Dillard relinquishes early lead, falls to MidAmerica Nazarene in NAIA opening round

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Dillard baseball NAIA

SHREVEPORT, La. – Dillard University Bleu Devils Baseball (22-29) took on MidAmerica Nazarene (31-25) Monday in the NAIA Opening Round. After leading in the first inning, the Bleu Devils fell 5-2 to the Pioneers.

No. 5 Dillard jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Kwailty Williams doubled to left center and then advanced to third on a Jalen Ayers single to second base. Williams scored on a George Alveraz sacrifice fly, and Ayers scored on a Tyler Fitch triple down the left field line.

The Pioneers answered in the bottom of the first as Sean Maple scored on a Noah Castillo double to right. After holding the Bleu Devils scoreless in the top of the second, Joey Calamaio singled to left and then scored on an RBI single by Maple. The Pioneer inning ended on an unassisted putout to first,and the game headed to the third inning tied 2-2.

MNU jumped ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the third  on a two-out homer by Dionathan Cornet. The Pioneers retired the Dillard side, and followed with Logan Vogel walking and another RBI single by Maple to score Vogel. Javier Melendez hit a fly ball to right to end the inning with the Pioneers up 4-2.

The next two and a half innings were scoreless, with both teams leaving one runner on base. MNU added another run in the bottom of the seventh, making the score 5-2 in their favor.

Dillard’s rally came up short in the top of the ninth inning. Ty’Mitchell McCollough singled up the middle, and MNU’s Bryce Brecklin would load the bases, hitting Williams and Ayers with the pitch. Relief pitcher Reece Helland struck out Alveraz and Fitch, and the game ended with Channing Vernon grounding out to shortstop.

Maple ended the contest with a game high three hits, two RBIs. Castillo followed with two hits and one RBI. As a team, the Pioneers connected on 12 hits, five RBIs,and batted .387.

The Bleu Devils finished the day with five hits by five different batters with RBIs by Alveraz and Fitch. On the mound, Jorge Guerra struckout six batters, three looking.

The difference maker in Monday’s matchup was the Pioneers’ ability to convert runners into runs scored, batting 4-12 with runners in scoring position.

Guerra (6-10) gets the loss while MNU’s Castillo (1-6) picks up the win on a Helland (2) save. The Pioneers move on to play top seed LSU-Shreveport Monday evening at 6 CT. The Bleu Devils move to the loser’s bracket and play McPherson (Kan.) Tuesday, May 16 at 11 a.m. CT. Fans can view updated tournament information by visiting the NAIA Opening Round Tournament Page.

Game Tickets can be purchased in advance at https://lsusathletics.com/tickets. All games will be broadcast via the Shreveport Bracket Livestream.

Shreveport Bracket
May 15-18 | Pilot Field | LSU Shreveport (La.)

LIVE broadcast and stats links will activate at the start of each game. To stream the games, visit the Shreveport Bracket Livestream page.

1. LSU Shreveport (La.) (0-0)
2. McPherson (Kan.) (0-0)
3. Morningside (Iowa) (0-0)
4. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (0-0)
5. Dillard (La.) (0-0)

Game Time
(All times CT) Game Information
May 15

Game 1 – 11:00 am MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 5 def. Dillard (La.) 2
Game 2 – 2:30 pm McPherson (Kan.) vs. Morningside (Iowa)
Game 3 – 6:00 pm LSU Shreveport (La.) vs. Game 1 Winner

May 16

Game 4 – 11:00 am Game 1 Loser – Dillard vs. Game 2 McPherson
Game 5 – 2:30 pm Game 2 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner
Game 6 – 6:00 pm Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner

May 17

Game 7 – 11:00 am Game 6 Winner vs. Game 5 Loser
Game 8 – 2:30 pm Game 5 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner

May 18

Game 9 – 11:00 am Game 8 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser
(If Necessary)

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