LEWISTON, Idaho -They had been there before, just not in the World Series.
Southeastern was down six runs after five innings and came back for a 9-7 win over the defending national champions in Georgia Gwinnett in their first game of the 2022 Avista NAIA World Series.
Sam Faith’s two-out, two-run homer to center in the bottom of the ninth sealed the dramatic comeback.
“It doesn’t matter who we are playing, we’re just ecstatic to be out here,” said Faith. “I had a lot of guys picking me up after my second strikeout and that flipped me around because you can’t go far if you don’t have a team that backs you like the guys we do.”
The Grizzlies (46-15) took a 2-0 lead on a pair of two-out solo homers in the first and racked up four more during the fifth on four hits and an error.
Southeastern responded in the bottom of the inning with an RBI double by Thomas Broyles and a sacrifice fly by Brian Fuentes. Gary Lora got the team within a run with a three-run homer to center to complete the five-run inning.
Broyles scored on a throwing error when GGC attempted to turn a double play in the seventh to tie the game and Faith gave the Fire their first lead of the night on an RBI single.
A throwing error in the eighth allowed the Grizzlies to tie the game, but also set the stage for Faith.
Abdel Guadalupe doubled to lead off the inning for his team-best third hit of the game and Faith’s homer gave the Fire their 55th win in 58 games.
In eight postseason games this season, Faith is hitting .516 with three home runs and 11 RBIs after his 2-for-5 night.
Alex Munroe picked up the win, going an inning and a third scoreless in relief of Robb Adams. Adams tossed 133 pitches over 7.2 innings allowing four earned on seven hits with 10 strikeouts.
Southeastern will now face LSU Shreveport on Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern.