ROME, Ga. — Andrew Starr had a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Berry baseball team, led by Charles Henderson graduate David Beasley, a 7-6 win over Saint Xavier on Thursday in the championship game of the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament hosted at Berry’s William R. Bowdoin Field.
With the win Berry (45-14) advances to the NAIA Avista World Series in Lewiston, Idaho on May 22-29. Saint Xavier (41-15) is eliminated from the NAIA National Tournament with the loss.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth Jarrett Northcutt sparked the Berry rally with a single up the middle. He moved into scoring position by stealing second and Saint Xavier was obliged to intentionally walk Patrick Taylor. That brought Starr to the plate and he delivered with a line-drive off the bottom of the wall in right-center that brought Northcutt in with the game-winning run and sent the fans and players at Berry into jubilation.
There are nine opening round sites for the NAIA National Baseball Tournament. Each site played a five-team, double-elimination tournament with the champion advancing to join the hosts Lewis and Clark State in the 10-team World Series.