Perfect Day From Fletcher Helps Owls to Win Over Ashford
FULTON, MO -- Behind a perfect 3-for-3 outing from Chris Fletcher the William Woods University baseball team stretched its winning streak to two, downing Ashford University 2-1 in the first of a four-game set. Matt Thomas picked up the win, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings and striking out four.
Brian Carr looked to be in a jam in the opening frame for the Owls, as Ashford loaded the bases with one out, but the senior settled in and fanned back-to-back Saints batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Owls wouldn't be as lucky in the top of the second, as Ashford pushed a run across on a sac fly by Damil Reyes, but WWU would answer in the bottom of the inning, as Justin Elmore scored for the home team. Reaching on a two-out walk, he advanced to third as a wild pitch got away from Jimmy Six and ended up in the backstop. Fletcher drove a double to deep left field to score Elmore, advancing to third on a single from Jordan Thompson but WWU couldn't plate another run.
But for a web gem from the Ashford left fielder, the Owls would have added one in the bottom of the third, but Kyler Kopach was able to double Jacob Harrison up after chasing down a deep fly from Derek McCawley at the warning track.
The teams traded scoreless innings in the fourth, fifth and sixth, with WWU retiring the Saints in the top of the seventh before posting the winning run in the bottom of the frame. Elmore led off the inning with a double to right, stretching it to third as the Ashford right fielder wasn't able to get a handle on the ball. In the next at-bat, Fletcher drove the ball straight back to right field, picking up his second RBI of the contest as Elmore scored. Austin Clapp would check in as a pinch runner for Fletcher, with a sacrifice bunt chasing Saints starter Jimmy Six from the game. The Owls weren't able to take advantage of his replacement, however, as Chris Stout retired the side on back-to-back strikeouts.
Having moved from the DH spot to the mound in the top of the 7th, Thomas continued to dominate, retiring the Saints in order in both the eighth and ninth to pick up the win.
The Owls move to 2-1 on the season and Ashford drops to 0-1. Six took the loss for the Saints after giving up both runs in the contest. WWU's pitching staff posted a combined 11 shutouts on the afternoon, scattering seven hits and issuing just three walks.
WWU and AU will continue the series on Sunday with a doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.