Nov. 2, 2016
THE FLATS – A Kel Johnson solo shot in the second inning and a bases clearing three-run double from Kennan Innis in the fifth was all that the Gold team and starting pitcher Zac Ryan needed to defeat the White team 4-1 in game 2 of the 2016 White vs. Gold World Series on Wednesday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
With the win, the Gold team has taken a 2-0 series lead.
“I was really pleased with Zac Ryan. Zac Ryan’s thrown the ball really well all fall. I think that Keyton Gibson threw the ball good for four innings, got out of trouble today which is a great sign to see, but then had a tough fifth inning. I would have liked to have seen him finish it, but he didn’t quite get to finish,” stated head coach Danny Hall. “I was impressed with Bailey Combs who came in and did a nice job getting out of a jam. I thought that Robert Winborne threw the ball really well and then other than the home run I thought that Datoc made some really good pitches for the second time this series.”
Ryan earned the win for the Gold team, as the senior pitched five scoreless innings, allowing four hits while striking out five of the 20 batters he faced.
“We had a couple of good defensive plays between Austin Wilhite going in the hole, diving to throw a guy out and his brother made a nice catch in center field against the wall, and then I thought that Webb’s play just going back on that pop up and catching it was a really good play,” continued Coach Hall. “Kennan Innis with a huge hit to kind of blow the game open a little bit and I also thought that Kel Johnson swung the bat really well today. It was great to see him hit another home run. Then McCann offensively had a good day today with a double and a home run.”
Offensively, the Gold team pounded out eight base hits off the bats of seven different players. Johnson led the way going 2-for-3 with a home run, a double an RBI and a run scored, while Innis was 1-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Wade Bailey (1-for-2, run), Austin Wilhite (1-for-2, run) and Will Galloway (1-for-2, run) all had one hit and scored one run in the win.
For the visitors in white, a trio of players combined for their six hits in Kyle McCann, Nick Wilhite and Coleman Poje. McCann was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, an RBI and run scored, while both Nick Wilhite and Poje were both 2-for-3 at the plate for the day.
A few spectacular defensive plays kept the game scoreless in the first inning, as a diving stop at second base by Austin Wilhite on a ground ball to the hole got the Gold team out of the inning in the top half, while his brother, Nick Wilhite, made a great grab up against the wall in center field for the third out of the inning in the bottom half of the first.
However, Gold quickly took the lead in the bottom of the second, as Johnson hit a line drive down the left field line that sailed over the wall for a solo home run, his second of the series, to put the home team up 1-0 early.
Looking to knot the game up in the top of the fifth, the White team got a lead-off double to left center from McCann. The next batter Nick Wilhite hit a single up the middle where Bailey for the Gold team made a diving stop to keep the ball from reaching the outfield grass and holding McCann at third base.
The defensive play proved to be huge, as Ryan would get the next three hitters to fly out to left, pop up to short and strike out to keep the White team off the scoreboard.
The Gold team gave Ryan some more help in the bottom half of the fifth, as Austin Wilhite singled up the middle to lead off the inning. After a fly out to left field, Galloway singled through the left side and then advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Following an intentional walk to Bailey to load the bases, Innis hit the first pitch he saw down the right field line past the drawn in infield to clear the bases with a three-run double to put the Gold in front at 4-0.
In the top of the seventh, McCann broke up the Gold team’s bid for a shutout with a huge solo shot to right field to put the score at 4-1 in favor of the Gold team, where the score would stand at the end of the seven-inning contest.
* Kel Johnson had a home run and a double to give him three extra base hits in the series.
* Kel Johnson is 5-of-8 (.625) at the plate over the first two games of the series.
* Kennan Innis, Kel Johnson, Trevor Craport, Ryan Peurifoy, Wade Bailey, Will Galloway and Austin Wilhite have all hit safely in each contest thus far in the series.
* Jared Datoc has pitched the final inning for the Gold team in both games of the series.
* The Gold team has not trailed a single inning over the first two games of the series.
Game 3 of the three-game series is slated for a 4 p.m. start on Friday, Nov. 4, at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Danny Hall Postgame Audio