Pilots' season ends at Avista-NAIA World Series
June 01, 2011LEWISTON, Idaho - The Pilot's season came to an end at the hand of the Concordia University Eagles on Wednesday afternoon at Harris Field in the 2011 Avista-NAIA World Series by a final score of 8-4. The Pilots loaded the bases in the top of the eighth when Justin Brodnax's line drive calmed down enough for the Eagle's right fielder to make the catch and end the Pilot's threat.
Concordia punched its ticket to the title game of the Avista-NAIA World Series with an 8-4 victory over No. 4-seeded LSU Shreveport at Harris Field on Wednesday. The ninth-seeded Eagles (42-19) advance to the championship game in only their second appearance in the World Series. They must wait until the conclusion of the Lee and Lubbock Christian game for their schedule to be determined.
The Pilots exit from their second World Series with the loss and conclude their season with a record of 47-15.
Concordia's offense has consistently produced runs in its games in Lewiston and the victory over LSU Shreveport was no exception. Against the Pilots, the Eagles pounded out 13 hits for eight runs with six batters driving in runs. Concordia has scored 32 runs, the most among all teams at the World Series, off of 50 hits, batting .309.
The Eagles' offense went to work right away, putting six runs on the board in the first two innings. Through two frames, Concordia sent 14 batters to the plate, collected eight hits and took advantage of four LSU Shreveport errors.
In the top of the third, the Pilots were able to push a run across to cut the lead to 6-1. Curtis Beaudoin connected for a one-out double down the left-field line. He came around to score as the next batter, Justin Brodnax, took an 0-2 pitch to left-center. Brodnax was left stranded as the following two batters flied out.
Concordia pushed its lead to 8-1 with two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth. As they did in their previous scoring innings, the Eagles sent six batters to the plate and again took advantage of LSU Shreveport miscues. Ryan Sheeks was issued a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single by Tyler Derby. Both runners moved up a base on Danny Casey's sacrifice bunt and came around to score on a bobble by Pilot third baseman Shawn Moy.
Facing a six-run deficit, LSU Shreveport attempted to narrow the gap in the top of the eighth. With one out and a 3-1 hitter's count, Kevin Smith drove a Dean Persinger pitch over the center-field wall for the 16th home run of his senior season. Persinger responded by striking out Chase Wentz for the second out. Michael Diffie staged a two-out rally for the Pilots with a single to left, followed by back-to-back walks to Moy and Kyle Pearson to load the bases. Persinger was replaced on the mound by Jacob McBride, who allowed Beaudoin to drive in Diffie on an infield single. That is all that LSU Shreveport would get though, as Brodnax lined out to end the rally.
McBride went on to retire the final three Piolt batters on two ground outs and a fly out to pick up the save. Persinger improved to 8-4 on the mound in 7 2/3 innings of work for the Eagles. The senior struck out 10 LSU Shreveport batters, scattered seven hits and surrendered four earned runs.
Jared Mata (6-5) was charged with the loss in his final outing for the Pilots. He tossed just 1 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on five hits. Cole Newell relieved his senior counterpart and gave up five hits and three runs in three innings. Cade Bowen also appeared for 3 2/3 innings, holding Concordia to three hits and no runs.
The Eagles' balanced attack saw eight batters collect a hit in the victory, including multi-hit games from Matt Ivanoff (3), Kyle Konicek (3) and Derby (2). John Hill drove in a pair of runs and five other Concordia batters knocked in a run.
Diffie and Beaudoin each had two hits for LSU Shreveport in their final game. The seniors were 2-for-3 and 2-for-4, respectively, with an RBI each.