William Carey wins in walk-off fashion at NAIA World Series

William Carey wins in walk-off fashion at NAIA World Series

Lewiston, Idaho - William Carey isn't ready to come home to Hattiesburg just yet.

A four-run ninth inning lifted the Crusaders past the University of Science & Arts (Okla.) 6-5 in the elimination bracket of the NAIA World Series.

William Carey trailed the Drovers 5-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth. Wes Brown drew a one-out walk, followed by back-to-back singles from Tyler James and Christian Smith. Petal alum Tyler Graves and James Land drew consecutive bases-loaded walks to cut the deficit to 5-4.

Oak Grove grad Tyler Odom's grounder up the middle opened the window for Science & Arts to end the game with a double play but a wild throw to first base allowed Garrett Shano to score the winning run for William Carey.

"We were very fortunate," said 32nd-year William Carey head coach Bobby Halford. "We basically did what they did in the second inning. When we made mistakes, they capitalized so when they made mistakes, we capitalized. It just so happened it was the right time and it was the last inning."

The Crusaders fell behind early after the Drovers scored five runs in the second inning. Science & Arts wouldn't score again after Carey brought in pitcher Braden Smith. The sophomore from Brookhaven pitched 7.1 shutout innings, improving to 7-3 on the year.

"Braden Smith came in and just shut 'em down," Halford said. "He threw up zeroes for about eight innings so that was the difference in the game."

Dating back to the NAIA regional in Hattiesburg, Monday marks the fifth time in eight postseason games that William Carey has comeback in the ninth inning or later to win.

In addition, Monday's win is the Crusaders' fourth walk-off victory in eight playoff games.

"Just don't give up," Halford said. "I think that's the motto here, is just don't give up. Keep pushing, keep pushing. And we like to say we've been favored by God. God's given us a lot of favor at this time. And it's rewarding when you see this happening and people calling us saying, 'I was thinking about y'all. I was pulling for you.' Then all of a sudden, these miracles keep happening. Being a Christian school and being a Christian myself, it doesn't just happen. There's more to it than that."

William Carey (44-19) advances to play Missouri Baptist on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CT.

The Crusaders fell to Missouri Baptist 16-0 on February 4.