Black Team On the Brink of Fall World Series Title with Win
COLUMBIA -- An explosive first inning gave Team Black an early 4-0 lead, but Gold battled back before falling short as Black took a 5-4, 7-inning win in Game Three of the Mizzou Baseball Fall World Series on Monday in Taylor Stadium. Ryan Yuengel got the nod for Black in today's contest, going five shutout innings to make sure his squad was able to take a stranglehold on the best-of-seven series. Keaton Steele's RBI-double opened the scoring in the game and created a deficit Gold couldn't dig out of. Freshman Sean Ullrich and Sophomore Case Munson were the bright spots for Gold in this contest, combining for three singles, two doubles and two of the Gold team's four runs of the contest.
Black jumped on Gold starter John Miles early, as Dillon Everett led off with a double, and Brannon Champagne followed with a bunt single. Steele then laced a line drive to left-center field, scoring both runs and landing at second base with a double. Dane Opel's sacrifice bunt advanced Steele to third with one out, and Michael McGraw's sac fly to right scored Steele for a 3-0 lead. Kendall Keaton then kept the inning alive with a triple to deep center, and Patrick Quintanilla doubled to the left-center field gap to tack on another run for Black, 4-0. Yuengel took the mound for Black in the bottom of the inning, and opened with a strikeout. Gold was then able to load the bases with one out, but Yuengel responded with a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning scoreless.
Justin Byrd led off the second with a line-drive single to right, and a throwing error by Miles on a bunt then put two on with no outs, but Miles forced a pop up, a strikeout, and a groundout to hold Black off the board. Case Munson led off the bottom of the inning with a 10-pitch at bat, ending in a line drive single to left. After a passed ball allowed Munson to advance to second, but he was left stranded on third after a strikeout, a groundout, and a flyout. Miles got a one-two-three inning in the third, and Ullrich led off the bottom of the inning with a double off the left field wall. Josh Lester's line drive up the middle was snagged by Yuengel, and he doubled off Ullrich before forcing a flyout to center to end the inning.
Miles breezed through the fourth, with the only base runner of the inning reaching on error. Yuengel also had an easy go in the fourth, getting a one-pitch out to start off the scoreless frame. Everett got hit by pitch to start the fifth, but he was thrown out as he tried to advance to third on a throwing error. Miles then induced a double play to end the inning. Munson opened the bottom of the fifth with a single, but he was thrown out trying to steal second as Gold went down scoreless again.
Austin Tribby entered to pitch for Gold in the sixth, and allowed McGraw to reach base on a hit by pitch. Quintanilla and Ivory then smashed line drives right back up the middle, allowing McGraw to score to give Black a 5-0 lead. Andrew Hohn relieved Yuengel in the bottom of the sixth, and allowed only a double to left by Ullrich in his two outs of work. Breckin Williams replaced him, and a throwing error by the shortstop enabled Ullrich to score to make the game 5-1, but Williams responded with a strikeout to end the inning.
Matt Garringer pitched for Gold in the seventh, and he held Black scoreless in the final defensive frame for Gold. Scott Sommerfeld doubled to left with one out in the bottom of the seventh, and Munson singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Sal Belfonte then doubled to left, scoring both runners to make it a 5-3 game. Steele then took over on the mound for Williams, and gave up a single to Jonathan Meyer, who then advanced to second on a throwing error. A groundout then allowed Belfonte to score, making the game 5-4 and bringing up Ullrich to bat. Steele won the battle, though, striking out Ullrich to end the game.