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Blue Walks Over Orange, 6-3, to Even Series


MALIBU, Calif. – Blue scored five times during a seven-walk fourth inning and went on to beat Orange, 6-3, to even the Pepperdine Blue and Orange World Series at one game apiece Friday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

Newcomer Harlyn Griffith started and finished the nightmare inning in which a conga line of batters took turns advancing one base at a time.

Freshman Ryan Van Amburg (Campbell, Calif./St. Francis HS) led off with a walk and moved to second on Bryce Mendonca’s (San Leandro, Calif./Chabot JC) single to left – the lone hit of the inning. A balk moved the runners to second and third and a base on balls to David Harris (Glendora, Calif./Gleendora HS) loaded them up for Cody Yount (Paradise Valley, Calif./Chaparral HS), who drove in the inning’s first run on a hit by pitch.


Then Tyler Brubaker (Valencia, Calif./Saugus HS) walked to make it 2-1, Blue. Brubaker was pushed to second after a free pass to Aaron Gates, but was picked off the bag by shortstop Miles Silverstein (Bell Canyon, Calif./Calabasas HS) for the first out.


The final two outs wouldn’t come until much later as the bottom third of the order: Leo Fletes (Oceanside, Calif./Rancho Buena Vista HS), Alan Cheatham, and Matthew Frazee (Bainbridge Island, Wash./Bainbridge HS) all walked to give Blue a 5-1 lead. The inning mercifully ended on a 5-2-5 double play, in which third baseman Colin Rooney tapped the bag for the force at third before catching Fletes trying for home.


Griffith’s inning of work was sandwiched between two quality outings from starter Darren Becket (Torrance, Calif./West HS) and Cole Cook (Los Angeles, Calif./Palisades HS).


Becket pitched the first three innings and faced the minimum nine batters while scattering two hits. Van Amburg led off the game with a single but was caught stealing second, and Frazee was thrown out at third from right field as tried to stretch out his double down the first-base line.


Cook pitched the final three innings and gave up an unearned run to go with two walks and a strikeout. Blue scored its run on a fielding error by the shortstop with runners at first and second, but Cole escaped the jam by inducing Gates into a 3-6 double play.


Cole was more than efficient in the seventh and eighth, retiring the final six batters he faced.


Orange jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first off a Brad Jesernig (Olympia, Wash./Capital WS) wild pitch that plated freshman Brian Humphries (El Cajon, Calif./Granite Hills HS), but could do little more over the next four innings as Blue turned a succession of head-scratching double plays.


After leaving runners on the corners in the first, Orange left on two more in the second after Jesernig got Bobby Cozine (Highland Ranch, Colo./Thuder Ridge HS) to ground into a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play.


Then, in the third, the appeal play actually worked.


Orange thought they had a 2-0 lead after what was then scored a Nate Johnson (Camarillo, Calif./Camarillo HS) sac fly to left. However, the Blue coaches saw Rooney leave third early so Fletes threw the ball back over to Cheatham tagging third for the final out.


Orange’s good run of bad luck extended into the fourth where they loaded the bases with no outs on a single and two walks, but pitcher Jordan Durrance (Manteca, Calif./Sierra HS) got Humphries to ground into a 3-2-3 double play before striking out Cozine.


Blue would turn its fourth double play in as many innings in the fifth as Silverstein grounded out 1-4-6-3.


For the game, Orange left a whopping 11 runners on base through the scheduled eight-inning scrimmage. Blue left three stranded.


Durrance, who was on the hill during those key third and fourth innings, was credited with the win in relief despite giving up two hits and three walks. He was followed to the mound by Ricky Villarreal (Edinburg, Texas/Edinburg HS) in the fifth and Jonathan Hamston (Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS) in the seventh.


Villarreal allowed a run in the sixth, making it a 6-2 game, as Casey Rhoades (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake HS) singled in R.W. Zeller (Milwaukie, Ore./Rex Putnam HS) from second for his third RBI of the week.


Orange tacked on another run in the seventh with Ryan Heroy (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley HS) scoring on a Silverstein double to center. But once again, Orange would leave runners on the corners that inning as Harmston struck out Zeller to end the threat.


Blue’s starter Jesernig gave up a run on one hit and four walks while striking out two.


- Copy by Chris Macaluso (Pepperdine sports information)



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