Toccoa Falls Defeats Flames In Pool Play At NCCAA World Sereies
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
MASON, Ohio – Lee's first appearance in the 2014 NCCAA World Series can be labeled as simply disappointing. Toccoa Falls broke open a scoreless tie for three runs in the sixth inning and then added three insurance runs in the eighth to hand the Flames a 6-1 defeat in the opening round of pool play on Wednesday morning.
Lee will take a brief break and return to action at 7 p.m. this evening and face Lancaster College (Pa.). The second game was originally scheduled for a 4 p.m. start but rain in the Ohio Valley moved the game time back.
Freshman pitcher Rob Gustitus held the Eagles at bay over the first five innings. In fact, the freshman had retired 10 consecutive Toccoa Falls hitters until he walked a batter with two outs in the sixth.
Jordan Couillard followed with a double off the left-field wall to put runners at second and third. "This is where I really became disappointed with our team," said coach Mark Brew. "We followed the double with three walks and a hit batter to allow them to plate three runs."
After the two-base hit, Gustitus walked Will Patrick to load the bases. Brew went to his bullpen and called on lefty Grayson Bailey, who hit the first batter he faced and then surrendered a walk to force in the second run of the disastrous frame. Brew returned to the mound and called on ace hurler Jeremy Bales who immediately surrendered a free pass to push the third run across the dish.
"My hat is off to Toccoa Falls (34-16) and especially to their pitcher (Eylan Charles)," explained Brew. "The lefty kept our hitters off balance the entire day and we kept trying to pull his pitches. We will try to bounce back and see what we are made of against a Lancaster team that we know absoultely nothing about."
The Eagles salted the victory away with four of their eight hits in the eighth inning. The big blow was a double by Michael Sneed.
The Flames managed only three hits against Charles and mounted their only serious scoring threat in the fourth inning. Zac Hawkins singled, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Blake Ray followed with a walk but Nate Wierzgac's sharply-hit ground ball to third baseman Tyler Sellar was quickly converted into a double play and seemed to kill any momentum Lee could muster.
Siosi Poti singled in the fifth and Zack Zyburt had a one-base hit in the third to join Hawkins with the Flames' only hits.
The Flames (33-18) scored their only run in the ninth when Pitts was hit by a pitch, went to second on a balk and tallied when Wierzgac's ground ball was booted by the third baseman.
Gustitus (2-1) was charged with the pitching defeat. Charles (11-4) earned the well deserved pitching win. He fanned five Lee hitters and issued only two walks.