Silver Wins Game Five 6-4 to Take Cherry-Silver Title

Nov. 18, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Silver scored four runs in the fourth inning, three of which were unearned, on its way to a 6-4 victory over Cherry to take the Cherry-Silver World Series 3-2.

Pitching ruled early in the game for both sides as Silver starter Alex Estrella and his Cherry counterpart, Kevin Baumgartner, were solid. Each team scratched across for one run in the third, but that was all. It was especially disappointing for Cherry because they managed six baserunners against Estrella but could only score once.

Things began to get interesting in the fourth.

Chase Harris led off for Cherry in the top half of the inning with a bunt single. With one out he stole second. He scored on a double to center by Matt Villalobos. With two outs he was on third with Ryan Padilla at the plate. Padilla checked his swing on a 2-2 pitch and it was ruled he didn't go around, but just barely. He came through with an RBI single to left center on the very next pitch to give Cherry a 3-1 lead.

Silver struck right back against Cherry reliever Sam Wolff. Mitch Garver led off with a walk. He went to third on a single by Sam Haggerty. Logan Lippert then came through with another single to score Garver and move Haggerty to second. A sacrifice bunt put two men in scoring position with only one out for Jered Meek.

With the infield drawn in, Meek hit a ball directly at Cherry second baseman Nick White. White might have had a chance to throw out Haggerty at the plate, but he booted the ball, allowing Silver to tie the game and put runners on the corners with still only one out.

The next batter, Josh Melendez, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jared Holley followed and hit into what could have been an inning-ending double play. Melendez was out at second, but the relay went off DJ Peterson's glove at first, which allowed both Lippert and McKnight to score and increase Silver's lead to 5-3.

Cherry came right back to cut the deficit in half the next inning, though. Erik Suarez singled up the middle with one out. Tyler Kamtz followed with a single of his own that dropped just in front of a diving Melendez in center. Each runner moved up an extra base when Melendez's dive attempt knocked the ball away from the left fielder, McKnight. Harris grounded out to Holley at short to score Suarez. White, however, was unable to tie the game and Silver escaped with the lead.

Silver added to its lead in the bottom of the fifth with another unearned run. Luke Campbell led off with a single. He went to second on a passed ball and to third on a groundout by Garver. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Haggerty.

Cherry threatened once again in the sixth. Alex Allbritton singled with one out, bringing the tying run to the plate in Padilla with the dangerous Peterson on deck. Josh Walker, the third Silver pitcher of the day, was able to retire Padilla on a fly ball to left. Then Silver coach Ken Jacome brought in his closer, Hobie McClain, to face Peterson.

Peterson, who won the Mountain West Triple Crown last season, had a chance to tie the game with one swing of the bat, but McCalin won the battle and retired him on a groundball to Meek at third.

McClain then retired Cherry in order on three groundballs, including two nice plays by Holley at short, to end the game and hand Silver the title.

Villalobos led the way offensively for Cherry by going 2-3 with two runs and an RBI. McKnight went 2-3 for Silver with two runs. Melendez and Holley, the two men at the top of the order for Silver, combined to reach base seven times.

The series was hard-fought and close throughout, as one would expect from a talented team such as the Lobos. It should prove to be a valuable learning experience when the Lobos open the season at home against Oklahoma State on Feb. 15 in search of their fourth straight trip to the NCAA regionals.