The Blue Team took the opening series of the North Carolina Fall World Series, winning the rubber game over the White Team, 8-4. Senior Chris Munnelly threw seven innings of one run ball, while striking out 10, to pick up the win.
Freshman Taylore Cherry took the mound for the White Team and surrendered three runs in the first inning as his defense committed a pair of errors. In the first at bat of the game, Chaz Frank hit a sharp grounder to third, which was thrown away allowing Frank to reach. After Landon Lassiter was hit by a pitcher, Colin Moran doubled down the left field line to drive in the game's opening runs.
Moran would advance to second on a wild pitch and then come around to score when shortstop Michael Russell mishandled a Brian Holberton grounder, pushing the score to 3-0.
The White Team tallied their only score off Munnelly in the third, playing small ball to plate a run. Russell started things with a walk, then stole second and advanced to third after catcher Matt Roberts's throw careened off Russell's body into left field. Russell would score on a Cody Stubbs sacrifice fly.
Cherry settled down and threw four scoreless frames before running into trouble in the sixth. After getting a pop out to start the inning, he hit Matt Roberts, allowed a single to Alex Raburn, walked Grayson Atwood and finally surrendered an RBI single to freshman Michael Massardo. Cherry left the contest trailing 4-1.
Designated hitter Kayden Porter came on to pitch for the White Team and allowed a two run double by Chaz Frank, running the score to 6-1. After an intentional walk to Moran, Porter walked both Brian Holberton and Parks Jordan with the bases loaded to trail 8-1.
Munnelly finished his day with an impressive seven innings pitched, giving up five hits and one walk, while allowing one unearned run. He struck out two in his final inning of the afternoon, running his total on the day to 10 punch outs.
Following his departure, freshman Jack Geraghty came on to pitch for the Blue Team and walked the first two batters he faced before allowing an RBI single to Stubbs. Geraghty was replaced by sophomore Trevor Kelly, who immediately coaxed a grounder to third by Tom Zengal. Colin Moran misplayed the ball and allowed another run for the White Team, which now trailed 8-3.
Freshman Korey Dunbar drove in the final run for the White Team on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Kelley finished the game pitching for the Blue Team, throwing two innings and tallying three strikeouts in relief.
Sophomore Mason McCullough also threw two innings and recorded three strikeouts for the White Team, while fellow sophomore Luis Paula recorded one strike out in his one inning of work.
The Fall World Series continues with the start of series number two on Friday at Boshamer Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. as Shane Taylor will take the mound for the White Team and the Blue Team will counter with freshman Reilly Hovis.