LEWISTON, IDAHO, MAY 29 — No. 4 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) beat No. 2 Faulkner (Ala.), 10-8 to advance to their third-successive championship final at the 2015 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series on Thursday night.
The win saw the Warriors, who were advancing to its 24th championship in program history, setting up a date to play No. 9 St. Thomas (Fla.) in Friday night’s final.
Tied 7-7 entering the seventh-inning, Lewis-Clark State (45-12) fell behind 8-7 in the contest after Randy Joung blasted a homer for the second-seeded Eagles at the top of the seventh.
However, the Warriors, who had been beaten 12-10 by Faulkner on Tuesday night, rallied to score the last three runs in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win that put them in hunt of the club’s 17th national title.
“That’s Warrior baseball,” head coach Jeremiah Robbins said on the LCSC website.
It was another impressive outing for Beau Kerns and Ty Jackson, who played keys role in the victory.
Kerns, earning his 12th win on the year, pitched for seven innings and had six strike outs. He allowed three runs from eight hits and impressively held Faulkner’s powerhouse offense limited.
“Ty was a catalyst for us again,” Robbins said.
“He believes in himself and he believes in his teammates. That’s the thing about this club: They put in the work and they just grind.”
Lewis-Clark State (ID) vs. St. Thomas (FL) (NAIA Baseball World Series). Follow Live Stats | Watch Live Video Streaming on ESPN3 | 9:30 p.m. ET
A relief Kerns is now looking forward to helping the Warriors clinched its first championship since 2008.
“Back to the championship game — nothing better,” elated Kerns said on the school’s official website as he prepares for what is expected to be challenging contest against St. Thomas (Fla.).
“Gotta go get it though.”
Kerns heads into Friday night’s NAIA World Series title game with some impressive figures, include boasting a World Series tournament-high 18 strikeouts to go along with his two wins and two saves.
“I just go out and do what I know how to do,” the Idaho native said. “I can go out and grind — and I love it.”
Jackson, who played a winning role in Lewis-Clark State’s 2-0 win over No. 6 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), returned to lead the Warriors’ offense with two runs scored and three RBI.
Come Friday night, Lewis-Clark State will battle with No. 9 St. Thomas (Fla.) (48-17), a team that also defeated Faulkner on their way to punching a ticket to the first-ever NAIA Baseball World Series championship game.
The Bobcats, who were idle during Thursday’s eliminator, booked their place in the final on the back of a 10-inning, 6-3, comeback thriller Wednesday night.