Courtesy of Angelo State Sports Information

MONTGOMERY, ALA. - Joe Key comes on in relief of Michael Gunter to register the win at NCAA DII World Series

The Angelo State Rams baseball team (51-18) erupted for 10 runs in the top of the 10th inning to break open a 2-2 game and defeat the Franklin Pierce College Ravens, 12-3, in the NCAA DII College World Series opener for both teams at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday afternoon.

Bradley Durst began the onslaught by the Rams with a lead off single up the middle off of FPC closer Tyler Bishop (2-1) to even. Charley Belew then pushed a bunt single between Bishop and Raven first baseman Greg Redding, and both runners advanced a base when Bishop's throw sailed down the right field line. Shan Sullivan drove home Durst with the go-ahead run on a single up the middle, the first run Bishop had surrendered all season, and the rout was on.

After Jimmy Cox grounded out to second, Drew Caraway was intentionally walked to load the bases. Steven Allred, a 2007 Rawlings/ABCA All-South Central Region First Team selection, drove a 1-2 pitch past a diving Jake Christman to score Sullivan and Belew and chase Bishop on favor of Clay Jenkins. After Allred stole second, Clay Calfee was issued the second intentional walk of the inning to once again load the bases. Nate Hemm followed a Bucky Strickland pop up with a single into left center for two more runs. Durst returned to the batter's box and reached on an error Christman, one of six committed by the Ravens, to score Calfee. Belew registered his second hit in the 10th with a shot up the middle bring home Hemm. Sullivan then walked to load the bases for the third time in the inning. Cox greeted new reliever Alex Szymanski with a double into the left centerfield gap to clear the bases and end the scoring in the inning.

The explosion overshadowed exceptional pitching performance by Raven starter Mike Adams. The 6-0 sophomore right hander from Orchard Park held the Rams scoreless until Hemm drove home Caraway in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1, and held the Rams hitless until Caraway singled to center with one out in the eighth to score Belew to give the Rams a 2-1 lead.

Michael Gunter got the start for ASU and battled all day long, surrendering twelve hits on only two runs. Joe Key came on in relief of Gunter with one out in the ninth and the winning run on second and got the Renaud twins for the two outs of the inning, Keith on a fielder's choice and Kevin on a pop up to short. Key stayed in the game and gave up a solo home run to Kevin Rivers with one out in the 10th before retiring Matt Anderson and Christman to end the game and even his record at 6-6 in 2007.

The Rams next game will be against the winner of the Southern Indiana/Columbus State game on Monday night. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

Columbus State 5, Angelo State 4

Rodney Rutherford's three-run inside-the-park home run broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the third inning as the No. 14-ranked Columbus State Cougars (50-18) defeated the No. 21-ranked Angelo State Rams (51-19), 5-4, in game eight of the NCAA DII World Series in Montgomery, Ala., on Monday evening.

Rutherford's shot came when Ram center fielder Drew Caraway's attempt to haul in the fly ball popped out of his glove after he crashed into the outfield wall and fell to the ground. The Cougars had tied the game tied the game two batters earlier when Drew Candlin singled through the left side of the infield with two outs to score Billy Howard from second base.

The Rams opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Jimmy Cox led off the bottom of the first with his first home run of the season, a bomb that cleared the railroad tracks beyond the left field fence. CSU tied the game in the top of the second when Rutherford led off with a double and came home on a Trent Bianco single to right.

The Rams regained the lead in the bottom of the second with a manufactured run. Nate Hemm led off with a walk and moved to second with his tenth stolen base of the year. Shan Sullivan drove home Hemm to give the Rams the lead headed into the third.

Both squads remained off the scoreboard from the third inning on until the bottom of the sixth when Matt Lenderman sent a 1-1 pitch with Hemm on first to almost the exact same as Cox did to cut the score to the final margin.

Cody Broussard got the start for the Rams and suffered the loss, only his second of the season against twelve wins. Korey Noles got the win for the Cougars, improving his record to 10-3 on the season.

The Rams take to the field on Tuesday afternoon in an elimination game to take on Southern Indiana. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m. at Riverwalk Stadium.