Team Orange grabbed the early lead Monday night in the second game of the Fall World Series and never looked back. They defeated Team Maroon 13-2 to even the series after Team Maroon won the first game 11-3 last Thursday.
Paul Hall, Jr. fired two scoreless innings in the start for Team Orange, striking out two batters. He had a lively fastball working from the first pitch of the game.
“The offense helped me keep that adrenaline going with the early runs,” said Hall. “I knew that if I just stuck to my plan and kept attacking the hitters then I could end up helping our team with the win.”
Hall had the second most appearances from the bullpen last year for the Hokies. He struggled at times with a 7.85 ERA, so this fall he’s been working on having more consistency.
“Coach Fecteau thinks I have a live arm,” said Hall, Jr. “It’s just a matter of staying consistent with it and making sure I’m staying ahead of counts and getting hitters out in a quick manner.”
Redshirt-junior Nick Owens had a big night from the plate for Team Orange, finishing with two hits and five RBIs.
“I’m really hunting fastballs early in the count,” said Owens. “Trying to find something up that I can get a hit and get the runs in. Me and Coach Elbin have been working really hard on my swing. I think it’s coming along.”
Owens is one of the players competing for the void left at shortstop after Ryan Tufts graduated this past year. While Owens’ bat was on display Thursday night, Coach John Szefc is more concerned with his defense up the middle.
“He’s a seasoned guy,” said Szefc. “He’s been around the college game now for three years as a junior college transfer. His biggest thing for me, and really any middle infield guy, is their defense. Worry about giving us some consistently clean defense. Usually when that happens the offense is going to take care of itself.”
Now going forward, the Fall World Series has given Szefc an understanding of what he can expect out of certain guys in certain positions. It’s allowed him to follow the mindset of making the mistakes now so they’re not made once the regular season starts.
“We have to define an awful lot of roles as we go into the spring as far as who’s going to fit into different situations,” said Szefc. “We just have to get better at a lot of different parts of the game. We’ll be there by February, we’re just not there yet. Our pitchers have to work to constantly get ahead of hitters. We’re up and down with that at times.”
The Fall World Series concludes Friday at 4:30pm. Game Three is free and open to the public at English Field at Union Park.