Owls Snatch Two from Williams Baptist
FULTON, MO -- The William Woods University took different paths en route to its doubleheader sweep of Williams Baptist College on Friday. The Owls rolled to a 9-2 win in the first game before taking advantage of a wild pitch to win the second game 3-2. Robbie McMorris went the distance in the opener to pick up the win for the owls, with Matt Thomas picking up a relief win in game two.
The Owls threatened early in game one, but stranded a pair of runners in each of the second and third innings before breaking the game open in the fourth.
After walks to Thomas and Robert Butvin, Damon Adrian laid down a sacrifice bunt effort, but beat the throw to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Thomas and moved the runners up, with Austin Clapp picking up an RBI as he grounded out to short. Justin Elmore reached on an error by the WBC second baseman, but picked up an RBI for his troubles, scoring Adrian on the play. Derek Fletcher picked up a single, with a Jacob Harrison triple scoring both Elmore and Ryan Schuermann, who was courtesy-running for Fletcher. Unfortunately, Thomas grounded to second to bring the fireworks to an end.
Williams Baptist cut into the lead, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth, but although the Owls were retired in order in the bottom half of the frame, they allowed just one baserunner in the top of the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, WWU again punished a leadoff walk, this time with Elmore scoring on a single by Fletcher, with Fletcher moving to second after a wild throw from right. Harrison laid down a great sac bunt, reaching on a bobble by the pitcher, with Brian Carr laying down a bunt to load the bases. Thomas hit a grounder to short, but legged it out to beat the double play attempt, earning a fielder's choice as Harrison sprinted home. The Owls weren't able to push another run across, however.
McMorris and the Owl defense held, though, collecting two flyouts to right and a three-pitch strikeout to end the game.
The scoring happened much earlier in game two, as the Eagles pushed a run across in the top of the first.
William Woods answered with two in the bottom of the inning, with Derek McCawley cracking a one-out double to score Harrison and Carr.
WBC tied it up in the top of the second, as Tyler Williams led off with a double. Dakota Melton came on as a courtesy runner for the Eagles and quickly scored, swiping third before scampering home as Fletcher's throw was slightly off the mark.
The scoreboard went blank for the next several innings, however, as neither team was able to score. WWU threatened in the bottom of the second and the bottom of the fifth but stranded a pair of runners in each inning.
In the top of the eighth, a gutsy move from head coach Darren Munns paid off for the Owls, as with runners on first and second and two out, the Owls chose to intentionally walk Williams. After a courtesy runner swap, Thomas fired three straight strikes to work out of the jam.
After reaching base on an error to lead off the inning, Thomas advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Zach Woody. Andrew Pointer came on as a courtesy runner for Thomas, making short work on the basepaths as he stole third on the first pitch to Ryan Sweet. After a called strike, the Eagles' pitcher sailed one well wide of the target, allowing Pointer to hustle home and end the game.
The Owls move to 29-17 (12-10 AMC) on the season, and look to close out the weekend with a series sweep on Saturday. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 12 p.m., with a ceremony to honor the team's 13 seniors to be held between games.