Williams lifts Co-Lin over Brookdale
Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2005
MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Shortstop Patrick Williams sparked arevival Sunday, directing the Co-Lin Wolves to a thrilling 5-3 winover Brookdale (N.J.) in the consolation bracket of the NJCAADivision II World Series. Williams delivered the winning clout inthe top of the 10th inning, launching a 2-run homer over theleft-center field fence near the 375-foot mark in USA Stadium.
Williams, a sophomore from Crystal Springs, also homered in thefifth inning. The solo shot gave the Wolves a 3-2 lead at thatpoint.
Williams, a Delta State signee, said he was happy to get thegame-winning hit. “We always have to fight to stay alive. Everybodystepped up today. We just have to take it a game at a time.”
In Sunday’s other games, Mesa (Ariz.) eliminated Madison Tech(Wis.) 8-6 and 2-time defending champion Grand Rapids (Mich.) beatChesapeake (Md.) 6-1. Chesapeake (40-17) played Co-Lin Mondaynight.
The Wolves (31-27-1) rebounded from an opening-round, 3-1 lossto Elgin (Ill.). Brookdale (42-6) had gained a 3-3 deadlock in thesixth. What followed were 3 scoreless innings where go-ahead runswere left stranded on base.
In the 10th, leadoff batter Josh Logan drew a walk fromBrookdale relief pitcher Justin Esposito. Brookdale coach JohnnyJohnson pulled Esposito and sent Matt Coulson to the mound.
Co-Lin’s Xavier Qualls produced a sacrifice bunt, advancingLogan who had moved to second on a balk.
Williams recalled the moment. “The infield was playing in. Iknew I needed a fly ball to score Logan. The pitcher (Coulson) gotbehind 0-2 so he had to come to me. It was a fastball.”
For Williams, it was his 12th homer of this Cinderella season.The 2 dingers in 1 game tied a tournament record.
“Patrick Williams came through for us,” said Co-Lin head coachKeith Case. “It was a big one.”
In a tight pitching duel, Co-Lin rode the arms of starter DerekThompson for 6 innings, followed by reliever Lance Deville andcloser Ryan Belanger.
“We were able to piece pitching together,” said Case. “Derekthrew a lot of pitches (130). Lance Deville came in and ate up someinnings for us. Then Ryan (Belanger) saved it for us.”
Belanger (7-8), the loser of Saturday’s opener, entered the gamein the bottom of the ninth with 2 out and the winning run on thirdbase. He struck out out Robbie Hine and left David Lorberstranded.
In the bottom of the 10th, Belanger walked leadoff batter JoeArminio but he struck out the next 3 batters in another clutchperformance.
“Everybody kept fighting,” said Belanger (7-8), a Southern Misssignee. “Pat hit some bombs for us. Thompson and Deville did a goodjob battling.”
In 6.2 innings, Thompson gave up 7 hits and 3 runs. He struckout 5 and walked 5.
Deville pitched 2 innings, holding the Jersey Blues hitless andwalking 2.
“Co-Lin outplayed our kids,” said Coach Johnson. “Their coachesgot them up for the game.
“It’s all about execution,” Johnson continued. “We didn’t getthe pitching we needed the last two games.”
Brookdale (42-6) took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI singleby Doug Ford.
Co-Lin went up 2-1 in the the third. Joseph Langham led off witha single to left. Logan laid down a sacrifice bunt. Xavier Quallsand Williams drew back-to-back walks off Brookdale starter BillLawson to load the bases. Jody Britt hit a line drive off thepitcher’s glove and it was 1-1. Garrett Jones followed with an RBIsingle to right and the Wolves led 2-1.
The Blue Jerseys got another tie in the fourth on an RBI singleby Jon Marzella. Williams answered with his solo homer over theleft field wall for a 3-2 lead.
In the sixth, a sacrifice fly by Ford scored Hine who had ledoff with double to the right field wall, making it 3-3.
Case praised the defensive efforts of catcher MatthewSchexnayder who blocked several wild pitches when Brookdale hadrunners in scoring position. “Schexnayder deserves the Lou GehrigAward on our team. He made some big blocks with the winning run onbase.”