ASHEBORO, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (31-15) staged a late rally to come away with a 13-8 win over the Claflin Panthers (23-15), Sunday afternoon. After allowing a hot start to the Panthers, the Rams heated up late to pull away for the win. The Rams used the long ball to claim the win as the team got back-to-back home runs late to pull away with the win.
As a team, the Rams had a solid game. The team totaled 11 hits in the game with two doubles and three home runs. WSSU senior short stop Nick Williams led the way for the Rams with a two-for-three batting effort with three runs scored. Redshirt-freshman leftfielder Kendal Tucker added six RBI. Sophomore third base Wellington Guzman added a two-for-three batting performance with a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Things got off to a slow start for the Rams, but the team heated up late to claim the win. The Panthers took control of the game early when the team scored five first inning runs, but the Rams soon answered with three runs in the first inning. Claflin would not go away easy as they added a third inning home run to leave WSSU trailing, 6-3. However, the Rams scored two third inning runs to cut their deficit down to just one run, 6-5 at the end of the third inning. WSSU sophomore first base Luke Spiva added a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to tie the game, 6-6 in the four inning. It was then that Tucker hit a grand slam home run to put the Rams on top, 10-6. The home run was followed by a solo home run from Guzman that gave WSSU an 11-6 lead. The Rams allowed a pair of fifth inning runs to the Panthers before senior Trenton Smiley hit a two-run home run that left the final score 13-8 at the end of the sixth inning. From there, the Rams held the Panthers scoreless in the final inning to seal the win.
WSSU junior Parker Strader (4-0) took the pitching win. He went 3.1 innings with one run allowed (one earned) on four hits. Senior Tomas Goco added a pair of dominating innings when he held the Panthers to just one hit with three strikeouts.
With the win, the Rams wrap up the 2019 regular season with a 31-15 record. The team will turn its attention to the post-season when the Rams host the Independent Tournament at Big League Camp in Marion, N.C. next weekend. For more information on Rams baseball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.