FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In the top of the eighth inning, the Cardinal team pushed five runs across the plate to rally past the Black team, 9-4, Saturday afternoon in game two of the Fall World Series at Baum Stadium. James McCann and Jarrod McKinney had the big hits in the crucial inning with a two-run double to left and a three-run blast to left center, respectively. The Cardinal-Black series is now even, 1-1.
Bo Bigham led off the eighth with a single through the left side of the infield and advanced to second when reliever Zack Hall walked Tim Carver. After Zack Cox was hit with a pitch, the bases were loaded with no outs for McCann who knocked a 1-1 pitch to the base of the wall in left center to plate two runs. McKinney’s home run gave the Cardinal team the lead, 6-3, heading into the bottom of the inning.
The Black team got one of those runs back in its half of the eighth on an opposite field home run by Derrick Bleeker. It was the second home run in as many days for the freshman infielder. Cardinal led, 6-4, after eight.
McCann continued to swing a hot bat in the ninth with a two-run double down the line in left field to pad the Cardinal lead. After advancing to third, he came in to score the final run of the game on a throw down to second to catch Matt Vinson trying to swipe a base.In the top half of the first inning, Bigham led off the game with a walk and advanced to third on a single through the right side of the infield by Carver. With one out, McCann reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Bigham to score and give the Cardinal team the 1-0 lead.The Black team responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first. Collin Kuhn opened the stanza with a double down the right-field line and moved to third on a single by Matthew Reynolds. A sacrifice fly by Tom Hauskey plated Kuhn to tie the score. Reynolds came around to score on an RBI single by Travis Sample for the 2-1 lead.After the offenses for both teams took the lead in the first inning, the respective starting pitchers settled down to keep more runs from crossing the plate. For the Black team, Drew Smyly scattered four hits over 3.1 innings with five strikeouts and one walk. Mike Bolsinger didn’t allow another hit or run after the first inning. He pitched four innings with six strikeouts.In the bottom of the fifth, reliever Garrett Methvin recorded two quick outs before running into control issues. Brett Eibner single to left field and Kyle Robinson and Hauskey each drew a walk to load the bases for Sample. After a first-pitch strike, Methvin delivered four consecutive balls to walk in the third run for the Black team.The teams return to the field Sunday for a 2 p.m. start time. Now assured of going at least four games, the Cardinal-Black series will take a two-day break after Sunday’s game and continue Oct. 21. For updated information, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.