Brandt And Cannon Guide Gold To Opening Series Win, 5-4

UABSPORTS.COM Sophomore Chase McDonald drove in two of Purple's four runs.
Sophomore Chase McDonald drove in two of Purple's four runs.

Oct. 4, 2011

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Tyler Bolton (Purple) and Kevin Brandt (Gold) tossed a combined 8.2 scoreless innings of relief and Jay Cannon smacked a two-run homer in the first inning to pace the Gold to a 5-4 win during the first game of the annual Purple-Gold World Series Tuesday night at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium.

The Gold (1-0) erupted for four runs on five hits in the bottom of the first inning off of Austin Chrismon and really never looked back. Leading 2-0 in the bottom of the frame, Cannon stepped to the plate with Chris Gosik on second and roped 2-0 offering from Chrismon to left field pushing the lead to four. Philip Clark led off with a single to center and scored on Tim Younger's double to right center. Gosik plated Younger on a two-out double to left center setting up Cannon's first home run of the series.

Brandt (1-0) picked up the win in relief striking out four, walking one and allowing two hits in four innings. Starter Jeff Hoffman surrendered four runs (two earned) on four hits with a pair of walks and one punch out in three innings.

Chrismon (0-1) suffered the loss after being touched for five runs (all earned) on seven hits in 1.1 innings. Bolton matched Brandt in his first outing for the Pirates scattering two hits over 4.2 innings with a strikeout.

Purple (0-1) cut the lead to three, 4-1, in the second inning on Jonathan Holt's ground out to short. Kevin Sanders singled off Hoffman to start the second sending a shot to left field. Drew Reynolds moved him into scoring position on a grounder to Cannon at short and Sanders took third on a passed ball before touching home for the Purple's first run of the night.

Gold answered in the bottom half of the second on Younger's sac fly to center pushing the lead back to four at 5-1. Patrick Roy singled to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch before landing on third on Clark's second hit of the game, a single to left center. Younger lifted a 1-2 offering from Chrismon to center scoring Roy.

Chase McDonald's bases loaded two-RBI single highlighted a three-run third for the Purple, narrowing the gap to 5-4. With one out, Ben Fultz singled to right, Jack Reinheimer followed with a base knock to left and John Wooten was hit by a pitch loading the bases for McDonald's screamer back up the middle, which scored Fulz and Reinheimer. Sanders moved the runners up 90 feet on a groundout to second and Wooten pulled the Purple within one when he scored on a pass ball.

From that point it was all about the pitching. Bolton retired the Gold in order in the third and fourth frames before surrendering a leadoff hit both the fifth and sixth, but got of the potential jams inducing five ground outs and a pop up.

Brandt gave up a leadoff single to Sam King in the fourth, but settled down after King was thrown out at second by Zach Wright by striking out Bryan Bass and Fultz to end the stanza. From that point on, Brandt retired nine of the next 11 batters to record the opening game series win for the Gold.

The Purple-Gold World Series will continue Wednesday afternoon at 3:15 p.m. with Jharel Cotton (Gold) and Tyler Joyner (Purple) taking the mound.

Pirate fans can get live updates from all five games of the series via Twitter (@ECUBaseball).