LEWISTON, Idaho – Golden State Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year A.J. Work picked up his 13th win of the season, as No. 5 The Master's (Calif.) held off a late surge by No. 4 Northwood (Texas) to earn a 4-3 win in the second game of the 2013 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series Friday afternoon at Harris Field.
With the victory, The Master's (44-15) improves to 3-2 all-time at the World Series and awaits the winner of No. 1 Faulkner (Ala.) (51-11) and No. 9 Missouri Baptist (36-12) at 3 p.m. PDT on Monday. Northwood (43-12), who is making its first-ever appearance in Lewiston, will play fellow newcomer No. 8 Sterling (Kan.) (48-13) at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Work (13-4), who entered the championship ranked fifth in the NAIA in victories, including a string of three-straight complete game wins, allowed one run on six hits across eight innings for his 16th start of at least six innings pitched. He added three strikeouts and two walks in the effort.
Northwood drew first blood in the game when Adam Humes slapped a two out single to center field, which scored Herb Romero from second base. However, Work got out of the jam one pitch later as Isaac Maturino flied out to center field.
Two innings later, The Master's used a double by James Scott and a single by Jonathan Popadics to take a 2-1 lead. The Mustangs continued the hot hitting in the top of the fourth when Chris Talley sent the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for the first home run at the 2013 World Series. The blast is the fourth of the season for Talley. The Master's made it a 4-1 advantage with back-to-back singles before the end of the inning.
Work held Northwood to only three hits from the first frame through the eighth, however Northwood made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Maturino opened the inning with a single up the middle and scored two batters later when Jordan Lewis double to left. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Lewis crossed home on a Logan Brumley two out single. A lineout directly at the Mustang shortstop ended the threat and the game.
Andrew Klausmeier, who had previously only been used as a starting pitcher, recorded the save for The Master's.
Northwood's Roman Gomez (9-3) took the loss. He allowed four runs on seven hits across 8.1 innings.
The Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series is a 10-team, double-elimination event hosted by Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho). This year is the 57th annual event. For more information on the World Series, click here.
NAIA Manager of Communications and Sports Information