Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Baseball Concludes Orange and Black World Series
Sports Report / Columnist
The Mercer baseball team enjoyed a successful conclusion to the fall season with its traditional Orange and Black World Series.
The annual event splits the Bears roster into two teams, Grey and White, who then face-off against each other in a five game series.
“I thought our World Series was played extremely well,” said head coach Craig Gibson. “During the series we showed many positive signs that we can take into the New Year. The fall segment is important as it gives our staff a good idea of what our club will look like in the spring.”
The Grey team and the White team were locked at 1-1 after the first two games.
In a closely fought first game, the Greys clinched a narrow win. Not an inch was given until the final inning when they broke away in style.
Sophomore Billy Burns led off with a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by reliever J.T. Odom. After a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Odom issued a balk to plate the tying run.
Sophomore James Kimsey came in to relieve Odom but allowed the game-winning run to score when he hit freshman Austin Barrett to make the final score 4-3.
In game two, it was the White team’s turn to snatch a close victory. Despite the Greys taking an early lead, the Whites responded in the third inning when junior Jimmy McMahon led off with a solo home run to make the score 2-1.
Freshman Travis Benn came up two batters later and drove a ball into right-center field for an RBI single, making the score 2-2. Sophomore Nick Adams helped the White team take the lead for good when he singled home Jason Butts to cap the scoring for the game at 3-2.
The series began to heat up as strong pitching played a decisive role in the third and fourth games.
In game three, junior J.T. Odom came in for the White team and dominated the mound. Odom pitched the final three innings of the game and allowed just three hits to secure the game win and a 2-1 series lead for his team.
Game four featured another dominant pitching performance, this time from sophomore Brandon Love of the Grey team.
Finding his form at the right moment, Love pitched five innings of shutout baseball, allowing just two hits while striking out five.
The White team did manage to salvage some pride from the game and avoided the shutout thanks to a solo home run by junior Joe Winker in the seventh inning to cap the scoring at 4-1.
All was to play for heading into the fifth and final game with the series tied at 2-2. Both teams fielded aces in junior Justice French for the Whites and senior Lath Guyer for the Greys.
It was the Whites, however, who dominated from the outset, racing to 2-0 lead thanks to some venomous pitching from French and a two-RBI single from senior Michael Langley.
The fifth inning is where the game was ultimately decided thanks due to some defensive mishaps from the Grey team. Three errors and an RBI single by junior Jimmy McMahon pushed the White team’s lead up to 7-0.
The Grey team received a late RBI sac-fly by Olenek to make the score 8-1, but it would not matter as the White team recorded the final four outs of the game to clinch the series.
With the series now completed, the players will begin preparing for regular season play which begins in February.