FAYETTEVILLE — Junior Jax Biggers went 3-for-4 with two doubles and redshirt sophomore Isaiah Campbell threw five scoreless innings to help Team Gray win its third-straight game and claim the 2017 Fall World Series title Tuesday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
After falling to Team Cardinal, 13-0, in game one last week, Team Gray turned the tables to win three-straight games by a combined score of 24-2 and hit .326 as a team.
“Team Gray had it handed to them in game one, but they were the more confident team the rest of the way as they put it behind them,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “I’m looking forward to putting the best team together and getting back on the field come spring.”
Biggers was a big part of Team Gray’s turnaround. Three of his series-leading seven hits came in Tuesday’s contest with two going for doubles. He drove in the game’s second run in the second inning and started another rally in the sixth with a big double down the right field line.
“I just did what I’m supposed to do,” Biggers said after the game. “When you’re in the leadoff spot, you’re just trying to get on base. Coach Van Horn has a tough task of making a lineup out of this team. Our depth is really good. It’s a good problem to have. I’m excited for this year.”
The Missouri City, Texas native finished the series hitting .412 (7-for-17) with six runs scored, four doubles, one home run, and four RBIs. However, he wasn’t the series’ top hitter.
Freshman Heston Kjerstad led all hitters in the Fall World Series with a .467 average and five RBIs.
Five of his seven hits came in Sunday’s 13-run victory in game three and he added a two-RBI single on Tuesday in the series clincher.
For the third-straight game, Team Gray also benefitted from its starting pitching. Fans got their first real glimpse of Campbell, who was shut down after one appearance last season due to an arm injury.
He threw five good innings, giving up just four hits with two walks and five strikeouts on 80 pitches.
“He did a good job today,” Van Horn said. “I think he got behind a couple of times and came back and got hitters. He really didn’t give anything up and didn’t give in to any hitters. There was one time he had a 3-2 count and gave them a breaking ball. He locked the hitter up for strike three.
“It shows me he has confidence in more than just one pitch. He’s still getting it going. Come springtime, he’s a guy that’s got a lot more in there.”
Sophomore Matt Cronin followed Campbell with his third appearance of the series, closing out the final two innings with just one hit given up and four strikeouts.
In the other dugout, Hunter Wilson led his squad with the bat, going 2-for-3. Evan Lee, Brady Disher, and Casey Martin added a hit each.
On the mound, junior Barrett Loseke got the start, but was roughed up for three runs over the first two innings. He settled down to pitch into the fourth before giving way to freshman Kole Ramage.
Ramage allowed three runs on three hits with two strikeouts over the game’s final three innings.
With fall practice now behind them, the team will focus on individual and weight room workouts to prepare for the 2018 season. Arkansas’ 2018 schedule is set to be released this month. Early renewals for season-ticket holders are also available through the Razorback Ticket Office.
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2017 Fall World Series Schedule
• Game 1 – Cardinal 13, Gray 0 (Cardinal leads 1-0)
• Game 2 – Gray 3, Cardinal 0 (Series tied 1-1)
• Game 3 – Gray 15, Cardinal 2 (Gray leads 2-1)
• Game 4 – Gray 6, Cardinal 0 (Gray wins 3-1)