The Cheney Diamond Dawgs opened the National Baseball Congress World Series with a 5-4 win over a talented Seattle Studs team in Thursday’s feature game at Wichita State University’s Eck Stadium.
Jackson Glenn hit a grand slam in the top of the fifth inning to break open a 1-1 tie, giving Cheney a 5-1. That homer was enough to win the game, but just barely as the Studs fought back with two runs in the bottom of the inning and another in sixth.
Seattle looked poised to have an even bigger inning in the fifth. A shot down the left field line and a single up the middle cut Cheney’s lead to 5-3, and after a bunt the Studs had a runner on second base.
Seattle’s Kyle Boe hit another single up the middle, and Ryan Budnick rounded third and headed toward home. But Cheney’s Wade Raburn had other plans. He scooped up the ball in shallow center and made a perfect throw to catcher Greyson Pinkett, who cleanly tagged out Budnick for the inning’s second out. A routine ground then ended the inning.
Cheney’s big inning started with a walk to Blake Rambusch, who stole second and went to third on an error. Then with two outs, Kyler Castillo drew a walk and Raburn was hit by a pitch. That loaded the bases for Glenn.
In the second, Cheney’s Andrew Miller singled and went to second on a balk. A Matt Scheurich single sent Miller to third, and he scored on a fielder’s choice. Seattle loaded the bases in the bottom of the second inning with two singles and a walk. Budnick scored after Cheney starting pitcher Jose Vasquez struck a batter with the bases loaded.
Vasquez pitched five innings and picked up the win. He walked three and struck out four. Jacob Uhing and John Shull came on in relief, and Shull getting the save. Glenn was the offensive star,, with a team-high two hits and four runs batted in on his grand slam. Kyler Castillo, Raburn and Miller also had hits, and Rambusch driving in Cheney’s other run.
The Diamond Dawgs will play the late game on Saturday, taking on the San Diego Waves at approximately 9:30 p.m. in Pool A. The Waves also won on Thursday, edging the Texas Express 3-2. Seattle and Texas will play at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.