(1) Lee 12, (4) Avila 3
CLEVELAND, Tenn. (Lee/WRCB) -- The two top seeds advanced in the opening round of the NAIA national tournament at Olympic Field on Thursday afternoon.
No. 18 Madonna (Mich.) defeated No. 24 LSU-Shreveport, 8-0 and top-seeded Lee downed Avila (Mo.) 12-3.
The Flames broke open a tight contest with a seven-run fifth inning to move in front 8-1. Lee sent eleven batters to the plate in the frame, which featured a two-run home run from Danny Canela and a two-run double Cameron Brewster.
Brady Renner and Derrick Pitts collected an RBI in the inning.
The Eagles fought back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, but Lee salted the victory away with a single run in the seventh and three more in the eighth.
Pitts had a double, two singles and scored twice to pace Lee's 17-hit attack. Canela finished with two hits and three RBI. Karsten Strieby, Corey Davis, and Rader had two hits apiece. Davis also crossed the plate three times.
"We've been a big inning team all season and that happened in the fifth tonight to break open a close game against a scrapping Avila team," said coach Mark Brew. "We hit the ball hard in the earlier innings but were unable to muster much offense."
Myles Smith started for the Flames and picked up his 11th win of the year against three defeats. Smith worked six innings and allowed four hits and one earned run. He walked four and struck out four.
Friday's play begins at noon and pits Grand View (Iowa) a 7-0 loser to Avila against LSU-Shreveport. The Flames and Madonna will square off at 3:30, while the winner of the Grand View, LSUS game will be pitted against Avila in the nightcap.
(1) Tennessee Wesleyan 12, (4) Taylor 4
KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AAC/WRCB) -- Top-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan began defense of its 2012 national championship with a bang on Thursday evening, rolling past fourth-seeded Taylor (Ind.), 12-4, as part of the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round - Kingsport Bracket at Hunter Wright Stadium.
With the win, TWC (44-16) moves on in the winners bracket to take on third-seeded Missouri Baptist Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Wesleyan put the game out of reach early by jumping to a 9-1 lead in the fifth inning. The Bulldogs laced 19 hits in the contest, including three doubles.
The run support was more than enough for TWC starter Jarrod Jameson to work with, as the AAC Pitcher of the Year went to 14-0 on the year after allowing two runs in six innings of work.
TWC was led at the dish by right fielder Trey Griffin, who went 3-for-5, with four RBI and two runs scored. Catcher Josh McCray was also 3-for-5 in the win, while center fielder Travis Burnside went 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored.
For Taylor, DH Taylor Luna led the way at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3 on the night. TU starter Josh DeGraff (8-2) took the loss for the Trojans.
Information provided by Lee University Media Relations and AAC Media Relations.
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