White Goes 11-for-12 in Series to Lead Blue to FWS Win
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Sophomore first baseman Evan White went 4-for-4 with a grand slam and two steals, pacing the Blue team to the Kentucky baseball Fall World Series crown with an 11-3 seven-inning win, on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
A native of Gahanna, Ohio, White had a blistering weekend for the Blue team, going 11-for-12 with a double, triple, homer and six RBI, stealing three bases. He finished with 18 total bases, five runs scored and a 2.334 OPS over the weekend. As a freshman in 2015, White hit .318 (69-for-217) with 12 doubles, one triple, two homers and 28 RBI, sporting a .369 on-base percentage and three steals. He was named Freshman All-Southeastern Conference and the first baseman on the All-SEC Defensive Team.
Black opened the scoring with a run in the first after an error put a tally on starter Zack Brown. Blue then scored 11 consecutive runs, with four-run innings in the fourth and sixth. Black scored two runs in the seventh for the final margin.
In the win on Sunday, Blue got the 4-for-4, four-RBI outing out of White, who scored three runs and stole two bases. Second baseman Luke Becker and junior DH Marshall Gei each had two hits, with Connor Heady, Joe Dudek, Tyler Marshall and Kole Cottam adding hits. Dudek drove in three runs and had a walk and senior leftfielder Dorian Hairston drew three walks and scored a run.
Blue hit .360 as a team during the weekend, paced by the red-hot stretch from White. Becker hit .400 (4-for-10) with two doubles and three RBI, with Gei driving in three runs, along with Marshall. Dudek had a homer and five RBI, with Cottam adding two hits and two RBI.
On Sunday, Black got two-hit games from junior first baseman Gunnar McNeill and freshman infielder Zeke Lewis. JaVon Shelby had a hit, RBI and a walk, with Trey Miller adding a hit, Riley Mahan scoring a run and Marcus Carson drawing a walk.
A native of Seymour, Ind., Brown (1-0) worked four innings without allowing an earned run, walking three and striking out four. Freshman 6-foot-6 righty Justin Lewis tossed two shutout innings, allowing just a walk, striking out four. Freshman lefty Dima Ballard pitched the seventh.
Black starter Kyle Cody worked two innings, allowing two hits and one run, walking two and striking out three. Freshman Keegan McHood tossed the third inning, allowing a run and a hit. Freshman Josh Smith came on to pitch the fourth, surrendering the homer to White in his frame, walking one and striking out one. Jake Hamilton and Bo Wilson each tossed an inning in relief.
Smith led the Black team at the plate, going 4-for-7 with three walks. McNeill was 5-for-10 with two doubles, one homer and four RBI.
In the top of the first inning, McNeill kept the frame alive with a two-out double down the line, taking third on a passed ball. Shelby then beat out an infield hit in the hole to allow McNeill to score.
Blue answered in the bottom of the first inning, as Hairston led off with a walk, scoring on Gei’s two-out RBI single.
White tripled to centerfield to leadoff the third, scoring on an RBI grounder from Dudek.
In the fourth, White struck for his slam, belted into the metal “The Cliff” signage on the right-centerfield wooden patio.
Marshall doubled to rightfield to leadoff the fifth, with Becker then ripping a double into the right-centerfield gap to score the sophomore third baseman.
In the sixth, Dudek scored two with an RBI single, before Blue got RBI an RBI hit from Becker and a sacrifice fly from Cottam.
Mahan struck for a two-RBI double in the seventh, scoring Zach Reks, who doubled to centerfield to lead off the inning vs. Wilson.