William Woods Baseball Earns Sweep in Home Opener
FULTON, MO -- The William Woods baseball team was able to capitalize on their first home game on the season, getting stellar pitching performances from Adam Brush and Dane Smith, sweeping Harris-Stowe State 2-0 in game one and 6-0 in game two.
William Woods (3-1 AMC, 7-7 overall), put Brush on the hill and he did not disappoint. The Ashland, Mo., native threw a complete game six hitter, striking out nine Hornet batters, while only walking two. It remained a pitching duel until the home half of the fourth inning.
After Matt Thomas popped out, catcher Derek Fletcher got things going, reaching base on third baseman's Alex Mancillas bobble. Eilert Meyers was up next and he reached base on a wild throw from second baseman Reymond Vazquez, allowing pinch-runner Damon Adrian to advance to third, while Meyers stayed at first.
Designated hitter Robert Butvin finally put the Owls on the board, grounding out to third base, allowing Adrian to score, putting the team up 1-0. Brush continued to work through the Hornets offense and got some more run support in the bottom of the sixth, as Fletcher hit a deep fly ball to right center, Patrick Griffard looked as if he would make the catch, however, the ball went off his glove, and with Fletcher running hard the whole way he ended up at third base.
Meyers put the team up for good, hitting a sacrifice fly scoring Adrian who pinch-ran for Fletcher, giving the Owls the 2-0 victory, led by Brush. The team managed only three hits, but was helped out by Harris-Stowe committing four errors in the field. Greg Hamrock, Zach Nichols and Meyers were the lone Owls to get hits. Hornet starter Caleb Hosey really went toe-to-toe with Brush, throwing six innings allowing two runs (zero earned), on three hits and striking out two.
In game two, Dane Smith got the ball and like Brush, the junior shut-out the Hornets, throwing a complete game seven hitter, allowing one walk while striking out seven and threw 109 pitches. The Owls got it going in the bottom of the third, as Justin Elmore led off and bunted his way onto base, and was able to advance to second on a wild throw from catcher Javier Martinez, putting the Owls in scoring position.
After a Hamrock sacrifice bunt moving Elmore over to third, and a Jacob Harrison walk, Nichols hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Elmore and putting WWU up 1-0. The team added another run in the fifth, with Fletcher singling to left, scoring Nichols who reached base earlier in the inning hitting a single, making it 2-0 home team.
The offense, then finally came alive in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs on five hits, getting RBI from Nichols, Fletcher, Meyers and Austin Clapp, taking a comfortable 6-0 lead for starter Dane Smith. The Halls, Tenn., native earned his first win on the season, as the Owls were able to go on for the victory and keep the scoreless streak going at 16 innings for William Woods.
The offense totaled nine hits on the afternoon, led by left fielder Zach Nichols, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Fletcher also added two RBI, while going 1-for-3 at the dish. Greg Hamrock and Austin Clapp each added two hits as well.
The Owls move back to .500 on the season and will be back in action again tomorrow weather permitting against Harris-Stowe in another double-header starting at 12:00 p.m. Fans should stay tuned to wwuowls.com, along with twitter (WWU_Owls) to check for any cancellations or game time changes tomorrow.