PADUCAH, Ky. -- A season with a lot of big moments added another to the list on Thursday as the Lindsey Wilson College baseball team won its first NAIA National Championship game in program history, topping Bellevue (Neb.) 6-5 in the opening round on Doc Hideg Field at Brooks Stadium.
The game was an offensive thriller as the Blue Raiders and Bruins combined for 20 hits and traded leads on three occasions.
Starting pitcher Daniel Pulliam lasted five innings on the mound for Lindsey Wilson (42-14), allowing four runs on six hits before reliever Lance Rose (6-0) entered and picked up the win, allowing just one run on three hits in four innings of work.
Bellevue (39-20) starter Kody McFarland (9-3) was saddled with the loss after giving up six runs on 10 hits through seven innings.
Perez recorded Lindsey Wilson's first hit on a leadoff double in the first inning, helping the Blue Raiders start off the game with a quick 2-0 lead.
Alonso moved him to third on a one-out single to right field before Perez ultimately scored during a rundown of Alonso between first and second base.
McFarland tried to pick off Alonso and caught him in a lengthy rundown. Perez timed his effort from third base on a throw and slid around a tag from Bruin catcher Ryan Knutz.
The Blue Raiders pushed another run across in the inning as Bellevue failed to complete a double play on Ozoria's grounder to second base.
Second baseman Spencer Duggan forced out Blue Raider third baseman Drew Barrett at second, but his throw to first sailed high and out of play, allowing Ozoria to trot home.
The 2-0 lead lasted until the third inning when Bellevue answered with three runs on a pair of hits, walk and sacrifice fly to center field.
Shortstop Tyler Pavol scored first on center fielder Tanner Moore's single, then second baseman Spencer Duggan tied the game after a sacrifice fly by first baseman Brandon Thompson.
Thompson's deep lift to center was actually good enough to score two runs as Moore followed Duggan home on a relay throw to Blue Raider catcher Lance Harrington.
After an empty bottom of the third for Lindsey Wilson, the Bruins put another run on the board in their half of the fourth on a two-out squeeze bunt.
Third baseman Sean Mattson led off with a double and moved to third on a ground out. Left fielder Kelvin Nelson delivered the successful bunt, pushing it towards Barrett at third base and reaching first for an RBI single.
Lindsey Wilson was quiet at the plate for three straight innings before finding a rhythm again in the bottom of the fifth inning with three runs to take a 5-4 lead.
Perez led off the frame with a single and later scored on a hit by Barrett. Alonso scored next on a softly hit single to left field by Ozoria and Barrett scored the final run on a line-drive hit by Kerian to give Lindsey Wilson three runs on five hits in the inning.
The teams traded runs in the seventh inning with Bellevue tying the game on a fielder's choice hit by Lance Lutz and Lindsey Wilson regaining a one-run lead on another single by Ozoria.
Lindsey Wilson was threatening to make it a two-run game in the bottom of the eighth inning with second baseman Tyler Bernard singling and advancing to third on a groundout.
Harrington laid down a bunt for an attempted squeeze, but Bernard was blocked at the plate, taking the Blue Raiders into the ninth with just a one-run lead.
With Rose still on the mound, he started the ninth inning with a groundout, gave up a single, then saw the Bruins put on a sacrifice bunt to put Mason Castillon -- pinch running for Thompson -- on second with two outs.
Rose walked the next batter, giving Bellevue runners on first and second, but got out of the scare as right fielder Dusty Kerns ended the game on a groundout to Perez at shortstop.
Lindsey Wilson returns to action in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round at 2 p.m. CT against the winner of No. 1-seed LSU Shreveport (La.) and No. 4-seed Peru State (Neb.) who play at 6 p.m. on Thursday.