WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Winston-Salem State Rams used solid pitching and timely hitting to sweep a double header from Kutztown University on Wednesday at BB&T Ballpark in downtown Winston-Salem.
With the two wins, the WSSU Rams improve to 19-9 overall, while Kutztown falls to 7-3.
In the first game, WSSU used a big inning and home runs from Anthony Nutall, and two from Leland Clemmons, as the Rams blanked the Bears 9-0.
WSSU was able to score first, when in the bottom of the first inning, Leland Clemmons would lead off with a double down the left field line, and Gavin Culler would advance him to third on a sacrifice bunt. Ray Crawford would bring Clemmons home on a sacrifice fly to deep right field, giving the Rams the early 1-0 lead.
The score would remain at 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Winston-Salem State would blow the game open with six runs on four hits.
Leland Clemmons led off the fifth with a deep solo home run to left field. Gavin Culler would single and promptly steal second. Culler advanced on a Ray Crawford groundout. Conner Andrus would reach on a fielder's choice, with Culler scoring. Andrus would eventually steal second base, and Colby Keane would draw a walk before Rafael Gonzalez would single to left field, scoring Andrus. Anthony Nutall would cap the big inning with a three run home run to left field, putting the Rams out in front 7-0.
Winston-Salem State would score again in the sixth inning, when Leland Clemmons would go yard for the second consecutive inning to lead off the inning giving WSSU a 8-0 lead. Gavin Culler reached on a single up the middle and advanced to second on a groundout by Ray Crawford. Gavin Culler would advance to third on a wild pitch, and Levi Grassley who would walk, also advance to second on the play. Culler would score on another Bear wild pitch, giving the Rams the final run of the game and eventual win at 9-0.
Winston-Salem State was led at the plate by Leland Clemmons, who finished the game three for four with three runs scored, two runs batted in and two home runs. Gavin Culler went three for three with two runs scored, and Colby Keane and Rafael Gonzalez each went two for three with a run scored. Gonzalez also had a run batted in. Anthony Nutall also had the long ball going, as he hit his first home run of the season, going one for two with three runs batted in and a run scored. Ray Crawford picked up a rbi, as did Conner Andrus who also scored a run to go with his run batted in.
Wesley Helsabeck continued to be strong on the mound for WSSU, as he picked up his fifth win of the season, going 6.0 innings, allowing just three hits, while striking out four and walking three. Alex Grubb came out of the bullpen to pitch the final inning.
In game two, Kutztown was able to get on the scoreboard first, as the plated a run in the fourth inning, helped out by two WSSU errors in the inning.
Winston-Salem State would answer in the bottom of the fifth inning after Rafael Gonzalez doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a Anthony Nutall groundout. Gonzalez would score on a passed ball. The rams would load the bases after a Aaron Hatch single and a Leland Clemmons walk, followed by a single from Gavin Culler. Ray Crawford would bring home Hatch on a sacrifice fly to deep right field, giving the Rams a 2-1 lead.
The Kutztown Bears would come right back in the sixth inning with another run, to tied the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Anthony Nutall walked to start the inning, then was replaced for pinch runner, Eddie Araujo, who advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Aaron Hatch would then reach on an error by the first baseman, and Leland Clemmons would be intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs.
After a pitching change by Kutztown, Gavin Culler would come to the plate with a chance to give the Rams the win.
He wouldn't disappoint, as he would take a pitch into right field, scoring Eddie Araujo, to give the WSSU Rams the walk-off win, 3-2, and the series sweep.
For the Rams, Gavin Culler finished three for four with a rbi, and Aaron hatch went two for three with a run scored. Rafael Gonzalez was one for three with a run scored and Ray Crawford finished one for two with a run batted in. Conner Andrus went one for three in the game.
Scott Wells pitched 5.1 innings, allowing six hits and two runs, while striking out two and walking one. Eric Corlett picked up the win coming out of the bullpen, going 1.2 innings, and allowing just one hit.
Winston-Salem State will play out of conference this weekend, when they travel to Mars Hill University to take on the Bulldogs in a three game series.