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Black team grabs 2-1 fall series lead

Black team grabs 2-1 fall series lead

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind a strong outing from DJ Baxendale on the mound, the Black team defeated the Cardinal team, 6-0, Sunday afternoon in game three of the Fall World Series at Baum Stadium. Baxendale allowed just three hits over 7.1 shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Brett Eibner collected three hits and a pair of RBI for the Black team as it moves ahead in the series, 2-1, and one win away from taking the best-of-five series.

Both teams wasted chances early as Baxendale and Cardinal starter Sam Murphy worked out of trouble in the first inning. In the top half, the Black team had runners on second and third after drawing two walks but Murphy got Tom Hauskey to pop out and end the inning. Baxendale gave up a hit to Zack Cox and his only walk of the day, to James McCann, with two outs in the bottom of the first but Jarrod McKinney struck out to end the threat.

The Black team opened the scoring with a pair of runs off Murphy in the top of the second. Travis Sample led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on a groundout by Derrick Bleeker. Designated hitter Drew Smyly brought Sample home with an infield single. Smyly advanced to second on an errant throw and, eventually, reached third on a wild pitch. Collin Kuhn singled to center to plate Smyly.

Eibner drove in the third run of the game for the Black team with a double down the left-field line in the top of the fifth. Matt Reynolds walked ahead of Eibner and scored from first on the extra-base hit. Eibner was stranded on third when Hauskey flied out to center to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Sample reached on a fielding error to lead off the inning. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and reached third on a flyout by Bleeker. In to pinch hit for Smyly, Jeremy Heatley picked up an RBI single to center field to plate Sample and give Black the 4-0 lead.

Trailing by four in the bottom of the sixth, the Cardinal team looked ready to rally after a pair of singles but couldn’t push any runs across the plate. With one out in the inning, Tim Carver singled and Cox followed with his second hit of the day. The runners moved up to second and third on a ground out by McCann, but Baxendale struck out McKinney to leave Carver and Cox stranded.

The Black team added a fifth run in its half of the seventh. With one out, Eibner singled and advanced to second when the ball kicked away from Kyle Atkins in left field. Kyle Robinson knocked a shot back up the middle to bring Eibner home. The Black team had at least one base runner in all but one inning-the third-Sunday.

In the top of the ninth, Eibner doubled again to drive in Reynolds who reached on an error to lead off the inning. The Cardinal team tallied five errors in the game. In relief work, Bleeker recorded the final five outs for the Black team to preserve the shutout.

The Cardinal-Black series will start back up Oct. 21 after a two-day break. First-pitch time has not been set for game four, but once finalized it will be available at

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