FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Team Gray knocked in 15 runs on 17 hits Sunday afternoon led by freshman Heston Kjerstad, who went 5-for-5 with three RBIs, to defeat Team Cardinal, 15-2, in game three of the 2017 Razorback Fall World Series.
Team Gray has won two games in a row after winning 3-0 on Friday and will have a chance to win the best-of-five series on Tuesday at Baum Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
“Heston (Kjerstad) had a great day,” Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. “He was on base six out of six times and crushed that home run. When he hit it, he watched it for a second and I didn’t mind it. He earned that and had a great day. He’s a good hitter and hard to get out. He showed he’s an advanced hitter for his age.”
Kjerstad was Team Gray’s best hitter in the game, scoring four times to go along with a double and a home run, but he wasn’t the only player to have a multi-hit day. Senior Jared Gates, junior Grant Koch, junior Zack Plunkett, and freshman Derek Ripp all recorded two hits or more. Koch and Plunkett each hit home runs along with freshman Ben McClain, while Ripp went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk.
Kjerstad leads all Razorback hitters in the Fall World Series as he’s 6-for-12 (.500) with five runs scored. All of his RBIs and extra-base hits for the series came in Sunday’s game.
“I’ve just been seeing the ball well and focusing on hitting the ball hard,” Kjerstad said. “When I hit the home run, I knew it was gone. I just had to watch it a little bit. Some days you show up to the field and you can hit everything. Some days it’s just not there for you. You have to get through the highs and the lows and ride it out.”
Team Gray was strong in all facets of the game Sunday as freshman Caleb Bolden was strong for four innings, allowing no runs with three hits, two walks, and a strikeout on 58 pitches. It’s the second-straight game that Team Gray has gotten a good pitching performance after Jake Reindl went scoreless for 5.2 innings two days ago.
“Caleb (Bolden) had a couple of good innings,” Van Horn said. “He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been a few times this fall, but when he got into a jam, he worked out of it. He can really command his fastball and one of his best pitches is his slider. I think Caleb has a bright future.”
Team Gray scored four times in the first inning and three runs in the second inning off freshman Bryce Bonnin to take a commanding lead. It wasn’t the best day on the mound for Bonnin as he pitched three innings with seven runs allowed on seven hits with three walks.
Offensively, sophomores Dominic Fletcher and Jordan McFarland each had two hits for Team Cardinal. McFarland ended up with two RBIs after his double in fifth and single in the seventh.
Game four of the Razorback Fall World Series is set for Tuesday at Baum Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be a seven-inning game.
All games of the Fall World Series are open and free to the public.
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2017 Fall World Series Schedule
Game 1 – Cardinal 13, Gray 0 (Cardinal leads 1-0)
Game 2 – Gray 3, Cardinal 0 (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3 – Gray 15, Cardinal 2 (Gray leads 2-1)
Game 4 – Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. (if necessary) (7 inning game)
Game 5 – Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. (if necessary) (7 inning game)