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Foster’s blast sends Belhaven to NAIA World Series

JACKSON — Natchez native Timmy Foster’s two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the game-winner as Belhaven defeated Texas Wesleyan 4-3 in the championship game of the NAIA tournament opening round late Thursday night.

The Blazers will make their first ever appearance in the NAIA World Series.

Belhaven trailed Texas Wesleyan 2-0 after a two-run homer by Travis Spencer when the game was stopped for over two hours due to rain and lightning.

The game resumed at 9:19 with one out in the top of the fourth inning and in the bottom of the fifth Belhaven (43-15) evened the game at 2-2. With one out and the bases loaded, Drew Dillard drove a two-run single into right field plating Mark Gray and Brandon Benton. The Rams prevented further damage in the frame by turning a 5-4-3 double play to get the final two outs and keep the game deadlocked at two apiece.

Texas Wesleyan retook the lead in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Leighton Rush that made the score 3-2.

In the bottom of the inning Lake Eiland started things off with a single to left center and then Foster hit the biggest home run of the season and his career by slamming his 10th round tripper of the year over the wall just to the left of center to put Belhaven on top 4-3. The Blazer bullpen then kept the Rams at bay for the rest of the night to preserve the victory.

“This feels great and this is a great win for the kids,” said Belhaven head coach Hill Denson following the victory. “This has been one of our major objectives as a program to get to the NAIA World Series and it feels good to accomplish that goal.”

Belhaven will be the No. 8 seed in the 10-team tournament that begins May 28 in Lewiston, Idaho.

The Blazers will take on No. 2 seed Point Loma Nazarene in their first game at 2 p.m. local time.

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