Bats highlight Black's Game 1 win over Red in Fall World Series
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FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas’ bats were the story in Game 1 of the 2020 Fall World Series.
The Red squad had three home runs amongst its 10 hits, but still fell to the Black team 15-8 to open the Razorbacks’ seven-game intrasquad series at Baum-Walker Stadium on Friday.
Freshman Cayden Wallace started the scoring with a monstrous three-run home run in the first inning - the Black team’s lone long ball - and finished the day 3 for 3 with five RBIs and a pair of walks.
It was a rough day on the mound for both Arkansas squads. Starting pitchers Caden Monke and Connor Noland gave up five runs apiece in 1 and 2 2/3 innings, respectively, and the 15 arms who saw action in the seven-inning scrimmage combined for 20 free passes (16 walks, four hit batsmen) and four wild pitches.
The game itself was actually tight for several innings, with the Black breaking a 5-5 tie by scoring four runs in the fifth.
Jacob Nesbit, who head coach Dave Van Horn said had struggled at the plate this fall during Thursday’s press conference, delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single that put his team up for good.
Had his line drive not hit the second-base umpire, it likely would have scored two runs. Instead, he got just one RBI and Bryce Matthews provided the cushion by following with a two-run double to right field corner.
One of the aforementioned wild pitches brought home the fourth run of the inning, which was all the Black team ended up needing to take down the Red, but it tacked on three more in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Here are a few other takeaways and observations from Friday’s scrimmage…
Game 1 MVP
It didn’t take long for the star of Game 1 to emerge, as Wallace launched the second pitch of his first at bat deep into the Hog Pen for a three-run home run in the first inning.
After taking a ball, the highly touted freshman crushed a Monke fastball that he and everyone else at Baum-Walker Stadium knew was gone as soon as it left the bat.
The Red team answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first, but Wallace once again gave his team the lead in the second. With the bases loaded and two outs, he sat on a slider from Lael Lockhart and lined a two-run single into left.
Although he didn’t add any more RBIs, Wallace did reach base in his final three at bats, drawing a couple of walks sandwiched around another single.
One of the highest ranked players to ever make it to campus, Wallace was the No. 25 overall player in the 2020 class coming out of Greenbrier, according to Perfect Game. He is expected to contribute immediately and said he is feeling more confident at the plate after a slow start to the fall because of some mechanical tweaks.
“I’ve had my ups and downs,” Wallace said. “I’m feeling better now with my swing. I changed some things and it went pretty downhill, but I just stuck with it and Coach Thompson and I worked on it and I’m feeling better about it.”
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