The top ranked Eagles faced the #8 seeded Cairn University in the opening round of the NCCAA Division II World Series in Mason, Ohio on Wednesday afternoon. The Eagles jumped to an early lead and used a 7 run fourth inning to defeat Cairn 11 – 0 to advance to the second round.
TFC’s Josh Ward led off the game with a walk and a stolen base and would score on Jordan Couillard’s sacrifice fly to give the Eagles an early 1 – 0 advantage. TFC would add another in the run in the third before blowing the game open with 7 runs in the fourth to take a 9 – 0 lead. The game would end after just five innings when senior Corey Warner crushed a two-run homer to put the Eagles ahead 11 -0 and over the run rule limit.
While the offense was doing their part, starting pitcher Zach Breeden was just as sharp for the Eagles. Breeden earned the win and pitched a complete game shutout. Breeden threw five innings, allowed two hits, no runs, and struck out 6.
Several Eagles contributed offensively in the victory. Shortstop Jordan Couillard drove in three runs. Zack Warner and Corey Warner each drove in two runs for the Eagles. Will Patrick and Ronnie Stewart each had an RBI. Zack Warner, Adam Reynolds, and Couillard had two hits apiece. Josh Ward stole two bases as the Eagles lead off man.
In Wednesday’s nightcap, TFC faced a familiar opponent in the second round of the World Series. Toccoa Falls and region foe Clearwater Christian College have previously faced off 6 times this season before Wednesday’s matchup. The #1 Eagles have won five of the previous contests over #4 Clearwater. Clearwater advanced to the second round with a 2-0 victory over #5 Arlington Baptist College. The Eagles plated at least one run in all but one inning against the Clearwater Cougars and cruised to a 16-2 victory.
Toccoa Falls scored four runs in the top of the first inning to jump to a very quick 4-0 lead. TFC would add a run in the second, three in the third, four in the fourth, and three more runs in the 7<sup>th</sup> to plate 16 runs in the game. TFC’s total of 16 runs was their largest offensive outburst at the World Series in their history, besting the 15 runs scored against Philadelphia Bible College in 2011’s World Series. Clearwater would score two runs in the bottom of the 7<sup>th</sup> inning but the large deficit was too wide to overcome.
NCCAA Division 2’s Pitcher of the Year Justin Key started the game for the Eagles and threw four innings without allowing a run. Relievers Brady McMichael and Jackson Warnock finished the final three innings for TFC in the win.
Freshman utility man Will Patrick went a perfect 4-4 at the plate with two RBI’s. Corey Warner, who homered in the opening game of the World Series, added three hits in four plate appearances with two doubles and two runs batted in. Josh Hill and Adam Reynolds added two RBI’s apiece. Zack Warner, Matt Alligood, AJ Mussler, and Hayden Tuggle each drove in a run for the Eagles. Ronnie Stewart (1-3) and Matt Alligood (1-1) each tripled in the win.
With their sixth win over Clearwater this season, the Eagles advance to the third round of the World Series and will play the winner of Dallas Christian and Florida Christian Thursday night at 8:00 PM at Prasco Park Stadium. Streaming information and live scoring for the game be found below.