The Cumberland Bulldogs did late Monday night in Idaho what no team had done since March 28 – beat Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Richie Seaton had a walk-off single in the 10th inning, giving Bulldogs an 8-7 victory over the Eagles in the Avista 2014 NAIA Baseball World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.
Oklahoma Wesleyan (56-7) has a quick turnaround and will face Tabor [Kan.] (50-12) in an elimination game today at 3 p.m. PDT.
The loss snapped a 29-game winning streak for the Eagles, who led 7-5 after four innings, but didn’t score again.
OKWU coach Matt Parker said the loss was tough, but the overall experience was exciting.
“I think Cumberland did a tremendous job of continuing to hang around and execute,” Parker said. “I thought it was a good college baseball game and a phenomenal world series game.
“I told our guys that we had chances to score and didn’t; they had chances to score and didn’t. It was kinda back and forth. And for the first time in 30 games, we came out on the short end of the stick.”
Cody Riley got the scoring going with his two-RBI single in the first. The Eagles got up early with three runs and chased CU starter Kevin Greene.
Clint Meadows entered in relief and went the distance after that.
“He did a good job,” Parker said. “They made that change there in the first inning and ultimately he did go 10 innings.
“I thought we did a good job. There were a ton of balls that were hit really hard. We flew out to the track two or three times. We had a couple of other opportunities and good swings and lineouts.
“I thought our offense did a good job, you know, we scored seven runs in the world series. That’s tough to do with good pitching. We just needed eight or nine.”
There were bursts of offense in first half of the game. OKWU took the 3-0 lead into the third when Cumberland got on the board with five runs.
But the Eagles weren’t down long, scoring four more in the top of the fourth. Jeff Butler singled to plate a run and Jose Ruiz took one over the centerfield fence, bringing in three on the blast.
But that would be the end of the OKWU scoring. Cumberland (47-19) picked up a run in the sixth and in the eighth and finally in the 10th.
The Eagles now regroup to take on Tabor, who came from down one in the bottom of the ninth and defeated Georgia Gwinnett, 6-5, on Monday.
“We told our guys that (today) will be the toughest game we play all year,” Parker said. “Simply because Tabor is coming off the high of a walk-off win and we’re coming off the low of a walk-off loss. So that will be the toughest one we’ve dealt with.
“That being said, when the streak was going, people would ask us, ‘How do you win 20 in a row? Or 25? Or 29 in a row?’
“I told them our guys really didn’t focus on anything but the next day. They weren’t concerned with how many we had won in a row. And I told our guys that same speech will serve them well now, because I don’t think that what happened yesterday, being a loss. We’ll go right into that we haven’t won a game today.
“One of our guys said it best and I agree, ‘The last time we lost a game, we won 29 straight after that.’ So I think we’ll be tough to play.”