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NNU Chips Away For First-Ever NCAA Championships Win
Junior second baseman Colton Moore helped to lead Northwest Nazarene at the plate, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Photo by James Benson.
Junior second baseman Colton Moore helped to lead Northwest Nazarene at the plate, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Photo by James Benson.

Monday, June 7, 2021

CARY, N.C. – Northwest Nazarene is strongest when its back is against the wall.

The No. 8-seeded Nighthawks used a seven-run seventh inning to avoid elimination and earn their first-ever victory at the NCAA National Championships with a 9-3 win over No. 4-seeded Trevecca Nazarene on Monday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

The Trojans got off to an early 3-0 lead with a two-run single up the middle by freshman first baseman Shawn Wallwork in the second inning and an RBI triple to right-center by junior center fielder Braden Odom in the fourth. Wallwork went 2 for 4 with the two RBI.

The Nighthawks scored nine unanswered to close the game and keep their season alive.

Northwest Nazarene threatened in the fourth but couldn’t push a runner across the plate with one out and the bases loaded.

The Nighthawks loaded the bases again with no outs in the fifth. Junior second baseman Colton Moore singled to right-center to lead off the inning before junior center fielder Ryan Dearing walked and junior left fielder Haden Keller singled to left. Two batters later, senior catcher Ben Johnson cashed in NNU’s first runs of the game with a two-run single to center.

The Northwest Nazarene bats erupted for seven runs on five hits, including a pair of triples, in the seventh. Keller led things off with a triple to right and then scored later in the inning on a bases-loaded two-run double down the left-field line off the bat of freshman right fielder Grant Kerry. A pinch-hit single through the right side by freshman Isaac Hines drove in two more. A two-run double to right-center by Moore and an RBI triple to left-center by Dearing capped off the offensive merry-go-round.

Four Nighthawks had multi-hit games. Moore and Johnson both went 2 for 4 in the game with a pair of RBI while Keller and Kerry each went 2 for 5.

Northwest Nazarene starter, freshman Kyle Ethridge, threw six innings in the no-decision. He allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Senior Blake McFadden picked up his fifth win of the season after tossing the final three innings, holding the Trojans scoreless and allowing just one hit while striking out three.

Junior Tyler Koprowski took the loss for the Trojans in relief, allowing three earned runs on one hit with one walk in just one-third of an inning.

With the win, Northwest Nazarene (35-9, 21-3 GNAC) advances to the next round at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The Nighthawks will face the loser of Monday’s nightcap between No. 1-seeded Central Missouri and No. 5-seeded Tampa.

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