Shane Stolz, Sports Information Director
Scores: Game 1 – Williams Baptist College 8, Crowley’s Ridge College 6
Game 2 – Williams Baptist College 11, Crowley’s Ridge College 1 – 5 innings
Records: WBC (2-0) vs. CRC (0-2)
Location: Shell Field – Walnut Ridge, Ark.
Despite below freezing temperatures, the Williams Baptist College baseball team got off to a hot start in the 2018 season. The Eagles swept Crowley’s Ridge College, winning 8-6 in game one and 11-1 in game two on Tuesday. The games were played at WBC’s Shell Field in Walnut Ridge.
Two big innings highlighted the Eagles 8-6 victory in game one. After falling behind 2-0, Williams came to bat in the bottom of the fourth.
Hayden Winberry and Pedro Lopez led the inning with back-to-back walks. The runners advanced to second and third on a ground out, putting the tying run at second base. Cam Smith came to the plate looking for the crucial hit, but instead reached first on hit-by-pitch, loading the bases.
Rustin Hayes came to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a ground ball to second base, but CRC’s second baseman misplayed the ball, allowing the Eagles to score the first run and keep the bases loaded with one out.
Ethan Roberts stepped in and lined the ball to left field, tying the game at two. Cam Smith gave the Eagles the lead on a wild pitch, before Rustin Hayes scored on a fielding error.
WBC scored four runs in the inning on one hit, while forcing two errors.
CRC responded by tying the game in the fifth, and then taking a 6-4 lead in the sixth. However, the Eagles showed their resilience, once again scoring four runs in an inning.
After the first two batters in the sixth inning got out, Rustin Hayes got things going with an opposite field single. Ethan Roberts followed him with a walk, putting two runners on with pinch-hitter Tyler Higgins stepping into the batter’s box.
Higgins skyed a ball into the gap, scoring two runs on a game-tying double. Kagen Brown drove in pinch runner Jose Rojas with a double on the next pitch. Denny Elligson made it three straight doubles, giving the Eagles the 8-6 advantage.
In total, Williams finished the inning with four runs on four hits, all with two outs.
Drew Mullins earned the win, throwing 1.2 innings in relief. The freshman allowed three hits, while striking out three batters for his first career victory.
The second game of the double-header would not be as close as the first. WBC run-ruled the Pioneers 11-1 in five innings.
Denny Elligson and Ethan Roberts were the offensive stars for the Eagles. Elligson batted leadoff and went 3-for-4 with three runs driven in, while scoring one. Meanwhile, Roberts was 2-for-2 with three runs scored.
Tyler Eudy drove in three runs with a bases loaded triple to blow the game wide open in the third inning. The triple was a part of a five run inning which gave WBC a 9-1 lead.
On the mound, Jessie Payne was going against his former team. He earned the win, going four innings, allowing three hits and one run scored.
Williams will host Missouri Valley College on Thursday and Friday (Feb. 8 and 9) in a four game series. The teams will play two doubleheaders beginning at noon each day.