Coyotes take control early, dissipate Tornadoes in NAIA Opening Round, reach Championship

BOSSIER CITY, La. – Kansas Wesleyan scored seven early runs to propel the Coyotes into Thursday’s NAIA Opening Round Championship with a 9-2 win over the Talladega College Tornadoes on Wednesday at Bossier Parish Community College.

The victory propels the Coyotes into the Shreveport Bracket championship where KWU will face host LSU-Shreveport on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. The game will be moved back to LSU-Shreveport’s Pilot Field due to concerns with the pitching mound at BPCC.

KWU will bat second in the game, by virtue of coming through the winner’s side of the bracket.

The Coyotes trailed 1-0 in the first inning as Talladega used a walk and a hit by pitch to set up a sacrifice fly to give the Tornadoes the lead.

Wesleyan got things going in the bottom of the second inning. Tyler Favretto walked, his 62nd free pass of the season which leads the NAIA to start the rally. After a fly out, Zack Beatty singled, then Adrian Villalobos connected on a 2-run double to put the Coyotes ahead 2-1.

The Coyotes added five more runs in the third. Jarrett Gable reached on an error to start the party. Cruz Oxford singled, and Favretto was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Reece Bishop followed with a single to score Gable. Beatty then followed with an RBI single and Villalobos added another RBI single. Two batters later Jacob Williamson connected for a 2-run double to make it 7-1 Coyotes.

The score remained the same until the seventh when the Coyotes added two more. Favretto led off with a single and after Beatty walked to put two on, Villalobos came through again with a 2-run single to make it 9-1.

Villalobos and Beatty had two hits each for the Coyotes to lead the way, while Villalobos drove in three runs and Williamson and Garcia drove in two each. Zach Westbrook got the win for the Coyotes, pitching eight innings, scattering six hits and two runs, while striking out four. Cesar Rodriguez pitched the ninth for the Coyotes, allowing a hit and two strikeouts.

The winner of the Shreveport Bracket of the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round will advance to the 67th Annual AVISTA NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho beginning May 24.