The Fire were no-hit through the first six innings, until getting an RBI single from Mike Taylor Jr. with two on in the bottom of the seventh with nobody out. Willie Estrada then followed with an RBI single. The fifth error of the game by USAO brought in a third run, and a groundout with a runner on third by Dominic Anagnos got the Fire within three.
“We didn’t quit,” said coach Adrian Dinkel. “I wish we could have come out on top and not struggled the first half of the game, but the last half of the game the dugout got into it and the guys played hard.”
A leadoff triple by Science & Arts in the top of the ninth set up an insurance run to push the lead back to four on an RBI single through the left side of the infield.
Kyle Wilson tossed the final 2.1 innings in relief, allowing one run on two hits.
The Fire conclude their 2019 season with a 53-12 overall record and went 2-2 during their second World Series appearance.