White Team Rallies to Win Fall Classic Two Games to One
Oct. 9, 2013
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. - Senior John Cialone hit a walk-off single with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning and the White Team won Game 3 of the Villanova Baseball Fall Classic, 3-2. The win clinched the series for the White Team, which won the final two games in the best-of-three series.
Last week the Blue Team posted a 6-4 win to open the series, which concluded with the final two games this week. Game two was scoreless after nine innings and suspended due to darkness on Tuesday afternoon, with the White Team picking up two victories today to claim the series. Below are highlights from each of the three games.
Game 1: Blue 6, White 4
After allowing three runs in the bottom of the first inning and falling behind 3-1, the Blue Team yielded just one run the rest of the way and held on late for a 6-4 victory. Sophomore outfielder Mike Mecca led off the top of the fifth with a walk and eventually scored the go-ahead run in the inning, snapping a 3-3 tie and putting the Blue Team ahead for good.
Senior left-handed pitcher Matt Meurer entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases loaded and two outs to try and protect a 6-3 lead. Leadoff hitter Eric Lowe was at the plate and reached on an error which extended the inning and allowed a run to score. Meurer struck out sophomore infielder Emmanuel Morris to end the inning and then worked around an error and a two-out single in the ninth.
Earlier in the bottom of the eighth inning Brian Trabulsi doubled to the fence in left-center field with one out, while Jeremy Streich and Jeff Courter each walked to load the bases against freshman left-hander John Santoianni. Streich also singled up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to keep the game going, before Courter flied to right to end the game.
Freshman right-hander Donovan Armas pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three for the Blue Team to earn the win. He came into a 3-3 game in the bottom of the third inning and was the beneficiary of the two go-ahead runs that the Blue Team scored in the top half of the fifth. Junior right-handers Max Almonte and Kagan Richardson each pitched one scoreless inning out of the bullpen.
Game 2: White 1, Blue 0 (10 Innings)
In a game that was originally scheduled to go seven innings on October 8, the teams played nine scoreless frames until the game was suspended due to darkness. Pitching and defense were the big stories for both teams and there were a combined five double plays turned in the first nine innings.
Each team had a chance to score in the sixth inning but had runners thrown out at the plate. In the bottom of the sixth inning the Blue Team loaded the bases but had the potential go-ahead run thrown out at home to keep the game scoreless. After the White Team went down in order in the top half of the seventh the Blue Team came to the plate with a chance to clinch the best-of-three series with a run.
The Blue Team was held scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning but had chances to score the winning run in both the eighth and ninth innings. In the bottom of the eighth the White Team turned an 8-4 double play to escape a jam, while in the bottom of the ninth a leadoff base runner for the Blue Team was caught stealing second.
Play resumed on October 9 with the game headed to the 10th inning and the White Team quickly pushed across the go-ahead run. Sophomore Luke Emling hit an RBI double which plated Connor Jones with the go-ahead run and made a winning pitcher out of freshman Adam Schreck. The Blue Team was retired in order in the bottom of the 10th inning by freshman Hunter Schryver as the White Team knotted the series at one game apiece.
Game 3: White 3, Blue 2 (6 Innings)
Each team scored in their final time at bat as the closely-contested series literally came down to the wire. With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning freshman Brian Trabulsi was hit by a pitch leading off and then reached third with still nobody out on a stolen base and a throwing error. Blue Team pitcher Max Almonte struck out the next man he faced but Cialone hit a fly ball to center field that was far over the heads of the drawn-in outfield to clinch the win.
In the top half of the sixth inning sophomore infielder Kevin Jewitt lined a solo home run down the left field line to tie the game at 2-2. It was the first and only home run hit during the series at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth, which lived up to its usual reputation for suppressing offense. The two teams combined for just 16 total runs in 25 innings during the series.
Jewitt's long ball extended the game after the White Team scored two runs on one play in the bottom of the fifth to grab a 2-1 lead. The inning began with the Blue Team holding a 1-0 lead but Alexander Masotto led off with a single and moved to second on Derrick May's sacrifice bunt. Jeff Courter drew a walk and later in the inning there were runners at second and third with two outs. A wild pitch scored Masotto with the tying run, while Courter took third on the wild pitch and scored on an error to put the White Team in front, 2-1, and set up the turn of events for both teams in the sixth inning.