PETERSBURG, VA – Winston-Salem State's Ray Crawford singled home Alex Grubb in the bottom of the 15th inning to give the top seeded Rams a 6-5 win to advance to the semi-final round of the 2014 CIAA Baseball Championships.
With the win, WSSU improves to 32-14, while St. Augustine's falls to 18-27.
St. Augustine's got on the scoreboard first, when they were able to score a run on two hits to take the early 1-0 over WSSU.
Winston-Salem State would come back in the bottom of the third inning, after Anthony Nutall reached on catcher's interference, and advance to second on a passed ball. After a Leland Clemmons single thru the middle, Devin McLemore would bring Nutall home on a sacrifice fly to center field. Clemmons would steal both second and third bases before Conner Andrus would bring home Clemmons on a sacrifice fly to center field to give WSSU a 2-1 lead.
Neither team would score again until the eighth, when the Falcons would strike for two runs off of one hits and one Ram error to take a 3-2 lead over the Rams.
But in the bottom half of the eighth, Conner Andrus would tie the game with a blast over the fence to knot the game at 3-3.
St. Augustine's would once again take the lead, this time in the top of the ninth, as they were able to score one run off of two hits to go back out in front 4-3.
Both teams would add a run on the tenth inning, as Alex Grubb would tie the game on a single through the middle that would score Conner Andrus.
The game would remain tied until the bottom of the 15th inning, when Alex Grubb would strike out, but he would reach base when the final strike got away from the St. Augustine's catcher. After two consecutive outs, Jordan Carlton would walk before both he and Grubb would advance bases on a passed ball.
With two outs and two strikes, WSSU's Ray Crawford would show why he was named the CIAA Player of the Year, as he battled at the plate until he would find a pitch he could handle, and he would single through the middle to score Alex Grubb and give the Rams the 6-5 win in 15 innings.
Conner Andrus led the Rams going two for five with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Andrus also hit a home run in the game. Alex Grubb went one for three with a run scored and a run batted in. Anthony Nutall went one for five with a run scored and Devin McLemore finished two for six with two runs batted in. Ray Crawford finished two for six with a run batted in and Leland Clemmons went one for eight with a run scored. Colby Keene and Levi Grassley both went one for six. Gavin Culler scored a run in the game.
Aaron Hatch started the game for the Rams on the mound, pitching the first seven innings, allowing nine hits and three runs (one earned), while striking out two and walking three. Devin McLemore pitched the next seven innings, allowing six hits, two runs, six walks and striking out 10. Jordan Carlton pitched the final inning to pick up the win for the Rams.
Winston-Salem State will not take on the Virginia State Trojans at 11:00 am in the semi final round of the 2014 CIAA Baseball Championships.