CARY, NC – For the fifth time in a row, the Winston-Salem State University Rams are CIAA Champions. The Rams got solid pitching from freshman, Tyler Scearce, and timely hitting throughout the lineup, as the Rams pulled away from Virginia State late for a 8-3 win in the 2015 CIAA Championship Game at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary.
With the win, the Rams improve to 38-13, while the VSU Trojans end their season at 25-18.
Winston-Salem State got on the scoreboard first, as in the bottom of the first inning, as Des Roberts walked to lead off and was moved over on a sac bunt by Gavin Culler. Connor Andrus would bring Roberts home when he singled through the middle, giving the Rams the early 1-0 lead.
Virginia State would answer in the second, when they would be able to plate one run, on two hits, and helped by a WSSU error to tie the game at 1-1.
WSSU would have an answer of their own for the Trojans, and in the bottom of the third inning, they would score two runs on one hit and one VSU error to go back out in front.
Taylor Idol would lead off with a single to right field, and Des Roberts would reach on a bunt and Idol and Roberts would advance when the throw went sailing to right field, with Taylor Idol scoring. Gavin Culler would bring in Des Roberts with a sac fly to deep right field, giving the Rams a 3-1 lead.
The VSU Trojans would get one back in the sixth inning, to pull within one, at 3-2.
But once again the four-time defending CIAA Champions had answer, and in the bottom of the sixth innings, Dylan Dombrowskas and Nathan Steger would come up with big runs batted in to push the Rams lead to 5-2 heading into the final third of the game.
The Virginia State Trojans were not going to go away easily, and would come back in the seventh with another run to pull within two, at 5-3.
The top of the eight would prove to be tense, as a walk and hit batter put runs in scoring position for Virginia State. After a WSSU pitching change, and walk, the bases would be loaded with one out for the Trojans. The next batter would hit a slow roller to third base, where Colby Keene would fire it home for the force out, followed by a ground out to shortstop to get the Rams out of the inning unscathed.
Winston-Salem State would blow the game open in the bottom of the eighth, as Nathan Steger would single home Colby Keene, followed by a two RBI double from Jacob Barber, scoring Connor Andrus and Nathan Steger to give WSSU a commanding 8-3 lead, heading into the final inning.
Jordan Cummings would shut down the VSU Trojans in the ninth inning, to give WSSU the 8-3 win, and 2015 CIAA Baseball Championship, their fifth consecutive.
Tyler Scearce picked up the win for WSSU, going 6.0 innings, allowing two runs and five hits while striking out four. Eric Corlett went an inning, allowing one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout and Devin McLemore went 0.1 innings, with a walk and a strikeout. Jordan Cummings went the final 1.2 innings, allowing one hit with a walk and a strikeout.
Nathan Steger finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and two runs batted in, and Jacob Barber picked up two runs batted in as well, as he went 1 for 4 on the afternoon. Colby Keene went 1 for 3 with two runs scored, while Connor Andrus went 1 for 3 with a run scored and one run batted in. Taylor Idol also finished 1 for 3 with a run scored, while Dylan Dombrowskas went 1 for 4 with a run scored and one run batted in. Rashad Webster finished 1 for 4, and Des Roberts scored two runs.
2015 CIAA Baseball All-Tournament Team
Name - Position - School
Colton Gunn - Pitcher - (VSU)
Zachery Jordan - Pitcher - (VSU)
Aaron Flanagan - Catcher - (CU)
Connor Andrus - Catcher - (WSSU)
Kyle Cross - First Base - (CU)
Taylor Idol - Second Base - (WSSU)
Colby Keene - Third Base - (WSSU)
Nate Steger - Short Stop - (WSSU)
Tashaun Taylor - Outfield - (VSU)
Dylan Dombrowkas - Outfield - (WSSU)
Nick Christopher - Pitcher/Short Stop - (VSU)
Jacob Barber - Designated Hitter - (WSSU)
Connor Andrus - Catcher - (WSSU)