Bluefield pioneers new frontier in 5-2 Win at NCCAA World Series
Bluefield strikes with five runs in the 3rd inning to lead way
Sports Information Department BC
May 17, 2012
Bluefield College Athletics
Sports Information Department
MASON, Ohio -- The seventh seeded Bluefield Rams became the first lower seeded team to defeat its higher seeded opponent through the opening five games of the National Christian College Athletic Association Division (NCCAA) I Baseball World Series at Prasco Park, when they came from behind to win a 5-2 contest over the sixth-seeded Malone Pioneers on Thursday.
The Pioneers took the lead with one run against the seventh seeded Ram’s starter Zac Russell-Myers in the top of the first. Sam Craciun opened the game with a leadoff single to right. After back-to-back outs Malone platted the first run of the game when Craciun scored on Andrew Dickerson wild throw allowing T.J. Rosenberg to advance to second and Bob Suitca to advance to third. Trouble continued for the sophomore right-hander when he walked Adam Heideman to load the bases. The second year hurler then used three consecutive strikes to get out of the inning when he struck out Michael Chack looking.
Malone’s starter, Tyler Newhart found an early groove through the first two innings allowing just one hit when Russell-Myers singled to shallow center in the bottom of the first.
As Russell-Myers began cruising on the mound, Bluefield’s offense got going in the bottom of the third when Malone committed three errors. Caleb Long attempted to reach on a bunt but a fantastic bare-handed throw by Bob Suitca sent the junior from Halifax, Va., down. Andrew Dickerson then reached on an error before Greg Moon walked to put the tying run on second. Moon battled Newhart forcing eight pitches to earn the walk.
Junior Alex Riley then fouled off five pitches as Newhart went to a full count to the Rams junior switch hitting centerfielder. On the ninth pitch, Riley singled to first with a smash line drive. That hit scored Dickerson and advanced Moon to second.
Kyle Long took the first pitch from Newhart and singled to right scoring Moon and advanced Riley to second.
After Russell-Myers fell behind on back-to-back strikes, Riley and Long advanced on a double-steal. Russell-Myers struck out swinging bringing up Joe Gatewood.
Gatewood took the second pitch to the right-side of the infield. Suitica bobbled the ball allowing Riley and Long to score while Gatewood advanced to second.
Gatewood scored as Anderson committed the Pioneers’ third error of the inning allowing Zac Goodyear to reach first.
Cameron Hynes grounded out to first to end the inning after the Rams plated five runs on two hits, three errors and left one on base as BC jumped out to a commanding 5-1 lead.
Bluefield starter Zac Russell-Myers cruised through the next four scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Kyle Sprague doubled deep down the left field line to open the inning then moved to third on a fielder’s choice when Craciun grounded out.
Matt Anderson drove in Sprague with a sacrifice. After Logan Gray singled with a hard shot down the right field line the Rams committed its second error allowing Suitca to reach base. Russell-Myers then induced Roseberg into a ground out to end the inning leaving two runners on trailing 5-2.
The Rams threatened to a extend their lead when Hynes reached on a sixth inning opening walk but Trevor Martin pinch hit for Long, Dickerson, and the pinch hitting Andrews went down in succession.
Russell-Myers continued his impressive performance striking out two including the final Malone batter to earn the complete game victory to improve to a 4-8 record.
Bluefield will take on Mid-Continent at 5 p.m. in its third of four games in pool play in what will be a rematch of the Mid-East Regional Championship that BC won in dramatic walk-off fashion 2-1 after losing 6-2 the day before.
You can watch Coach White's Video Interview after today's Game 2 by clicking HERE