PRINCETON, WV – The Winston-Salem State University Rams baseball team closed out their 2016 season with two road wins, as the Rams defeated the Bluefield State Blues, 4-3 and 6-2 on Saturday at Hunnicutt Field in Princeton, WV.
In game one, Bluefield State scored a run in the first inning and added another in the seocnd to jump out to an early lead, and kept the WSSU bats silent through the four innings.
The Blues looked to put the Rams away in the fourth innings, when they added another run to take a 3-0 advantage.
Winston-Salem State finally caught fire in the fifth inning, as Chris Cane walked to lead off. Connor Bodenhamer then homered to right field, cutting the Bluefield State lead to just one at 3-2. Brandon Fowler would then triple to right center, and Jason Baytop drove in Fowler on a single past the shortstop to tie the game. Emilio Abreu singled, advancing Baytop to third. Randy Norris reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Jason Baytop to score and give the Rams the lead at 4-3.
WSSU's pitching would shut down the Blues, and Jordan Cummings would come in a slam the door shut, in the final inning, to give WSSU the 4-3 win.
Garrison Roy picked up the win for WSSU, coming out of the bullpen to pitch 2.1 innings, striking out four while walking one. Roy came in to relieve Tyler Scearce, who pitched 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Jordan Cummings picked up the save, giving up just one hit while striking out three in the final inning.
Connor Bodenhamer led the Rams at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a run scored and two runs batted in. His big blow was a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Jason Baytop went 1 for 4 with a run scored and one run batted in, while Landon Steiner also went 1 for 4. Brandon Fowler finished 1 for 2 with a run scored, and Emilio Abreu went 1 for 3.
In game two, Jason Baytop got the Rams going with a lead off single, followed by a double by Emilio Abreu to score Baytop, giving the Rams the early 1-0 lead.
Bluefield State answered with a run of their own in bottom of the first, to tie the game at 1-1. The Blues added another in the second to surge out in front 2-1.
Similar to game one, WSSU exploded in the fifth inning, with a bunt single from Jason Baytop, followed by a two-run home run from Emilio Abreu. Randy Norris doubled, and was brought home by a Landon Steiner double, pushing the Rams back out in front, 4-2.
In the sixth, Brandon Fowler singled, and Jason Baytop doubled to put men in prime scoring position with no outs. Emilio Abreu drove in Fowler on a sacrifice fly, and Randy Norris brought home Baytop to give WSSU a 6-2 lead heading into the final two innings.
The WSSU Rams pitching would not allow Bluefield State any opportunity and Sam Burton slammed the door with a last out strikeout to give WSSU a 6-2 win to close out season.
Winston-Salem State finishes its season at 31-22, a CIAA Regular Season Title and another successful season on the diamond.
Orlando Cannon got the win fore the Rams, pitching six strong innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits with three walks and eight strikeouts. Marcus McKoy went 0.2 innings, striking out one, and Sam Burton closed out the game with a strikeout.
Jason Baytop finished 3 for 4 with three runs scored, and a double, while Emilio Abreu went 2 for 3 with a run scored and four runs batted in, a double and a home run. Landon Steiner and Ivan Acuna each went 1 for 3, with Steiner also picking up a run batted in, and hitting a double. Randy Norris went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored, and also driving in a run. Brandon Fowler went 1 for 2 with a run scored and Connor Bodenhamer finished 1 for 2.