OWLS' SERIES OPENER
annual Black vs Gold series opened with a walk-off 7-6 victory for the Gold team Tuesday night under the lights at Kiger Stadium. The Black squad took an early 1-0 lead as Dustin Norman (SR, Kuna, ID) scored on a wild pitch after earlier reaching on a walk. In the bottom half of the 6th
inning the Gold answered with a run of their own as Brent Hegdahl (FR, Ashland, OR) scored on an RBI single by Spencer Reed (JR, Spring Valley, CA).
The Black team broke the tie in the top of the 7th with an RBI single by Tyler Conklin (SR, Newport, OR) which plated Aaron Bocchi (JR, Klamath Falls) followed by an RBI double by Dustin Norman. Junior lefthander Eric Christiansen (Mountain Home, ID) finished the 7th inning on the mound with a one run lead as the Gold team added an unearned run to cut the score to 3-2.
The eighth inning saw the Black team extend their lead by a run in the top half of the inning as Ben Krueger (SO, Renton, WA) bunt home Kevin Shulemson (SR, Lakewood, CA). Christiansen and Codey Barrett (SR, Phoenix, OR) combined to pitch a scoreless frame in the bottom half of the inning to move the game into the final frame.
The top of the 9th yielded two more runs for the Black team, highlighted by a long RBI double to right-center by Shulemson who later scored. The Black team had a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom half of the 9th.
Derek Gummersall (JR, Pocatello, ID) opened the frame with a walk followed by a single by freshman Ethan Schlecht (Ashland, OR). This prompted a pitching change for the Black team as PJ Vanemmerik (FR, Reno, NV) took to the mound. Vanemmerik was plagued by a defensive error by the first baseman which loaded the bases before Brent Hegdahl drove a pitch off the left-center field fence for a two run double. Only a good relay throw was able to cut down the third runner at the plate to maintain the Black team’s lead, but a Bryce McKinney (JR, Portland, OR) single tied the game as Hegdahl scored.
With the scored tied 6-6, Vanemmerik struck out the next batter for the second out of the inning. Ryan Grant followed with a single that allowed Mckinney to go 1st to 3rd, setting up a wild pitch that would allow the winning run to cross the plate and the Gold team to take the first game of the best of seven game Owls Series.
Codey Beattie (FR, Reno, NV) picked up the win for the Gold team as he pitched the final two innings of game one. Brent Hegdahl lead all hitters with two base knocks and two runs batted in.
Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday at 4pm weather permitting (as snowy conditions have cancelled Wednesday’s game).
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