Blue Dogs top Red Bulls, 12-6, to Clinch Fall World Series
Nov. 4, 2016
RUSTON, La. - For the second consecutive game, the Blue Dogs provided an offensive barrage in the first inning, on their way to a 12-6 victory over the Red Bulls to clinch the 2016 Fall World Series.
On Friday afternoon, it was the Red Bulls who struck first, stringing together three consecutive hits from Raphael Gladu, Jonathan Washam and Brent Diaz to move ahead 1-0. The Blue Dogs would get that run back and more in the bottom half of the first.
Parker Bates drew a leadoff walk and scored when Jordan Washam followed with a single to left field. Chase Lunceford stood in next and doubled off of the top of the centerfield wall, bringing home Washam and giving the Blue Dogs a 2-1 lead. After Cody Daigle was hit by a pitch and Colby Hamilton reached on a fielder’s choice, Mason Robinson stepped in with the bases loaded.
The junior college transfer from Wallace-Dolthan Community College blasted a grand slam over the wall in left center to put the Blue Dogs on top 6-1, all before the Red Bulls could record even an out in the first.
The Blue Dogs would tack on three more runs in the second inning, first on an RBI-single from Hamilton. Later in the inning, Robinson delivered another RBI on an infield single and Seth White followed with an RBI-single to centerfield. When the dust settled, the Blue Dogs led 9-1 after two frames.
“I thought the first inning was pretty indicative of the entire ball game,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “Austin Harrison has been really good for us throughout the fall and for whatever reason, his tempo tonight was not there. Red jumped out early and ran themselves out of an inning. I was proud of them for jumping out and competing. Austin has been good, but he could not find his tempo. The blue team took some great swings. Jordan Washam has been tremendous, especially in two-strike hitting. He had a couple more tonight. Chase Lunceford had the big home run and Mason Robinson had the grand slam. You get a six run lead and it is going to be hard to overcome it.”
The lone run in the first would be the only run allowed by Tyler Follis who tossed four innings with four strikeouts for the Blue Dogs.
“Follis was outstanding,” Burroughs said. “He has been that way all fall. We are excited about him going into the spring and he is battling for a weekend rotation spot.”
Casey Sullivan came on in relief for Harrison and threw four innings including three scoreless frames in the third, fourth and fifth inning.
“I will tip my hat to Casey Sullivan. I thought he calmed the storm,” Burroughs said. “We were looking at a run-rule and he came in and gave his team a chance throwing up three zeros. They battled back. [Marshall] Boggs is banged up, so he isn’t moving around well. Holcombe is banged up, but he still had two quality at-bats after his injury. They competed and kept battling. I thought it was a good ball game, even though the score won’t indicate it.”
The Red Bulls struck for two in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly from Diaz and an RBI-single from Matt Holcombe but those runs would be erased on a two-run home run courtesy of Lunceford.
A Mason Mallard RBI-double in the seventh cut into the deficit for the Red Bulls once again, but the Blue dogs would get that run back in the bottom of the eight on an RBI-single from Hamilton.
The Red Bulls scored two in the top of the ninth on a run-scoring single from Garrett Dodd and another RBI-double from Mallard.
Doc Wilkerson tossed two innings with four strikeouts for the Blue Dogs, while Matt Miller struck out two in one inning. Zack Hamilton and Graham Ahlrich finished things up for the Blue Dogs with one inning pitched each.
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