From Lee Sports Information
Lee Univeristy’s baseball Flames moved to within one win of another trip to Lewiston, Idaho and the NAIA College World Series by downing Madonna University (Mich.) 9-2 in the NAIA National Tournament on Friday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Grand View downed third-seeded LSU-Shreveport, and In the final game on Friday, Aliva (Mo.) eliminated Grand View, 12-10. Avila will be pitted against Madonna at 2:00 on Saturday and that winner will need to defeat Lee twice to advance to the World Series. The Flames are slated to play at 6 p.m.
“We are right where we wanted to be, but we can’t be over confident,” said coach Mark Brew after Friday’s win over a Madonna team that had beaten the Flames, 4-3 back in March. “We are hitting the ball up and down the line-up and we probably should have scored more than nine runs with the 18 hits we got today.”
When Lee scores first Brew’s 48-10 and third-ranked Flames usually win. They moved out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning with four straight singles by Corey Davis, Karsten Strieby, Brandon Rader and Cameron Brewster, who posted one RBI and Mark Silva drove how the other run with a fielder’s choice.
Madonna rallied for a single tally in the third on a double by Alex Charles and a RBI single by Brad Lineberry. Lee waited no time in moving out to a 4-1 margin in the third. Danny Canela had one-base knock and Davis ripped a double. Strieby and Brewster followed with RBI hits.
The Flames ended any hopes of a Crusader comeback in the fourth by pouring on four more runs and claiming an 8-2 lead. Brady Renner doubled to begin the rally. Josh Silver stroked a RBI single. Derrick Pitts reached on an error and Canela immediately followed with an RBI hit. Strieby seals the deal with a hit that pushed the final two runs of the inning across the dish. The final score can in the seventh when Rader singled and scored on Renner’s second double of the day.
Canela and Strieby had three hits apiece to pace the Lee attack. Strieby also drove in three runs. Davis collected a double and single and scored. Silver had his usual two hits. Rader and Brewster also posted a pair of hits.
“Our guys had a good approach at the plate,” noted Brew. “The Madonna pitcher (Jeremy Gooding) beat us earlier in the season, but our guys took a lot of his pitches to right field today and it paid off.” Brew went on to praise the hitting approach of three of his top hitters, Canela, Davis and Strieby. “But we hit well up and down the line-up today and we are a hard team to beat when we do that.”
Lee used five pitchers that limited Madonna to just five hits. Jose Samayoa (10-1) got the victory. He hurled five innings of four-hit ball, fanning seven and walking two. Jeremy Stawychny, Alex Moore, Keegan Yuhl and Andy Hillis followed Samayoa to the hill. Moore had and Hillis recorded two strikeouts, and the relievers gave up just one hit over four innings. All totaled the Flames fanned 12 Crusaders.
“We got another chance to give our bullpen some work and they all should be ready to return, if needed,” said Brew. The Lee skipper said he would start lefty Clint Terry (9-1) in Saturday’s game.
While Gooding was the losing pitcher, four other Madonna pitchers worked. Justin Cook homered in the fourth inning and no other Crusader batter had more than one hit.