The Black Team swept the Purple Team at the University of Central Arkansas’ Fall World Series, winning three straight games last week. The coaches decided to play three more games, with the Purple gaining the upperhand the second time around.
All in all, UCA head coach Allen Gum said he liked what he saw from his starting pitchers, returning position players and some of the newcomers.
"All six starting pitchers we put out there threw extremely well,’ said Gum, in his third season at UCA. "The starting pitching was really good, that was really the highlight of the whole week.
"(Senior) Caleb McClanahan was really good in the first game. He looked like a No. 1 Friday starter. Both starters, Ethan McKinzie and Bryce Biggerstaff, did some good things in Game 2. Freshman Taylor Wallace from Little Rock Catholic came in and got the save.
"And (senior) John Kordsmeier (St. Joseph), coming out the bullpen, both times looked really good. (Jeffery) Enloe threw well. He’s a different guy this fall."
Freshman second baseman Chris Townsend won Game 3 with a walk-off single in the ninth. Returnees Nick Rougeau (home run) and Blake Marchal led the way offensively.
"Those two and Forrestt Allday, all three did really well,’ said Gum. "For the Purple team, Allday was a one-man band for awhile. Those three hit the ball, they got on base and they made things happen. Really happy with all three of them. JD (Jonathan Davis) was good defensively but he didn’t hit because he’s recovering from his wrist injury. Ethan Harris was steady and played well and (catcher Michael) Marietta had a good weekend.
UCA returns 10 position players from last year’s team, including its top three hitters (Davis, Allday, Logan Moon). The Bears also have 10 pitchers back, including McClanahan (6-5 last season), senior lefthander Jeffery Enloe, senior righthander Ethan McKinzie and junior righthander Bryce Biggerstaff. Marietta, a senior from Oak View, Calif., returns behind the plate.
Allday and Davis were both second-team All-Southland Conference selections in the spring, while Harris was an honorable mention selection. Davis was the SLC Freshman of the Year in 2011 but injured his wrist late in the 2012 season and missed the SLC Tournament.
"We have some talent and some athletes,’ said Gum. "We’re going to have to piece this pitching staff together a little bit. We have some good arms, and some good young arms. We just have to have some consistency."
Other returning pitchers include sophomores Connor McClain, Griffin Glaude, Zach Barr and Dylan Owen. Newcomers on the mound include Wallace, lefty Blake Clayton from El Dorado, juniors Scott Zimmerle from Alvin Community College and Jon Rand from De Anza CC, and freshman Brandon Schmidt from Little Rock Central.