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William Carey baseball heading to NAIA World Series for second year in a row

William Carey baseball
Photo courtesy of William Carey Athletics

William Carey is returning to the NAIA World Series for a second consecutive year.

The No. 15 Crusaders (37-14) leaned on an eight-run seventh inning to run away with an 11-4 victory over Milligan in the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round championship game on Wednesday to punch their ticket to Lewiston, Idaho.

Senior Preston Ratliff came out of the bullpen in a critical spot of the contest, earning the victory over the Buffaloes. He also had quite a game as the designated hitter, driving in four runs, three coming on a game-breaking home run in the bottom of the seventh.

The win marked the 11th consecutive Crusader victory as the team has a lot of confidence heading into the biggest stage in the sport.

“It feels great,” Ratliff said. “We’re hungry for it. We want it, and we’re going out there to compete.”

Now in his 39th season, William Carey head coach Bobby Halford has taken his team to the World Series three times. Last year, his squad finished third in the nation after falling to Lewis-Clark College 15-6 in the tournament’s semifinals.

“We’re just taking it one game at a time,” Halford said. “The experience these guys had last year went a long way for us down the stretch. That’s one of the things we’ve talked about. Let’s not get too uptight. We’ve been there before and we know what it takes. That’s what’s won out for us.”

The NAIA World Series gets underway on May 24 on the campus of Lewis-Clark State College and will run through May 31.

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