LEWISTON, Idaho -- Southeast Tennessee neighbors Tennessee Wesleyan and Lee University are the last teams without a loss in the 2012 NAIA World Series, after both won Monday over Oklahoma schools.
Fourth-seeded Wesleyan edged ninth seed Rogers State 8-6 before No. 2 seed Lee jumped to a six-run lead in three innings on the way to a 7-3 victory over third seed Oklahoma City. The Tennessee schools are scheduled to meet at 9:30 EDT tonight, after Point Park faces Rogers State and LSU Shreveport meets OCU in elimination games.
Top-seeded Shreveport put host Lewis-Clark State out of the tournament with a 7-3 win Monday on a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Wesleyan (50-11) then recorded its 16th win in a row, largely on the strength of a five-run fourth inning that included an RBI double by Dale Ricketts and run-scoring singles by Thomas Sicking and Travis Burnside. Anthony Boix and Stephen Branca were hit back to back by pitches, bringing in a fourth run, and an error on a Jake Stone grounder made it 6-1.
Doubles to left field by Boix and Stone with a Branca bunt hit in between gave TWC a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Jordan Guida homered in the fifth to provide a 7-1 margin for starting pitcher Josh Culler (10-2), who gave up a grand slam to Randy Ramirez in the sixth. Rogers State (47-15) closed to within 7-6 in the seventh on Hector Rivera's second hit of the game, but Guida singled in the seventh, stole second and scored on Ricketts' single.
Following Zach Fleshman to the mound for TWC, Alfonso Yevoli entered with one out and a runner on in the ninth and got a double play for his sixth save.
Branca was 2-for-3 and Guida, Ricketts and Sicking each was 2-for-4 for the Bulldogs.
Blake Barber was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Mike Moore was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI and Edmanuel Rivera was 1-for-2 with two RBIs for Lee (56-9-1). Left-hander Patrick Merkling allowed only three hits in seven innings, and Joe Fabre and Jose Samayoa each pitched an inning to close out the victory.
Rich Hawkins batted in two of OCU's three runs.