CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Blue team scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning, then survived a rally by the Orange squad to earn an 8-7 win in Game 1 of the Orange and Blue World Series Tuesday evening at Davenport Field. Freshman Nick Howard's two-out, two-run single in the top of the 10th proved to be the deciding blow.
Game 2 of the Orange and Blue World Series is slated for 6 p.m. Monday.
Howard went 2-for-4 with four RBI to pace the Blue's 10-hit attack. Chris Taylor, Keith Werman, Shane Halley and Kenny Towns all chipped in a pair of hits for the Blue.
Reed Gragnani went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs to lead the Orange. Branden Cogswell and Mike Papi each recorded two hits.
Halley also earned the win on the mound for the Blue. He worked three innings, allowing two earned runs, three walks and two walks. Justin Thompson pitched the 10th and notched the save. Artie Lewicki was credited with the loss for the Orange. He worked 3.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned), four hits and five walks while striking out a pair.
Both starting pitchers worked five solid innings. Blue starter Branden Kline allowed three runs, four hits and a walk while striking out one. Orange starter Whit Mayberry allowed two runs, four hits and a walk while fanning six.
The game was tight throughout and was tied at three apiece heading to the seventh. The Blue forged ahead in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded and one out, Howard grounded to second and reached on an error, with Werman scoring on the play. Halley then walked to force in a second run.
The Orange came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning. Cogswell led off with a single and Colin Harrington walked. The two combined for a double steal and both crossed the plate on a Gragnani double.
The Blue moved ahead for good in the 10th. Towns and Taylor hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. After a Werman sacrifice bunt, Derek Fisher was intentionally walked to load the bases. Towns scored on a passed ball, with the other runners also advancing. This proved to be even bigger when Howard ripped a two-out single to left-center to score both runners and push the lead to 8-5.
The Orange nearly matched the Blue in the bottom of the inning, getting an RBI groundout from Thomas Woodruff before Mitchell Shifflett reached on an error to score another run. With Shifflett on second and two out, Cogswell hit a hard grounder down the first-base line, which Towns dove to snag. He flipped to Thompson to get the out and end the game.
Orange & Blue World Series Schedule:
Game 1: Blue 8, Orange 7 (10 innings)
Game 2: Monday, Oct. 10, 6 p.m.
Game 3: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6 p.m.
Game 4: Friday, Oct. 14, 6 p.m. (Ring Ceremony)
Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m.