OXFORD, Miss. – Power hitting was the recipe for success on Wednesday as three home runs helped the Red team to a 10-4 win in the first game of the Red-Blue World Series/Pizza Bowl at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
The two teams will face-off again at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday as the Red team looks to close out the best-of-three series, while the Blue team seeks to force a decisive game three on Friday.
“It feels good (to win today),” said Red team manager Matt Snyder. “I got almost everyone I wanted in the draft for this series. Bobby (Wahl) looked the best he’s looked all fall out there today. Hawtin Buchanan threw well and so did Scott Weathersby at the end.
“We had our offense today,” Snyder continued. “It was fun to put so many runs on the board. We’ll start R.J. Hively tomorrow and bring in Josh Laxer after that and see if we can’t close this thing out in two games.”
The scoring started in the fourth inning when Will Allen crossed the plate from second on a single to center field from Taylor Hightower. Allen doubled to reach base before coming home on the Hightower hit to get the Red team on the board.
The Blue team answered in the fifth when John Gatlin scored from third on a single to left from Jake Overbey. Gatlin reached when he was hit by a pitch and stole second to set up the score on the Overbey hit that tied the game at one.
The Red team broke things open in the sixth, using a two-run home run from Mistone to push out to a two-run lead. Allen scored on the play after reaching on a single. The Red team then added a third run in the inning when Hightower scored on a sac fly from Blake Newalu. Hightower reached on an error before moving to third on a double from Austin Sullivan.
A walk of Snyder and a single from Kirksey started things in the seventh before Snyder would score on a single from Allen and a sac fly from Mistone pushed Kirksey home to give the Red team a 6-1 lead.
That lead grew to 8-1 in the eighth inning when Snyder and Kirksey hit back-to-back home runs.
The Red team wasn’t done, however, pushing two more runs across the plate in the ninth thanks to a pair of errors that helped keep runners in scoring position. Mistone doubled to left and took third on a fielding error by the cut-off man on the relay before coming home on a double to left from Auston Bousfield. Another fielding error on the relay allowed Bousfield to take third before scoring on a sac fly to center field from Sullivan and gave the Red team the 10-4 lead.
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