Senior left-hander Shay Crawford pitched a one-hitter for his second strong outing of the tournament to help Lee (Tenn.) remain alive with a 1-0 win over Lubbock Christian (Texas) at the Avista-NAIA World Series at Harris Field on Wednesday.
Crawford, who hails from Bartlett, Tenn., became the first pitcher in 25 years at the World Series to toss a one-hitter. The last one-hitter was by Bret Haley of Grand Canyon (Ariz.) who defeated Missouri Southern in 1986. Rick Riddle of Wilmington (Del.) threw a no-hitter in 1992.
Crawford's big performance helped Lee (51-13) remain alive in the double-elimination tournament, while Lubbock Christian (49-13) suffered its first loss. The two teams will play again on Thursday at 7 p.m. PDT with the winner facing Concordia (Calif.) at 7:10 p.m. on Friday for the National Championship. Concordia, which defeated LSU Shreveport (La.) 8-4 in Thursday's first game, earned the bye on Thursday and a ticket to the title game.
Crawford, who struck out 15 in eight-plus innings on May 29 in a no-decision against LSU Shreveport, picked up where he left off in that game. Lubbock Christian came into Wednesday's game leading the tournament in hitting, but managed only a single by David Cruz with two outs in the fifth inning for its lone hit. The Chaps left seven runners stranded on base.
Crawford (11-2) struck out a dozen and also walked two and hit two batters. He faced 34 batters and recorded eight fly outs and seven ground outs to go along with the 12 strikeouts. His final pitch count was136.
Chaps left-hander Lucas Whitmore (10-3) also threw a complete game. He allowed nine hits, but only three after the third inning. He struck out six and hit one batter with his 129-pitch effort.
The game's lone run came in the second inning. After Lee collected three hits, but failed to score in the first, the Flames put together small ball to produce the run. Justin Marrero singled to start the bottom of the second and moved up a base on a bunt single by Seth Walker. A sacrifice bunt by Preston Scoggins put runners on second and third, and a ground out by Travis Anderson scored Marrero.
Marrero finished with two hits in the game and Roberto Reyes had the only extra-base hit of the game with a triple.
It's the third consecutive year Lee and Lubbock Christian have faced each other at the World Series. Lee won 7-6 last year and Lubbock Christian won 11-0 in 2009.