Belhaven falls in first game of NAIA World Series

Published 12:35 am Saturday, May 29, 2010

LEWISTON, Idaho — Belhaven’s first ever NAIA World Series game didn’t turn out the way the Blazers had hoped, as they collected just six hits in a 9-1 loss to Point Loma Nazarine.

The Blazers (43-16) couldn’t take advantage of four Point Loma errors and stranded 11 runners on base in the loss.

Point Loma Nazarene (39-18-1) took the lead in the bottom of the first inning with a run off Blazers starter Brandt Hinton. Tyler Kuehl ripped an RBI double down the right field line to make it 1-0.

Point Loma added two more runs in the fifth and three in the six to extend the edge to 6-0. Steven Winnick had an RBI ground out and Wes Kartch came home for the second run in the fifth inning on an error by Lake Eiland. In the sixth, Rashad Taylor doubled home a run, while Winnick and Kartch slammed RBI singles to make it a 6-0 game in favor of Point Loma.

Belhaven’s lone run came in the top of the seventh as Paul Moreno and Drew Dillard opened the inning with singles. Jimmy Gilford followed with a sacrifice fly to left to get the Blazers on the scoreboard and avoid the shutout as Moreno came in from third base on the play.

Unfortunately, the Sea Lions were able to put the game away in the eighth with three more runs on three hits. Taylor tallied another RBI on a double to left, Kartch came up with a run scoring base hit to right, and eventually came around to score on a throwing error by third baseman Craig Dean. The Blazers then went quietly in the top of the ninth as Point Loma secured the victory.

Blauer ended up going the distance for the Sea Lions as he gave up just one run on six hits while striking out 11 to improve to 12-2 on the season.

Kuehl, Kartch, and Taylor all had three hits apiece and while Taylor, Kartch and Winnick each had two runs batted in to lead the Point Loma offense.

Hinton suffered the loss for Belhaven as he tossed 7.1 innings, allowing all nine runs on 12 hits. Hinton struck out two as he lost for the first time this year and is now 12-1 in 2010.

Dillard went 2 for 5 at the plate and Lake Eiland, Timmy Foster, Dean, and Moreno had one hit apiece. Gilford had the only run batted in of the day for Belhaven.

The Blazers will now face Lubbock Christian University in an elimination game on Saturday morning starting at 10:30 at Harris Field. Lubbock Christian lost to Lee University 7-6 on a walk off home run by Jose Cuevas in the bottom of the ninth inning.