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Smith to play in NAIA World Series

Two former Lincoln County baseball stars will get to play in the NAIA World Series for William Carey University starting Friday in Lewiston, Idaho.

Sophomore Braden Smith of Loyd Star and Tyler Brumfield of Bogue Chitto will represent Lincoln County and their alma maters for the Crusaders as William Carey will play in the NAIA World series for the first time since 1978.

William Carey was down 8-3 in the fifth inning on Thursday to Southeastern University in the winner-take-all game to advance to the NAIA World Series and managed to take a 9-8 lead by the sixth inning.

With the game tied at 9-9 in extra innings, senior Adrian Brown of McComb raced home after an RBI sacrifice fly from Kade Wagner to send the Crusaders to Idaho.

Smith played a big role in keeping the postseason run for William Carey alive. Facing elimination against Southeastern last Wednesday, Smith pitched seven innings for the Crusaders, giving up three earned runs on six hits, three walks and striking out seven for the Crusaders to force the decisive game three, which William Carey ended up winning.

Smith was a critical part of the pitching rotation for the Crusaders. In 13 starts, Smith owns a 6-3 overall record, a 4.39 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched on the season. Smith had 49 strikeouts on the season for the Crusaders and issued 41 walks.

The Loyd Star alum has been a special part of a terrific season for William Carey, especially after the devastating tornado that hit the school’s campus in Hattiesburg in January.

The damages from the storm kept the team from playing at Milton Wheeler Field until March and kept them from playing any night games at home.

The Crusaders have been through a lot this season, but overcame all obstacles to own a 42-18 overall record to advance to the NAIA World Series.

Loyd Star alumni Braden Smith has been a big part of the turnaround for William Carey.