Nelson Ward provided a home run and solid defense in Sunday's win at Foley Field.
Oct. 20, 2013
ATHENS----Junior Nelson Ward smashed a solo home run to lead off the top of the 10th inning as the Red team salvaged a 6-3 win Sunday to cap the Fall World Series at Foley Field.
Ward connected for the home run off junior catcher/pitcher Brandon Stephens, and the Red team tacked on two more runs for the final. However, the Black squad claimed the overall series three games to two.
Sophomore left-hander Ryan Lawlor started Sunday for the Black squad and pitched out of trouble in the second. Junior Hunter Cole and sophomore Daniel Nichols began the inning with back-to-back singles and then both moved in to scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by junior DJ Smith. Lawlor battled back to strike out sophomore Sean McLaughlin and junior Ian Davis to end the threat.
In the bottom of the second, junior Heath Holder notched the Black squad’s first hit with a leadoff bunt single off junior right-hander Pete Nagel. He took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a groundout by sophomore Jess Posey. Then, Nagel struck out freshman Mike Bell and retired junior Cody McCance to keep it a scoreless game.
In the third, the Black team grabbed a 1-0 lead. Freshman Rob Youngblood reached on a two-out walk, went to third on a base hit by freshman Stephen Wrenn and scored on an RBI-single by freshman Skyler Weber. Nagel got out of the jam by retiring Walsh. He tossed three innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
In the fourth, the Black team turned to sophomore right-hander Austin Wallace after Lawlor provided three scoreless innings with no walks, two hits and two strikeouts. Wallace issued a leadoff walk to sophomore Conor Welton and hit sophomore Zach Bowers with a pitch. Wallace struck out Cole for the first out but then Nichols drilled an 0-2 pitch to the wall in right centerfield to put the Red team in front 2-1 courtesy of a two-run double. In the bottom of the fourth, the Red team looked to freshman left-hander Connor Jones, and he provided one scoreless inning with two walks and a strikeout.
In the fifth, junior right-hander Jared Cheek took the mound for the Black squad and struck out the side. The Red team brought in junior right-hander Jay Swinford for the bottom of the fifth, and he maintained the one-run advantage. Cheek provided two scoreless innings with only Welton and Nichols registering hits off him.
Junior right-hander Ross Ripple started the sixth for the Red team and Walsh greeted him with a solo blast to right field to tie the contest. Senior left-hander Patrick Boling pitched the seventh for the Black team, collecting two strikeouts with one walk. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Stephens and freshman Hunter Bening notched singles. Then, Youngblood provided the go-ahead RBI-single for the Black squad to make it 3-2 when Stephens crossed home plate.
In the eighth, senior right-hander Beau Buckler got the call, and the Red team rallied for a run. Ward was hit by a pitch and later scored on a one-out base hit by Bowers. Cole followed with a double to the wall in right field as Bowers raced to third. Buckler came back to strike out Nichols and retired Smith to keep it a tie game. Junior right-hander Grant Earls took care of the bottom of the eighth for the Red team.
In the top of the ninth, Holder moved to the mound from left field and pitched one inning with two strikeouts. The Red team looked to freshman right-hander Michael Carpin in the bottom of the frame.
Bell beat out an infield single to start the bottom of the ninth. McCance moved Bell in to scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, and then Carpin retired the next two Bulldogs. Stephens came on to pitch the 10th inning for the Black team. Following the home run by Ward, Welton reached on an infield single, Bowers drew a walk and Cole smacked a single to load the bases for Nichols. Stephens then came back to strike out Nichols, but then walked Smith and a sacrifice fly by McLaughlin provided the final at 6-3.