By Joe Catapano
The bats came alive Sunday afternoon for Game 2 of the Fall World Series in College Park, Md., as Team Papio evened the series after erasing a 5-0 deficit, eventually beating Team Martir, 6-5.
Coming off a 3-0 win Friday afternoon, Team Martir picked up right where they left off, scoring five runs in the first two innings. Outfielder Madison Nickens hit a solo home run in the first inning off of Team Papio’s starting pitcher, right-hander John Murphy. Catcher Nick Cieri extended the early lead the following frame with a three-run home run to right field.
Team Martir’s starter, right-hander Cameron Enck, took a no-hitter into the third inning, dominating the opposing lineup. But Enck’s control quickly disappeared, hitting two batters and walking one before allowing a 2-run RBI double to Nick Dunn.
Right-hander Jon Dignazio relieved Enck, entering with the bases loaded and two outs. Outfielder Will Watson hit a hard line drive to left field, where the ball skipped under the glove of freshman left-fielder Nathan Panzer. As the ball disappeared behind Panzer, so did Team Martir’s lead. All three runners came in to score, tying the game 5-5 after three innings.
Left-hander Andrew Miller, right-hander Jamal Wade and right-hander Ryan Hill came out of the bullpen for Team Papio. The trio pitched four innings of shutout baseball, helping seal the victory.
In the fourth inning, Wade doubled, advancing special pinch-runner Kevin Biondic to third base. Team Papio took the lead later that frame, when Jared Price threw wild with the bases load.
Team Martir would not go down without a fight, using a rowdy dugout to fuel a potential comeback. Hill entered the game for the save, but walked the first three batters he faced. Then, the right-hander struck out Cieri swinging, bringing Panzer to the plate. Coach Martir called for a suicide squeeze, but Panzer failed to get down the bunt, leaving Kevin Smith caught between third and home. Panzer would strikeout swinging on the very next pitch to end the game.
Team Papio and Team Martir will play the rubber-match of the three-game series this Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.