Concordia University's baseball team has been about as hot as any team in the country the past few weeks, but the Eagles still needed one more victory to qualify for the NAIA World Series.
And to complicate matters, they would have to do it against Golden State Athletic Conference nemesis Cal Baptist.
Thanks to the hot bat of Bryan Nicholson, Concordia (38-18) topped Cal Baptist, 4-2, in the championship game of the NAIA National Championship Opening Round – Riverside Bracket on Saturday, and will play in the Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho beginning May 27.
Nicholson's two-out, three-run home run in the seventh inning turned the game around and sent Concordia to the NAIA World Series for the second time in school history, the last time coming in 2006.
Starting pitcher Brent Clapper gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings to continue the Eagles' string of clutch pitching performances.