William Carey going to NAIA World Series
Published 11:52 am Monday, May 22, 2017
William Carey University is a 2017 NAIA World Series team.
The Crusaders captured their regional after defeating Southeastern University of Florida, 10-9, in the championship game, capping off the regionals that took place Monday through Thursday at William Carey.
Devin Smith, a 2015 Mt. Hermon graduate, is a member of William Carey’s team.
The Crusaders, who were third-seeded in the event, played several close games throughout the tournament. Every contest the Crusaders played was decided by three runs or fewer.
They began play Monday with a 4-3 victory over second-seeded Texas Wesleyan, after scoring four runs in the ninth inning to win it.
The game was scoreless through seven innings, but Texas Wesleyan scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth before the Crusaders put up four in the ninth for the victory.
William Carey lost to top-seeded Southeastern of Florida, 5-2, the following day.
Southeastern took a 2-0 lead through three, but William Carey tied the contest in the fifth with a pair of runs. Southeastern put up the game’s final three runs in the seventh.
That put the Crusaders in a win or go home situation. They needed to win the first game Wednesday to have an opportunity to play for the title and then they needed two wins in the championship round.
They got it done and again, every game was close.
William Carey began Wednesday with a 6-5 victory over Texas Wesleyan.
Each team tallied twice in the first inning. Texas went up 4-2 in the fifth, but the Crusaders tied it in the sixth after posted two runs. Texas retook the lead in the seventh, 5-4, but William Carey scored a pair of runs in the ninth for the victory.
Smith allowed five runs over 6-1/3 innings and picked up a no decision. William Carey trailed 5-4 when he left. It stayed that way until the ninth when the Crusaders scored twice for the win.
That put them in the championship round and they had to defeat Southeastern of Florida twice or their season would be over.
The theme of the close games continued.
In William Carey’s second game on Wednesday, the Crusaders were a 6-4 winner over Southeastern in 10 innings.
Southeastern had a 2-0 lead through six innings. William Carey tied it with a run each in the seventh and eight innings, but Southeastern countered with two in the eighth to go up, 4-2. William Carey answered with two in the ninth to send the game to extra innings where the Crusaders scored twice in the ninth and held Southeastern scoreless to force a deciding game that was played Thursday.
In Thursday’s action, the teams played a high-scoring game from the start, as the Crusaders won, 10-9.
Neither team scored more than three runs in any inning. William Carey led 2-1 after the first, but Southeastern put up five straight to go up 6-2 after 3.5 innings.
Williams Carey scored once in the third, but after a scoreless fourth, Southeastern added two more to take an 8-3 lead after 4.5 innings.
The Crusaders came back with six straight runs, scoring three each in the fifth and sixth innings to go up 9-8.
Southeastern tied things in the seventh inning at 9-9. William Carey scored the winning run in the ninth and punched their ticket to the NAIA World Series.
The World Series will take place May 26 through June 2 in Lewiston, Idaho.