LEWISTON, Idaho – The Southeastern University baseball team’s pursuit for a national championship came up short, as the Fire were eliminated from the 2021 Avista-NAIA World Series by the host Lewis-Clark State College Warriors by a score of 10-6.
“This team has been the most resilient group I’ve coached in the last 16 years,” shared SEU head coach Adrian Dinkel. “They’ve had every opportunity to give up on themselves with all the injuries we’ve had this year and they didn’t. I want them to remember all the postive things they accomplished.”
The Fire jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to solo home runs by senior outfielder Carter Bridge in the top of the second and senior first baseman Nick Bottari in the top of the third. For Bridge, it was his second homer of the tournament and for Bottari, hit was his third long ball of the series in as many games played.
The Warriors answered with four runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 lead over SEU.
Junior right-handed pitcher DJ Roberts was able to compile four-straight scoreless innings from the bottom of the fourth through the bottom of the seventh to keep the Fire in contention.
SEU got one back at the plate in the top of the fifth, thanks to an RBI-single to right field off the bat of senior designated hitter Colton Onstott that brought Bottari home and trimmed the deficit to 4-3.
An RBI-double to left-center off the bat of Carter Bridge scored Onstott in the top of the eighth and tied things up 4-4. Bridge finished the World Series hitting .615 (8-13), with seven runs scored, five extra-base hits, and six RBIs.
The Fire took a 5-4 lead over the Warriors later in the frame, thanks to a defensive miscue that allowed Pedro Castellano to come home. An RBI-single off the bat of Thomas Broyles to center field scored Carter Bridge and grew the SEU lead to 6-4.
A six-run inning in the bottom of the eight for LC State turned the momentum in their favor, as the Warriors retook the lead 10-6.
Southeastern finishes the season 51-9, the program’s fourth-straight 50-win season under Coach Dinkel.