by Charles Guthrie
While the Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox are playing in the big one, let’s take a look at another series on campus.
This is an intense inter-squad game played by the baseball team and is known as the Cranberry vs. Black World Series.
This was the fourth year that the series was played and the teams play three-inning games in a best of five format.
When the series looms near, a new atmosphere is formed where the team is split in half.
“Leading up to the games, practice became more and more intense,” junior outfielder Maurice Williams said. “We treat it like Boston versus the New York Yankees. No one associates themselves with another player if he’s not on your team.”
The Black team, which was the favorite, came out and won the first game 6-1 in extra innings. Sophomore catcher Eric Woodrow broke the tie in the 10th inning in what turned out to be a five run inning for the Black team.
With a 1-0 series lead, freshman Pat Devlin took the hill for the Black squad in his first series and allowed only one hit while striking out four in victory.
“My curveball was on pretty much the entire game,” Devlin said. “I was able to get ahead of the hitters and pitch my game.”
The freshman continued to flourish in their first series when freshman Steve Galella drove in the winning run on a two-out single scoring junior outfielder Jon Leise. Galella swung the bat well in the series hitting .375. He said he was glad to be a part of it.
“The series was a lot of fun,” Galella said. “It was very competitive and everyone played to win.”
It was now on to the third game. The Black team had a 2-0 series lead and was ready to seal the deal.
Things were continuing to look grim for the Cranberry squad as the Black team had a 1-0 lead.
The Cranberry offense felt a sense of urgency and broke through with six runs in the top of the eighth spear-headed by freshman third baseman Mason Heyne, who cleared the bases with a three-run double off of the centerfield fence. Heyne continued the freshmen hitting assault with a .333 average for the series.
The good news for the Broncs and the Cranberry team was that redshirt-junior Derek Caldwell picked up the win going three innings. He’s back in action after missing last season with ‘Tommy John’ surgery.
The Cranberry team was able to tie the series up in a very unorthodox way. They won the game 1-0 despite not compiling a hit. Sophomore Brian Herman pitched a no-hitter, striking out three guys for the Black team, but was the victim of two costly errors.
Freshman A.J. Albee reached first on an error, later stole third and scored on an overthrow.
It came down to the do-or-die game five, and the Cranberry team was rolling.
The Cranberry dream looked like it was going to end when junior catcher Sean Olson ripped a two-run single in the ninth to put the Black team up 3-0.
But if the series taught us anything, it’s that the Cranberry team doesn’t quit. They came back and scored three runs of their own in the ninth to tie it before Williams won the game on a two-out bloop single to right field.
“I joked around that it would be nice to hit a blooper,” Williams said. “I really wanted to hit a home run, but luckily the ball dropped.
“No one from the Black team even looked at me until the next morning.”
The all-time series is tied at 2-2. The Cranberry team also won last year’s series 3-2.