JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn.— Carson-Newman's Orange squad won the 2015 Fall World Series thanks to an extra-inning, walk off grand slam from junior catcher Greg Jones (Maryvillle, Tenn.), that propelled Orange over Blue, 7-3, in game five at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex Wednesday afternoon.
At the end of seven innings, the score was tied at three apiece. Freshman Grant Rabbitts (Johnson City, Tenn.) was able to get a 1-2-3 inning out of Zach Gentry (Pleasant View, Tenn.), Jordan Hinshaw (Elizabethon, Tenn.) and Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) to retire the top-half of the seventh inning.
Austin Ray (Swords Creek, Va.) surrendered a leadoff single to Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) to start the bottom of the eighth inning. Blue skipper Daniel Sharp then went to the bullpen for the fourth time on the day and called on Philip Pardue (Knoxville, Tenn.) to relieve the freshman pitcher after 2.1 innings of relief.
Pardue was able to retire the first batter he faced, as Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) flew out to right, but then ran into a heap of trouble.
Designated hitter Austin Kearney (Powell, Tenn.) would reach on a fielder's choice, when Blue shortstop Jimmy Lee tried to force Lynch out at second. An off balanced throw enabled Lynch to reach second base safely. Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) would then walk to load the bases a batter later.
Following a meeting at the mound, Jones stepped in with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning. On a one-one pitch, Jones turned on an inside fastball and sent it over the right center field fence for the 7-3 win in extra innings.
"They knew that we could come back and win this game at any point," Orange coach Tripp Faulk said following the win. "We have already came back from a five-run deficit, so they never gave up and kept battling."
The Blue team would put a run on the scoreboard first on the day, as Hunter Wood (College Grove, Tenn.) had an RBI single to plate leadoff man Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) with only one out in the top of the first inning. Hinshaw would then tack on another run in the top off the second, coming in on a throwing error by the catcher Logan Peterson (Chickamuaga, Ga.).
Orange would battle back in the bottom of the second, as Snapp came all the way around the bases to score on a Mark Treadway (Friendsville, Tenn.) RBI single after being hit by a Vince Apicella (Dillsburg, Pa.) pitch. Lynch would add another run on the board to tie the game at two apiece in the bottom of the third after scoring from third on a Jones sacrifice fly.
Orange would again battle back to tie the game in the bottom half of the sixth inning when Treadway scored on an RBI single from Lynch to tie the game 3-3 heading into the seventh inning. A scoreless seventh inning would set up the Orange team to walk it off in the bottom of the eighth.
"Our pitching staff did a great job today by keeping us in the game," Faulk said. "Our one through five can literally go deep at any time and I guess that showed today."
Rabbitts picked up the win for the Orange team after completing two innings of scoreless baseball. The Freshman allowed only one hit and tallied a strikeout in the outing. Ray is credited with the loss for team Blue, after allowing Lynch to reach on a single that proved to be the go-ahead run.
The series' Most Valuable Players were announced following the game, as Roberts was awarded the accolade for the Blue team and Kearney was honored for the Orange team.
Team Orange was awarded with a t-shirt following the Fall World Series clinching win and the Blue team will be expected to complete field work tasks in the coming weeks.
"I've been at a number of programs and this is the first time where I have actually seen a World Series with so much intensity," Faulk said. "It was absolutely incredible. It just gave the guys more reason to win and more reason to play."