FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Sean Laird’s three-run double capped off a five-run, ninth-inning rally that erased a 9-5 deficit and gave the Blue team a 10-9 victory in Game Two of the Red and Blue World Series Sunday at Stanky Field.
Trailing 9-5 and on the brink of a 2-0 series deficit, Brad Hammac led off the top of the ninth for the Blue team by reaching on a throwing error. Dominic Diaz followed with single through the left side, and after Nathaniel Lami struck out swinging, Jake Crain reached on another error and Hammac scored to cut the deficit to 9-6.
David Doss, working in his second inning of relief after catching the first seven innings, bounced back to strike out Brandon Brown swinging for the second out of the inning, but Doss was chased from the game after Ryan Bohanan drilled an RBI-double to right-center that cut the lead to 9-7.
The Red team turned to Dustin Crenshaw to try to get the final out with the potential tying run at second base. Crenshaw had worked the final two innings in the Red team’s Game One win Saturday. Brent Mitchell worked a walk to load the bases, then Laird delivered the big blow with a three-run double down the left field line that erased the deficit and gave the Blue team a 10-9 lead.
Brown, a junior in his first year at South Alabama, moved from left field to the pitcher’s mound to try to close out the game for the Blue team. He hadn’t worked a full inning on the mound this fall, but with a save on the line, he was up to the task in the bottom of the ninth.
Dominic Diaz made a great defensive play to get the first out when Jake Overstreet hit a grounder sharply up the middle. Diaz ranged to his left, managed to keep his feet while reaching across his body to spear the ball back-handed, then fired off his back foot to get Overstreet by a step at first base.
After hitting Brad Hook with the next pitch, Brown induced a game-ending 4-6-3 ground-ball, double-play from Stuart Barton. Barton was part of a six-run rally for the Red team in the bottom of the fourth that erased the Blue team’s early 3-0 lead.
After falling behind on a two-run homer by Brown in the first and an error that allowed Laird to score in the fourth, the Red team brought 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Derek O’Reilly got the rally started with a walk from Blue team starting pitcher Phillip Byrd.
An error by Michael Meredith was followed by four consecutive hits, the last coming from Barton, who later came home to score on the back end of a double steal. Zach Grichor and Brad Hook each had two-run singles in the six-run inning.
James Dunning, on in relief of Red team starter Brandon Sage, faced just one over the minimum in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, and the Red team added an insurance run on Overstreet’s RBI-single in bottom of the seventh. Holding a 7-3 advantage, Dunning turned the ball over to Doss.
The Blue team strung together three consecutive singles to start the eighth, and scored a second run with the benefit of a balk to cut the deficit to 7-5. However, the Red team answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the eighth, and Doss went to work in the ninth with a 9-5 lead. That’s when two errors led to five runs, and the Blue team evened the series at one game apiece.
USA’s annual Red and Blue World Series continues with Game Three, Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Stanky Field. All games of the World Series are webcast free of charge as a promotion through Jaguar Nation. They can be accessed by going to www.usajaguars.com.
Notes: Nathaniel Lami and Bohanan each extended fall hitting streaks to seven games … Laird is seeing his first action of the fall in the World Series after missing the first two weeks recovering from an injury … he is still not 100 percent, but is able to hit and play the outfield … he and Adam Heisler both were allowed to use pinch runners any time they reached base … Byrd retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced before leading off the fourth inning with a walk … Laird’s three-run double was the first three-RBI hit for any Jag this fall.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).