LEWISTON, Idaho - No. 4 seed Tennessee Wesleyan belted five home runs en route to a 17-3 romp over No. 5 seed Embry-Riddle (Fla.) in the third game of the AVISTA-NAIA World Series on Friday at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho.
The win is the first-ever by the Bulldogs (49-11 overall) at the AVISTA-NAIA World Series as they are now 1-4 all-time. Tennessee Wesleyan joins Union (Ky.) as the only Appalachian Athletic Conference schools to get a win at the event.
Tennessee Wesleyan wasted little time in seizing control of the game, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. The Bulldogs sent 10 batters to the plate and took advantage of two Eagle errors in grabbing the 5-0 lead.
Embry-Riddle (43-17 overall) pieced together a three-run rally in the second to make it a 5-3 game, but Levi Drew belted a solo home run in the third to put Tennessee Wesleyan up 6-3. In the fifth, Dale Ricketts launched a two-run homer as part of a three-run rally as Tennessee Wesleyan's lead grew to 9-3.
Taylor Oldham homered in the sixth, and the Bulldogs added three runs in the seventh for a 13-3 cushion. In the eighth, Stephen Branca blasted a three-run shot and Jake Stone tacked on a solo shot to give Tennessee Wesleyan a 17-3 margin.
Branca led Tennessee Wesleyan with four RBIs on a 2-for-6 performance, while Ricketts drove in three. Oldham finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and Stone was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Jeremy Fitzgerald improved to 11-0 on the year as he lasted seven innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits and one walk with three strikeouts.
Tennessee Wesleyan will play again Monday at 3 p.m. PDT against the winner of the No. 1 seed LSU-Shreveport/No. 9 Rogers State game.
To view the complete box score, click here.
To view the complete tournament schedule, click here.