Missouri Baptist lost in the regional finals to Lee University in the Cleveland, TN regional in the opening round of the NAIA World Series Baseball Tournament by the final score of 8-5.

Lee went right to work in the opening inning. With one out Blake Barber, who finished the day with two hits, singled and Roberto Reyes reached on a throwing error. Barber raced all the way to third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Corey Davis, who was the only other Flames with two hits in the nine-hit attack. After Mike Moore singled, Trevor Burgess drove home Reyes with a one-base knock. It was the seventh hit in five games for Burgess, who also finished the series with four RBI and five runs scored.

Missouri Baptist tallied single runs in the second and third to tie the action, but Lee was not about to be denied and poured home five runs in the fourth to jump on top 7-2. Brew’s crew sent nine men to the plate. With one out, walked and Edmanuel Rivera followed with a double to left. Cameron Brewster picked up an RBI single and the Flames had something big going.

Jorge Saez was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Barber fanned to give the Spartans two outs. However, Roberto Reyes, who is tops in the NAIA with 82 RBI, drilled a three-run double and put the Flames up 7-2. The lead grew to 8-2 in the sixth when Barber ripped a long home run over the left-center field wall.

However, Missouri Baptist fought back. Two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Kyle Hardy made the board read 8-4 and the Spartans countered with one more run in the seventh when Kyle Turner doubled home Ryan Barban. Barban was the tournaments top hitter with 10 hits in 17 appearances at the dish.  For Missouri Baptist, Buck Coronado (10-2) was the starter and loser. Ben Dorman did a solid job of keeping the Flames in check for 3.2 innings and Aaron Matula worked the final 1.2 frames.

Lee will be joined in Lewiston by Tennessee Wesleyan, Rogers State (Okla.), LSU-Shreveport, Embry-Riddle (Fla.), Point Park (Pa.), Oklahoma City, College of Idaho, South Carolina-Beauford, and host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho.).

Story courtesy of Lee University Athletics.