World Series fans who left Harris Field early missed out on a treat in the late-starting finale Monday.

The first pitch of Central Methodist and Faulkner’s game didn’t cross the plate until almost 9 p.m. and the Eagles-vs.-Eagles matchup turned into a thriller under the lights.

CMU’s go-ahead run — an RBI single to left field by Deshawn Cole that brought in speedy Isaiah Davis from second — didn’t cross home until 11 p.m. And relief pitcher Sergio Macias nabbed the final strikeout to end the game at 11:54 p.m.

Central Methodist of Missouri held on to defeat Faulkner (39-11) of Alabama 4-3 in the “NAIA After Dark” special.

“Any win up here is exciting, like this win to get us a closer step to a national championship,” CMU coach Nate Breland said. “I think we have to just take it one game at a time still.”

Early on, it was the Mason Schwellenbach show.

It didn’t matter whether he was at the plate or on the mound, the pitcher delivered big for CMU (48-6).

The senior right-hander belted a three-run home run over the left field fence in the first inning before going three-up, three-down in the first three innings on the rubber. His clutch arm and big bat provided a 3-0 CMU advantage that held until the fourth.

“Mason’s outstanding,” Breland said. “He comes up in the first inning and hits a three-run jack to give us a cushion, then battles through an error and some adversity.”

After Schwellenbach’s long bomb, the game turned into a pitching duel between the CMU starter and Faulkner’s July Sosa (7-3). Schwellenbach (14-1) and CMU retired the first nine Faulkner batters, and Sosa kept CMU off the scoreboard for the next six innings.

Schwellenbach fanned nine batters in seven innings and Sosa struck out six in a complete game.

At the plate, Faulkner’s first hit of the game was a big one. After five consecutive foul balls, Faulkner’s Shawn Ross single to left field brought home Sam Anthony, who’d reached on an error for his team’s first man on in the game.

The run kickstarted a three-run fourth inning for Faulkner, and it tied the game at 3-3.

At multiple points, clutch double plays helped both teams.

CMU turned a 6-4-3 double play in the sixth to get out of a jam with no damage done.

In the seventh, Faulkner third baseman Alex Arauz snagged a grounder, tagged out pinch runner Gannon Ruckman and fired to first to retire Devon Garcia. The double play lessened the hurt in what could’ve been a much better inning for CMU, which scored only one run.

But that key run by Davis ended up being the difference in the game.

“Huge two-strike AB (by Cole), man,” Breland said. “Really stayed on it and did what he had to do to drive the run in.”

Neither team scored in the final two innings thanks to clutch mound performances by CMU relievers Beau Atkins and Sergio Macias. Macias struck out the final two Faulkner batters in the ninth to seal the win.

“We did make those plays in big moments when we had to,” Breland said. “That’s just a great offense we faced tonight.”

CENT. METHODIST FAULKNER

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Cole 2b 2 1 1 1 Anthony cf 3 1 0 0

Otero rf 3 1 0 0 Villa c 3 0 0 0

Haring 1b 3 0 1 0 Ross ss 4 1 2 1

Macias ss-p 4 0 0 0 Arauz 3b 3 1 1 0

Schwllnbach p 4 1 1 3 Phillips lf 3 0 1 1

McDonald lf 4 0 0 0 Mathews 2b 3 0 0 1

Victor 3b 4 0 0 0 Paulsen dh 2 0 0 0

Ruckman ph 0 0 0 0 Reyes-Cruz dh 2 0 0 0

McCay c 3 0 0 0 Lucas 1b 3 0 0 0

Davis pr 0 1 0 0 Lara rf 3 0 1 0

Garcia cf 3 0 1 0

Bray 3b 0 0 0 0

Totals 30 4 4 4 Totals 29 3 5 3

Central Methodist 300 000 100—4 4 1

Faulkner 000 300 000—3 5 3

Central Methodist ip h r er bb so

Schwellenbach (W, 14-1) 7 4 3 1 1 9

Atkins 1.1 1 0 0 2 1

Macias (S, 6) 0.2 0 0 0 0 2

Faulkner ip h r er bb so

Sosa (L, 7-3) 9 4 4 3 0 6

Attendance — 390.

Wiebe may be contacted at sports@lmtribune.com, (208) 848-2268 or on Twitter @StephanSports.