William Carey University defeated Hope International University 11-8 in the first round of the Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series on Friday night in Lewiston, Idaho.
WCU got on the board early by scoring four runs over the first three innings, but HIU managed to tie the game at four in the fourth inning.
Tyler Odom hit a three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to give WCU a 3-run lead, but HIU retaliated with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at seven each.
William Carey managed to reclaim the lead with two runs in the eighth inning, but HIU cut the lead to one after scoring a run in the bottom of the eighth.
Southern States Athletic Conference player of the year James Land gave WCU a couple of insurance runs by hitting his 20th home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning, and HIU could not get anything going in the bottom of the ninth to give the Crusaders an 11-8 victory.
Starting pitcher Cole Edgens pitched 4 and 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs and striking out six for WCU.
After the win, William Carey is scheduled to face first-seeded Oklahoma City tomorrow at 8:30 p.m.