CLEVELAND, Tenn. – A tight battle from start to finish in the end didn’t go the Bacone Warriors way as the fell 3-2 to Avila (Mo.) on Friday, May 11 in day two action of the NAIA National Championship opening round.
Both squads were deadlocked at 0-0 until the Warriors got rolling in the third inning; John Freese led off with a single, pinch runner Garland Norton made it to second off a sacrifice bunt from Will Simms with one out. Norton later scored off a single by Antonio Horn; Enrique Meza also came home on a wild throw and the Warriors went up 2-0 after three innings.
The Eagles trimmed the lead to 2-1 after scoring in the top of the fifth; the Warriors threatened to get the run back when Kyle Pietryga reached third with two outs but Lester Gonzalez would fly out to end the inning. Avila struck back once again in the seventh on a single to tie at 2-2.
In the top of the eighth the Eagles led off with a double by Cameron Luitwieler off starter Jesse Fish; Luitwieler got some help when centerfielder Anthony Seabolt lost his footing on what would have been a routine flyout. The runner later scored in the inning and Avila jumped in front 3-2 entering the final frame.
After holding the Eagles scoreless the Warriors first two batters went down by strikeout, Gonzalez ended the game with a pop out to the first base foul territory.
For Bacone, Horn finished two for four with an RBI; Fish pitched solid, allowing three runs in eight innings.
The loss ended the Warriors season at 29-25; which is the highest win total since 2009.