Mizzou Baseball Black Team Takes 2-0 Fall World Series Lead
COLUMBIA -- Team Black used five runs in the first two innings to boost their lead in Mizzou's Fall World Series to two games with a 5-0 eight-inning victory on Saturday in Taylor Stadium. Keaton Steele's productive day at the plate led the way, with two RBI for Team Black. Jace James got his first start on the mound for Mizzou, and responded with four shutout innings in the win as Black was able to control the game from the start.
James opened the game on the mound for the Black team, and got into a jam with two outs after a walk and an infield single by Gavin Stark, but a flyout to center by Josh Lester ended the threat. Dillon Everett led off the bottom of the first with a double down the right field line, and Brannon Champagne's sacrifice bunt advanced Everett to third with one out. Steele's groundout to short allowed Everett to score, giving Black a 1-0 lead. Three straight gold errors then allowed Opel to score, giving Black a 2-0 lead as the game entered the second inning.
Gold followed with a scoreless inning, as only Sean Ullrich reached base on an infield single. Jake Ivory singled up the middle and stole second to lead off the bottom of the frame. A walk and an error then loaded the bases with no outs, and Everett's single to right scored a run. Champagne's chopper scored another run for Black for a 4-0 lead. Tyler House then entered the game for Gold, and Steele's sacrifice fly then tacked on another run for Black, who led 5-0 into the third inning.
Dan Krupa singled to lead off the third, but he was picked off at first by catcher Ivory, and Sal Belfonte's two-out single was the only other hit for Gold in the scoreless frame. Black got back-to-back two-out singles, but Patrick Quintanilla was thrown out trying to advance to third on the second, keeping Black off the board. Both teams went scoreless in the fourth inning, with Gold getting their first one-two-three defensive inning of the game.
Andrew Hohn entered to pitch for Black in the fifth, and allowed a single to Ullrich with one out in the inning but induced a double play to end the inning. Champagne reached base on error to lead off the bottom of the frame, and a balk by House moved him to second. Steele's sacrifice fly moved him to third, but a strikeout and a groundout ended the inning scoreless. After Gold failed to score again in the top of the sixth, Quintanilla registered a single to right off Kyle Barbeck with one out, the only hit of the frame for Black.
Shane Segovia led off the seventh against Gerrion Grim with a single to right and stole second, but he was thrown out at third on Lester's line-drive single to left. Barbeck held Black off the board again in the bottom of the frame, holding the deficit to five. Breckin Williams entered to pitch for Black in the eighth inning, and Dylan Kelly singled to left to start the action, but Williams responded by forcing outs from three of the next four Black batters.
Black looks to build on their 2-0 series lead on Monday, as Game Three of the Fall World Series will begin at 3:30.