Campbellsville University will be making its first trip ever to the NAIA Baseball World Series – thanks in large part to an outstanding effort from a former Logan County High School pitcher.
Riding the pitching arm of senior hurler Bryan Fuller, who threw 21 consecutive innings in a 26-hour span, the Campbellsville Tigers won three straight games after a 5-4 loss to Kansas Wesleyan – the same team they beat 4-0 on Friday in Lindenwood, Mo., for the Region title.
Fuller, who is from Lewisburg, pitched the last three innings against Lindenwood University on Thursday afternoon, nine against Kansas Wesleyan Thursday evening in an 11-0 shutout and nine more on Friday in the 5-4 championship victory.
Fuller threw more than 180 pitches in the two-day span.
In the two games against Kansas Wesleyan, Fuller gave up 12 hits, four in the 4-0 championship game triumph. He struck out six.
Campbellsville jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning and that proved to be all the Tigers needed. The Tigers got the majority of their offensive production from the top of their order. Of the Tigers' nine hits, six came from Tyler Derby, Nathan Quesenberry and Nick Bertolucci.
Bertolucci scored twice and had an RBI. Derby and Quesenberry also had RBI.
Campbellsville got solo runs in the fourth and sixth innings.
In the fourth Bertolucci singled and scored on a two-out single by Quesenberry. In the sixth Colin Bryan, who was hit by a pitch, went to second on Derby's single. He stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
Campbellsville enters the World Series with a 40-10 record and beat a team that compiled a 26-game winning streak coming into post-season play.
The game was not without some drama. The Tigers committed two errors in the top of the ninth with one out before shortstop Bertolucci scooped up a grounder, stepped on second and threw to first for a double play. It was the fifth twin killing of the game for the Tigers.
The Avista-NAIA College World Series begins Friday, May 22 in Lewiston, Idaho.