FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Carson Shaddy and freshman Evan Lee went a combined 7 for 9 at the plate Tuesday afternoon to lead Team Gray to a 10-6 victory over Team Cardinal in Game 2 of the 2016 Razorback Fall World Series at Baum Stadium.
Shaddy and Lee were part of a balanced offensive attack from Team Gray that saw seven of its nine starters record at least one hit in the game. Shaddy was near perfect at the plate, going 4 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. Lee added three hits with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Team Gray starting pitcher Trevor Stephan earned the victory after throwing five solid innings while scattering seven hits and giving up just two earned runs. The bullpen behind him was nearly lights out before a three-run ninth inning by Team Cardinal made things interesting.
Cannon Chadwick and Ty Harris each threw 1 1/3 innings for Team Gray, giving up no hits and striking out one. Nate Alberius, who threw in Game 1, returned to the mound for Game 2 to try and close things out in the eighth and ninth innings.
Alberius had a little trouble in the ninth when he gave up a three-run homer to Chad Spanberger, cutting the Team Gray lead to four. Team Cardinal put two more runners on base after the home run and had the tying run on deck, but Alberius was able to induce the foul out and the ground out to earn the save.
Moments That Mattered
Team Gray got an early lead in the first inning from a Luke Bonfield solo home run, his first of the fall series. Facing Team Cardinal starter Kevin Kopps, Bonfield swung at the first pitch he saw and sent one well into the Hog Pen in left field.
Team Cardinal answered back in the top of the third when catcher Grant Koch delivered a 2 RBI double down the left field line. Jake Arledge and Matt Burch scored on the play to tie the game at 2-2. Koch has, arguably, had the best bat of the fall. In just two fall series games, he's gone 4 for 9 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs.
After retaking the lead with a two-run fourth, Team Gray padded its lead with a three-run fifth to make it 7-2. Team Cardinal was forced to go to the bullpen at the start of the inning, replacing Kopps with Matt Cronin. Shaddy and Lee both singled to put runners on the corners, followed by a walk by Jack Benninghoff to load the bases. Junior Hunter Wilson took advantage on the next at-bat singling through the right side, his lone hit of the game bringing home two.
Team Cardinal tried to stage a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, down 10-3. Alex Gosser and Koch each singled to lead off the inning, which was followed with the Spanberger home run the opposite way. It was Spanberger's first home run of the fall series and brought Team Cardinal within four, but wasn't enough to close the gap.
Team Cardinal has put plenty of hits together through the first two games, but has struggled to bring home runs. Along with Koch, Gosser and Dominic Fletcher each have four hits in the series, but Koch has four of the team's eight RBIs.
On the flip side, Team Gray has seven of its players with three hits or more in the series. The pitching has been stellar as well as both starters (Blaine Knight, Stephan) have gone five innings and given up only two earned runs each.
Due to the threat of bad weather on Wednesday, Game 3 of the Fall World Series has been moved to Thursday with first pitch at 3 p.m. Wednesday will count as the scheduled off day and the "if necessary" games four and five will still be played on Friday and Saturday. The entire fall series is free and open to the public.
2016 Razorback Fall World Series Schedule
Game 1 – Gray 6, Cardinal 3 (Gray leads 1-0)
Game 2 – Gray 10, Cardinal 6 (Gray leads 2-0)
Game 3 – Thursday, Oct. 20 at 3 p.m.
Game 4 – Friday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 5 – Saturday, Oct. 22 at Noon (if necessary)