HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - When it comes to the William Carey University baseball team, never say never.
After winning three regional baseball games with ninth-inning heroics to reach the 2017 Avista National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series, the Crusaders conjured some last-at-bats magic again Monday morning.
Pinch-runner Garrett Shano capped a four-run rally, scoring from second base on an overthrow at first base on Tyler Odom's grounder, as the ninth-seeded Crusaders walked-off a 6-5 victory to stun the seventh-seeded University of Arts and Sciences of Oklahoma.
With the victory, the Crusaders (44-19) advance to an 11:30 a.m. Tuesday game against the loser of Monday's Missouri Baptist University-Faulkner University game.
The Drovers (44-17) were eliminated after suffering their second loss in three games. UASO lost to The Masters 7-3 in the opening round before beating Oklahoma Wesleyan University 8-2 to stay alive in the elimination bracket.
Monday, the Crusaders led 1-0 after the first inning scoring on a botched double-play relay, but the Drovers roughed up Carey starting pitcher Devin Smith for five runs to grab a four-run lead.
The Crusaders cut the deficit to 5-2 with a run in the third on catcher Tyler Graves' seventh home run of the season, and from there, the teams swapped zeroes on the scoreboard until the final inning.
Carey reliever Braden Smith (7-3), who got the final out in the second, picked up the win, scattering four hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings. He didn't walk a batter, while striking out four.
OASU starter Carson Corff pitched into the ninth inning, allowing 5 runs on 10 hits. He walked two, while striking out five. Reliever Carlos Pimental took the loss, allowing a run while walking two without recording an out.
Graves paced a 10-hit WCC offense with three hits, while right fielder Christian Smith also had three hits and scored twice. Odom was 2 for 5 with a run batted in, while shortstop Wes Brown had a hit and scored a run.