WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Feb. 25, 2011) - Sophomore Ryan Williams hit a two-out, two-run, walk-off double to deep left field in the 10th inning to help lift the William and Mary baseball team to a thrilling 6-5 comeback victory against Fairfield in its home opener at Plumeri Park on Friday evening.
The Tribe (1-5) rallied back from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to force the extra inning before scoring three more runs in the extra frame to earn the win.
With Fairfield's (0-1) Kyle Goldstein on the mound in his second inning of relief, W&M pinch hitter Devin White led off the bottom of the ninth with a double over the right fielder's head. Two batters later, Williams plated pinch runner Kevin Alas with a one-out double to left center. Williams then moved over to third on a deep fly out to right by Tadd Bower, and Ryan Lindemuth followed with a two-out, game-tying RBI single up the middle.
Although the Stags (0-1) answered with a pair of runs in the top half of the 10th, the Tribe rallied back once again. Derrick Osteen drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a two-out single to right by Alas two batters later. After an RBI single up the middle by Jonathan Slattery cut the margin to 5-4, Williams crushed a ball to deep left that drove in Alas before Slattery narrowly beat the relay throw at the plate for the winning run.
Williams finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI, a run scored and a pair of doubles, while Slattery went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Also coming up big were Osteen and Alas, who both scored a pair of runs.
W&M starting pitcher Matt Davenport was outstanding in his second start of the season, working 8.0 innings and surrendering just one earned run with six strikeouts. Reliever Reid Killen (1-0) retired the final three batters in the top half of the 10th without allowing an earned run to record the victory, while Goldstein (0-1) suffered the loss.
"This was a much-needed win," head coach Frank Leoni said following the victory. "I'm proud of the way the team battled - we were down but we kept coming back. I'm excited about the contributions we got from a number of different individuals."
While neither team was able to put any runs across in the first three innings, Fairfield got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the fourth. After Larry Cornelia and Tucker Nathans led off the frame with back-to-back singles, Anthony Hajjar - FU's cleanup hitter - attempted to move the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. However, he reached when Davenport's throw to first pulled Bower off the bag, and Cornelia came all the way around from second to score.
The Tribe threatened to even the score in the bottom of the fifth but was unable to plate any runs. Bower drew a leadoff walk and advanced when Lindemuth grounded out to second. While Chris Forsten followed with a fly out to right, Bower moved to third on a balk by starting pitcher Brett Shulick. However, Derek Lowe struck out swinging to end the inning.
W&M tied up the game in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Slattery. Osteen drew a leadoff walk to get things going and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Brown. After Sean Aiken advanced Osteen with a ground out to the right side, Slattery drove in the tying run with a single to left.
With Jay McCarthy on in relief for the Tribe, Fairfield added another run in the top of the ninth to go ahead, 3-1. Mark Skrapits led off the inning with a single through the left side and advanced to second when Forsten's pickoff attempt got away. While the Stags' next two batters were retired, Ryan Furbeck recorded a two-out single through the left side and Skrapits later scored on a passed ball.
After two runs by the Tribe in the bottom of the ninth sent the game into extra innings, Fairfield regained the lead with two runs in the top of the 10th inning. With Matt Wainman on in relief to start the frame, Nathans recorded a leadoff double to right center and Hajjar followed with a single to shallow center to put runners on the corners. After Killen entered the game in relief, Hajjar advanced to second on a ball in the dirt to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Pinch hitter Ryan Plourde then laced liner to the right side that was just beyond the reach of a leaping Slattery at second, as the hit drove in both of the FU's base runners. The Stags were unable to put any more runs across, however, as the Tribe rallied back in the bottom half of the extra frame.
The teams will return to action tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at noon.