KWU's Righi Tosses Gem as Coyotes Ground Eagles 3-1 in Opening Round

KWU's Righi Tosses Gem as Coyotes Ground Eagles 3-1 in Opening Round

The Kansas Wesleyan Baseball team had to wait a day to start its journey in the Fayette Bracket of the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round due to inclement weather in Mid-Missouri on Monday.

The wait was worth it.

Nathan Righi (JR/Pekin, Ill.) tossed a gem from the mound, and the Coyote offense came through when it needed to, as the No. 16 ranked Coyotes defeated No. 25 ranked and host Central Methodist 3-1 at Estes Field on Tuesday.

Righi (11-2) was phenomenal for the Coyotes, tossing a complete game, just the third of the season for the Coyotes, striking out seven and holding the Eagles to just one earned run and five hits.

Neither team scored until the third inning despite chances in the second inning. The Coyotes got a lead-off double by Haydn Brown (SR/Gardnerville, Nev.) in the frame, and Zack Beatty (JR/Maple Park, Ill.) walked, but an inning-ending double play would end the Coyotes' chance at plating a run.

Central Methodist scored in the third inning on a hit by pitch, followed by a ground out and single, then a wild pitch to allow the run to score.

Wesleyan scored its first two runs in the bottom of the frame with a 2-out rally. William Dryburgh (SR/St. Joseph, Mo.) was hit by a pitch, followed Foster crushing a baseball well over the tall trees beyond the right field fence to give the Coyotes a 2-1 lead.

Righi and the Coyotes worked around an error in the fifth to keep the Eagles off the board and in the seventh again stopped a CMU scoring chance with a double play to end the inning.

Brown led off the Coyote seventh with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and then scored on Beatty's single to center, giving the Coyotes a much-needed insurance run in the inning.

Righi got the Eagles to go down in order in the ninth securing the win.

Brown had two of KWU's four hits in the game, while Foster and Beatty added the others.

Wesleyan advances to the second round of the Opening Round Fayette Bracket, as the Coyotes face overall No. 1 seed and bracket No. 1 seed Southeastern (Fla.) at 11 a.m. at Estes Field. Southeastern defeated Madonna (Mich.) 3-2 on Tuesday.

The KWU/SEU winner advances to the bracket championship series set for 9 a.m., Thursday; while the loser falls into the loser's bracket, and will face the winner between Central Methodist and Madonna at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

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