Black Squad Sweeps Gold to Win Fall World Series
COLUMBIA -- A dominant pitching performance by the Black squad led the way for Black to sweep the Fall World Series, taking Game Four by a 4-2 final. Pitchers Rob Zastryzny, Andrew Hohn, Gerrion Grim, and Breckin Williams combined to hold the Gold team to two hits in the game's final eight innings, ending the fall intrasquad set. For the third game in a row, the start for Black was too much for Gold, as two runs in the first inning were too much for Gold to match. Freshman pitcher Alec Rash, a second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies, also made his Mizzou debut in the contest, throwing 15 pitches and registering a strikeout against the first batter he faced. Columbia native Ryan Phillips was just as impressive in his start for Gold, going five innings and surrendering only two runs, both in the opening frame.
Dillon Everett got the Black squad going in the first with a leadoff single, and Brannon Champagne's sacrifice bunt moved him to second. After a wild pitch from Phillips allowed Everett to advance to third, Keaton Steele lined a single to right to give Black a 1-0 lead. Dane Opel then singled to right and advanced to second on the throw to third, and Michael McGraw's groundout to first allowed Steele to score for a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, Rash struck out the first batter he faced before Scott Sommerfeld doubled down the right field line. After a wild pitch, Rash forced a pop out to shallow right. Jeff Oracion entered to throw after Rash reached his pitch count, and allowed a line drive single up the middle to Gavin Stark, cutting the Black lead to 2-1. Case Munson then singled, but a groundout to first ended the threat.
Jake Ivory singled with one out in the second, and Logan Pearson notched an infield single two batters letter to put two on with two outs, but a fielder's choice kept Black from adding on. Zastryzny took over on the mound for Black in the bottom of the second and threw a quick six-pitch inning. After Phillips got the first out in the third, he hit Steele and allowed a single to Opel to put two on with one out. Dylan Kelly then picked off Steele at second from behind the plate, killing Black's threat. Zastryzny then remained dominant on the mound with another 1-2-3 frame.
Phillips remained strong, though, and sat the Black team's batters down in order in the fourth, but Zastryzny kept mowing down Gold hitters with yet another perfect frame. In his final frame of work, Phillips threw another perfect inning. Hohn took over in the bottom of the fifth for Zastryzny, who threw 26 strikes in the game on just 31 pitches, and similarly held Gold off the bases. Tyler House took over for Phillips in the sixth for Gold and surrendered a leadoff single to Champagne. After Champagne stole second, Steele's sacrifice fly moved him to third with one out. Opel's single to center scored a run, giving Black a 3-1 lead. House then got the next two batters out to hold the deficit at two, but Hohn remained strong with another perfect frame for Black.
House held Black off the bases in the top of the seventh, and Gerrion Grim took over for Black on the mound with a perfect bottom of the inning. Jake Walsh then replaced House for the Gold team and allowed a walk to Pearson to start off the eighth inning, but Walsh picked him off on his second throw to first. Everett then made his way to third in his at bat after an unsuccessful dive attempt on a fly ball by Sean Ullrich in right. With the infield in, Champagne grounded out to Stark at first, holding Everett at third, and then Walsh struck out Steele to end the inning. Grim then kept the Gold team off the bases again. Opel led off the ninth inning with a double to right, and McGraw's sacrifice bunt moved him to third with one out. Walsh then got a strikeout, but Patrick Quintanilla roped a double to the gap in right-center, giving Black a 4-1 lead. Williams came in in the ninth and issued a walk to Keaton Kelly with one out. Eric Kroupa then laced a single to left, and Ullrich grounded into a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners with two outs. Sommerfeld's infield single then cut the Black lead to 4-2, but he was replaced by Eric Anderson on first after coming up gimpy. Anderson was then picked off at first to end the game and series, with the final score of Game Four 4-2.
The Tigers now don't play until Spring, as they play their first SEC season.