MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Rust (25-24 overall) eliminated Paine (15-15) in Game 10 to advance into Friday’s later semifinals against Florida Memorial in the Black College Baseball World Series presented by Tyson Foods at Riverwalk Park – home of the Class AA Montgomery Biscuits – Friday.
Paine, fielding just 16 players on its postseason roster and plagued by a dozen rainouts and cancellations this spring, rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game 5-5 with the big blow being a three-run double by Dominique Page.
Rust, another school with one of the smallest enrollment figures in the NAIA ranks at approximately 800 students, drew the first advantage with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth inning. Then RC pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 7-5 advantage and scored five more times for the final margin. RC utilized wildness by Paine pitchers (13 walks, nine by starter Emmanuel Martinez, now 3-3 on the year, along with seven runs) and a 2-for-4 afternoon by slugger Jalin Thomas who also drove in three runs.
Freshman righthander Olin Evans kept his ’23 record unblemished at 4-0 to gain the pitching triumph with 4 2/3 frames of two-hit relief and three strikeouts for RC. Rust also doubled its win total from the 2022 Black College Baseball World Series when the Bearcats closed 1-2.
The four-day tournament consists of double-elimination competition among NCAA Division II and NAIA teams in separate brackets for three days and a championship contest between bracket winners Saturday at 5 p.m. (CDT). The title game will be preceded by a special Black College Baseball World Series Presented by Tyson Foods Home Run Derby at 2 p.m. (CDT).
Thursday games (all times CDT) – Game 5 – Edward Waters 9, Savannah State 5; Game 6 – Rust 9, Wiley 2; Game 7 – Albany State 12, Bluefield State 2 (7 innings); Game 8 – 7:30 p.m. – Florida Memorial 12, Paine 2 (8 inn.).
Friday’s Schedule – Game 9 – Edward Waters 9, Bluefield State 6; Game 10 – 12:30 p.m. – Rust 12, Paine 6. Game 11 – 4 p.m. – Albany State vs. Edward Waters; Game 12 – 7:30 p.m. – Florida Memorial vs. Rust.
Saturday Championship: 5 p.m. – bracket winners. Home Run Derby at 2 p.m.