FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Sophomore infielder Eric Fisher went 3-for-5 with four RBI, while freshman right handed pitcher Trey Killian threw 5.1 solid innings as Cardinal defeated White, 5-4, in game one of the Cardinal-White series on Thursday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
The Cardinal team pounded out 13 hits in the victory, led by Fisher's three hit effort and Dominic Ficociello's 4-for-4 performance. Fisher had a game-high four RBI, driving in two runs in the bottom of the first on a single and two more runs on a single in the fourth. Clayton Booth and Tyler Spoon each added two hits. Spoon also had a RBI and a run scored.
Brian Anderson and Jake Wise led the White team at the plate with two hits each. Anderson scored a pair of runs, while Wise had a RBI. Willie Schwanke hit a solo homer, while Isaac Hellbusch also drove in a run in the loss.
Killian started on the mound for Cardinal and earned the win. The freshman righty allowed two runs, just one earned, on four hits and struck out six in 5.1 innings. Barrett Astin struck out the side in the top of the ninth inning to earn the save.
Chris Oliver was the starter for White and took the loss after giving up five runs on nine hits and striking out five in 3.2 innings. Brandon Moore, Hayden Barnett and Ryne Stanek combined to throw 4.1 shutout innings out of the bullpen.
Cardinal jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first. Jacob Morris led off the inning with a single to left field and then advanced to second on a single to left by Spoon. A bunt single by Joe Serrano up the third base line loaded the bases with nobody out. Fisher drove home the first two runs of the game with a single to center, scoring Morris and Spoon.
The Cardinal team stretched the lead to 3-0 with a run in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Morris walked and Spoon followed with a double to the left-center field gap to score Morris from first.
The Cardinal team added two more runs in the home half of the fourth. Clayton Booth began the inning with a single to left and advanced to second on a two-out wild pitch. Spoon was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. A walk to Serrano loaded the bases with two out. Fisher scored Booth and Blake Baxendale, who had pinch run for Spoon, with a RBI single to right field to extend the lead to 5-0.
The White team got on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the fifth. Schwanke led off the frame with a solo home run over the right field wall and into the bullpen. With one out, Anderson single into left-center field and then stole second base. After a strikeout of Hellbusch, Wise reached on an infield single. The throw to first to try to retire Wise was low and got past Fisher at first base, allowing Anderson to score the second run of the inning.
White cut the lead to one with two runs in the top of the seventh. Back-to-back singles by Michael Gunn and Anderson to begin the inning put runners on first and second. Hellbusch then singled through the left side of the infield to score Gunn to trim the lead to 5-3. Wise drove in the fourth run of the game for White on a base hit to left-center field to bring home Anderson. White attempted to tie the game later in the inning, but heads up defense by the Cardinal team kept them in front. With one out and runners on first and second, Brett McAfee hit a chopper up the middle that was fielded by shortstop Josh Alberius. Alberius flipped to Ficociello at second for the out. Wise attempted to score from second on the play, but he was thrown out at home by Ficociello to end the inning and keep the score at 5-4.
The White team was unable to get any closer as Landon Simpson threw a scoreless eighth inning and Astin struck out the side in the ninth to give the Cardinal team a 5-4 win.
The series resumes on Friday at 3 p.m. with game two of the series. Senior left hander Tyler Wright will start for Cardinal, while redshirt senior southpaw Trent Daniel will get the ball for White.
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