Team North Arkansas
Team North Dakota
On the final day of pool play at the Cal Ripken World Series, Arkansas began their day facing off against North Dakota.
The first inning went by quick as neither team was able to get on the board.
Moving to the top of the second, Arkansas wasted no more time. Ky Bickford drove in the first run with a single to get his offense started. It should be noted at this point that the field these teams played on was replicated after Fenway Park in Boston, Green Monster included. So, with a runner on base, Cody Lance stepped up to the plate and drove a two run home run over the Green Monster, making the score 3-0.
After a couple more batters, it was time for Reece Ducker to take his first at bat. Believe it or not, Ducker also hit a two run home run over the Green Monster. That’s two home runs over the tallest wall in baseball in one inning.
After Arkansas put up five runs, North Dakota found their composure and made it out of the inning. Lance Pitner started some momentum for his team with an RBI single to cut the lead to four. The momentum stalled however, as Arkansas got out of the inning only allowing one.
Back up at the plate, Arkansas kept the runs coming. Isaac House added another with an RBI single. Lance was back at the plate once again and added to his RBI count by driving in a run. North Dakota once again got a grip and got out of the inning with the score at 7-1.
The bottom of the third inning is where North Dakota mounted their comeback. With one on, a ground ball is hit back at the pitcher. The pitcher turns and fires a perfect throw to second, but the shortstop somehow missed the catch, allowing the runners to get to their bases safely. What should have been a routine double play turned into a nightmare.
RBIs from Hunter Ruzicka, Carson Yale, Tyler Buchanan, Lance Pitner and Coltan Francis combined with an error causing another run, allowed North Dakota to get back in the game. Arkansas finally got out of it after allowing 7. The score at this point was 7-8.
Arkansas came back up to the plate and put some men on the bases. A fielding error scored one to tie it up, and a balk scored another to allow Arkansas to retake the lead. A pair of RBI’s from James Douglas and Isaac House combined with yet another home run over the Green Monster from Collin Beam solidified their lead at 12-8.
Moving forward to the bottom of the sixth, a couple RBIs from Ruzicka and Yale tied the game at 12.
Going into extra innings, Arkansas was determined to win. Christopher Lindenmeyer decided to be the hero Arkansas needed. He drove in two runs off an RBI double to give Arkansas a 14-12 lead.
North Dakota looked like they could make something happen in the bottom of the seventh, after an overthrow scored a run. Arkansas hunkered down and managed to hold them just to that one run.
Arkansas clinched the victory after a roller coaster of a game. The final score was 14-13. Player of the game for Arkansas was Isaac House. Lance Pitner was the recipient for North Dakota.