• LEWISTON, Idaho—Cruising into the bottom of the ninth inning with a three-run lead behind starting pitcher Shay Crawford, the fifth-seeded Lee University baseball team gave up five walks and four runs and lost 5-4 to fourth seed LSU-Shreveport as the Avista-NAIA World Series got under way Friday. Tennessee Wesleyan lost by the same score in the late game against host Lewis-Clark State, which took a 5-0 lead and held off the Bulldogs. Lee’s Flames (47-13) would have been off until Monday with a win but now must play this morning against Faulkner, a fellow Southern States Athletic Conference member that Lee didn’t face this season with the advent of divisional play. Faulkner (48-14) lost 7-2 in the tournament opener against Concordia from California. Jonathan Clark, Chris Grayson, Travis Anderson and Seth Walker each was 2-for-4 for Lee, Grayson twice driving in Clark, and Michael Brown had a home run. Crawford struck out 15 batters and allowed only four hits and one walk, but after hitting the first batter he faced in the ninth he was relieved by Kris Hall, who has eight saves this season. Hall walked two batters, and then Maxx Catapano (8-4) gave up an RBI hit and two RBI walks and took the loss when Matt Passauer walked in the winning run after getting a forceout, a flyout and an 0-2 count. For 10th-seeded Wesleyan, Ryan Santos was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Anthony Boix also drove in two runs, Stephen Branca was 3-for-5 and Rafael Carlot was 2-for-4. After leaving two runners on base down 5-0 in the fifth inning, TWC broke through in the sixth for three runs. Cody Gaskill reached base on an error, David Bergin singled, Sam Munson loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice, Boix drew an RBI walk and Santos singled in two runs. Boix singled in another run in the eighth, and Branca led off the bottom of the ninth with a single but was stranded with a strikeout and two flyouts.
• NASHVILLE — Leadoff batter Derek Hamblen, who lived in Ooltewah the early years of his life before moving to Plano, Texas, hit a two-out, two-run home run in the ninth inning to give Belmont University a 6-4 win over Mercer and a berth in today’s championship game of the Atlantic Sun Conference baseball tournament. The Bruins (35-24) will have two chances to win the title, if necessary. Hamblen was 2-for-4 and Baylor graduate Dylan Craig also had an RBI. In Thursday’s 4-1 win over Kennesaw State, McCallie grad Chase Brookshire (5-4) pitched a complete-game eight-hitter, Craig was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs and Hamblen was 2-for-4 with two runs and his 26th stolen base.
• JACKSON, Tenn. — Jake Sharrock from Gordon Lee High School and Sam Eberle from Notre Dame each went 2-for-4 and combined to score six runs as the Nos. 2 and 3 batters in Jacksonville State’s lineup in an 8-2 win Thursday against Southeast Missouri State in the Ohio Valley Conference baseball tournament. Outfielder Sharrock homered and scored four runs and catcher Eberle doubled and drove in two. The Gamecocks had edged UT-Martin on Wednesday, 9-8, with Eberle going 3-for-5 and he and Sharrock each batting in a run. Sharrock was 3-for-5 and Eberle scored the run in Friday’s 4-1 loss to Austin Peay. Going into that game, Eberle had JSU’s second best batting average, .353, and team highs of 83 hits, eight home runs, 19 doubles, 51 RBIs and 45 runs, while Sharrock was hitting .309 with 16 extra-base hits, 34 RBIs and 36 runs. Tennessee Tech freshman Zach Stephens from Soddy-Daisy was 1-for-3 with the Golden Eagles’ RBI on a double in a 2-1 loss Thursday to Austin Peay. That left Stephens with a .317 average and team highs of 49 RBIs, 10 homers and 13 doubles. Tech (25-29) lost 6-1 to SEMO on Friday.
• Sewanee senior outfielder Joe Reilly was elected to the All-South Region third team for NCAA Division III by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Reilly, a first-team All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference selection, batted .425 this season, second best in the SCAC.
• The Chattanooga Football Club will begin its quest for a spot in the main draw of the U.S. Open Cup tonight at Finley Stadium against Rocket City United. Rocket City defeated FC Tulsa 7-1 Friday to earn a spot in the semifinals. Kenniel Hyde scored four goals for Rocket City. In the other semifinal, the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves will take on Jacksonville United FC, which beat the Knoxville Force 1-0 on Friday. Today’s winners will meet Sunday for a spot in the first round.
• SILVIS, Ill. — Lee University slipped to a 309 on Friday and wound up tied for 10th in the 2011 NAIA men’s golf tournament at TPC Deere Run. The Flames totaled 1,199 for 72 holes, 18 behind third-place South Carolina-Beaufort. Oklahoma Christian shot 1,150 and won the tournament by 22 strokes over British Columbia, and the Eagles’ Oscar Stark and Axel Ochoa were first and second individually at 280 and 285. Lee’s Jeremy Lawson and JB Eksteen tied for 20th and 24th at 296 and 298. Tyler Smith tied for 42nd, and Caleb Roberson and Hunter Vest tied for 68th and 74th. Lawson’s 76 was the Flames’ best score Friday. “We are certainly disappointed in our round today,” coach John Maupin said. “We felt we had a good opportunity to finish in the top five, and we weren’t quite able to hang on to that. However, ... this is the highest finish we have ever had at the national tournament, and I think that is a great accomplishment.”