LEWISTON, Idaho -- The No. 2 Bellevue University baseball team saw their post-season run come to an end at the hands of No. 3 Faulkner University on Thursday evening at the 2016 Avista-NAIA World Series. The Eagles scored early and never trailed en route to a 14-5 win over the Bruins.
T.J. Condon delivered the final blow when he broke open a one-run game with a sixth inning grand slam to stretch the Faulkner lead to 10-5 and the Eagles held on from there.
Faulkner struck early, hanging a four-spot in the first inning. Condon singled in the game's first run before Deivy Palmeiro hit a towering three-run home run over the right field wall.
The Eagles added to their lead in the second with a run-scoring hit from Alexis Cruz.
Connor Garrison put Bellevue on the board in the bottom of the third inning with a two-out home run off Faulkner starter Kurt Lipscomb. The home run – crushed off the facing of the left field bleachers – was the first of Garrison's career. Two batters later, a hit from Trevor Jones and a long double to left by Ross Feeley got BU a little closer, pulling to within 5-2.
Faulkner recovered a run on their lead in the sixth inning. After a couple quick outs to start the inning, Mario Amaral singled off the right field wall, Palmeiro worked a walk, and Dennis Morton singled to left to drive home Amaral.
Bellevue wasted no time in getting three runs back, pulling to within a run at 6-5. Kevin Rodriguez scored on an errant throw following a wild pitch. Jones drove in a run with a single and Feeley notched his second RBI-double of the game but was stranded at second.
The Eagles loaded the bases in the sixth with just one out before Condon delivered his wall-scraping grand slam to right center to extend the Eagles' lead to 10-5. In the ninth, Faulkner added on four insurance runs to push their lead to 14-5.
Kameron Miner (2-1) picked up the loss after getting his first start since March 12.
Bellevue wraps up the season with an overall record of 54-12. The 54 wins by the Bruins are the third most in program history.
Faulkner (53-14) – with their 17 hits – put up at least 14 hits for the third-straight game to advance to the championship game tomorrow night against Lewis-Clark State.
The third place finish at the World Series is Bellevue's best since finishing runner-up to Brewton-Parker at the 1997 event.