WNC (48-13) has won three straight elimination games in the JUCO World Series and plays on Thursday (6:30 p.m. PDT) in a game that will determine one of the tournament finalists. The tournament is scheduled to end on Saturday.
The Wildcats scored once in the fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie, then added two runs in the eighth and four runs in the ninth to pull away from a Shelton State (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) team that lost in the 2008 JUCO World Series championship round.
Travis Feiner hit 4-for-5, Jay Skilton 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three RBI, Daniel Zylstra 3-for-4, while Lance Ray and Eric Maupin both went 2-for-5 with one double and two RBI. The Wildcats had five doubles and one triple in the game.
WNC took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning when Zylstra hit a leadoff double and Maupin followed with an RBI single.
The Wildcats had runners on second and third with only one out in the fifth before University of Alabama signee Brett Whitaker moved over from first base to pitch. Whitaker worked out of the jam without allowing any runs and held the Wildcats in check until the eighth.
Zylstra walked to lead off the eighth, then in a critical turn of events, Maupin's fly out to right field was negated by a balk call on the pitch. Zylstra moved to second and Maupin came back to face another full-count pitch with no outs, and this time the Galena High School graduate hit a run-scoring double into the right-center field gap. A single by Skilton drove Maupin home to make it 5-2.
Ray capped the scoring with an opposite field bloop double down the left field line that drove two runs home in the ninth.
Lewis struck out seven and walked only one batter while throwing 107 pitches. He retired 10 batters on infield grounders.
Kyle Starratt came on to pitch in relief in the ninth and retired three of the five batters he faced to close out the game. Starratt walked the first two batters he faced then set down the next three batters, the last on a called third strike.
|Photos (Click to Enlarge)|
|Mike Long stretches for the base.||Jordan Lewis on the mound.||Zylstra's tags his man.|
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