HANOVER, Ind. – Junior right-hander Garett Zorb (Medina, Ohio) threw five scoreless innings to help lead Team Blue to a 2-0 win in game one of the 2017 Blue and Red World Series Wednesday afternoon at K.T. Young Ballpark.
With the win, Team Blue takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series, and will look to win game two for the sweep Thursday.
Team Red had its opportunities. With runners on first and third and only one out in the first, Zorb got the second out on a pick-off, and then struck out the final hitter of the inning to escape unscathed.
Following a 1-2-3 first inning by Team Red starting pitcher Zach Chapman (Loveland, Ohio), Team Blue scored its first run in the top of the second. Chapman retired the lead-off hitter, but a single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Freshman Zeke Porta (Louisville, Ky.) then scored junior Bryce Fields (Connersville, Ind.) on a sacrifice fly to center for a 1-0 lead.
The lead grew to 2-0 when sophomore Brayden Imel (Barbourville, Ky.) delivered a lead-off home run on a 1-0 pitch down the left field line in the top of the fifth inning.
Zorb set down nine of the next 10 hitters he faced, but found himself in some trouble in the bottom of the fifth. Junior Tyler Fitch (Crestwood, Ky.) singled to lead off the inning. Sophomore Mark Walkenhorst (Fort Thomas, Ky.) followed with a pinch hit single, and sophomore Jay Lorenz (New Albany, Ind.) reached on a bunt single to load the bases with nobody out.
After a pop out for the first out, Zorb induced a ground ball back to himself and threw home for the second out. A ground ball by the next hitter resulted in another fielder's choice, and Zorb was out of the inning without any damage again.
Freshman Jonathan Estrada (Cerritos, Calif.) relieved Zorb and allowed runners to reach first and third in the home half of the sixth with two outs, but got the final out of the inning and retired Team Red in order in the bottom of the seventh for the two-inning save.
Zorb picked up the win with five scoreless innings. He allowed four hits, one walk, and struck out four. Chapman took the loss. In five innings of work, he allowed two runs on only two hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Junior David Blanco (Fishers, Ind.) and freshman Justin Pope (Fishers, Ind.) each threw a scoreless inning of relief for Team Red.
Imel reach base twice in three at-bats with the home run and a walk for Team Blue, while four different players recorded one hit apiece for Team Red.
Game two of the Series is set for Thursday, Oct. 12. Start time is tentatively set for 4:15 p.m. at K.T. Young Ballpark.
Contact: Mike Pritchard