KINGSPORT, Tenn. - No. 5 seed Culver-Stockton (Mo.) used some clutch hitting, and rode an impressive performance by starting pitcher Cyrus Wimberly to a 4-2 victory over No. 4 seed Bryan (Tenn.) in the first game of the 2014 NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round - Kingsport Bracket on Monday morning.
With the win, the Wildcats (now 29-26 on the year) move onto to face top-seed Missouri Baptist at 6 p.m. this evening. With the defeat, Bryan falls to 33-27 on the year, and will play an elimination game Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.
Bryan got the scoring started in the bottom of the second, as Calvin McMiller launched a pitch over the left field fence for a solo home run, giving the Lions the early 1-0 lead.
Culver-Stockton, however, bounced back quickly, scoring a run in the top of the third to tie the game up at one-all. Nate Olin produced the RBI single for the Wildcats in the frame.
In the sixth, the Wildcats took the lead for good, breaking the 1-1 tie with two runs to go up 3-1. Bryan cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the inning, but the Wildcats managed to plate an insurance run across in the top of the ninth to go up 4-2.
It was all Wimberly needed to close the game out, as Bryan went down in order in the bottom of the ninth. Overall, Wimberly (now 6-6 on the year), struck out nine in the complete game victory, as he forced Bryan to strand nine runners on base in the contest.
At the plate for the Wildcats, Cody Jacobson was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Olin finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. McMiller ended the game with two RBI for Bryan, as starter Chad Burrows (4-3) took the loss for the Lions.