ARLINGTON, Texas -- Zac Cook belted a home run and Brad Vassar turned in a sterling pitching performance, highlighting game three of the UTA baseball Fall World Series, on Saturday morning at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The third game saw Team Smith, managed by UTA assistant coach Fuller Smith, take a 2-1 series lead with an 8-0 win over over Team Bocchi, coached by assistant Joel Bocchi. Vassar led a four-man pitching staff that combined for a one-hit shutout over seven innings.
Team Bocchi opened the series with a 2-1, ninth-inning walk-off single from Easton Johnson on Wednesday, before Team Smith evened the series on Friday afternoon behind a strong pitching performance from Daniel James.
A native of Mansfield, Texas, Vassar starred on the mound for Team Smith, working three-shutout, one-hit innings, striking out one. Vassar threw just 30 pitches in his three innings, firing first-pitch strikes to all nine hitters he faced. Vassar has been a storyline in the FWS, earning playing time at first base to help fill a defensive positional void with the teams split for a true intrasquad competition. On Wednesday, Vassar shined at first base in his first playing time in the field since high school, including snagging a line drive and doubling up of base runner in a late-inning situation.
Cook, a six-foot left-handed hitter from Flower Mound, Texas, belted a leadoff homer to start the scoring for Team Smith in the first inning. Cook went 3-for-5 with a pair of knocks at the top of the lineup. Josh Minjarez and Christian Hollie each had multi-hit games, with Noah Vaughan, David Renning and Phil Childs each adding knocks. Phil Berthiaume collected the lone hit for Team Bocchi.
Behind Vassar in relief for Team Smith, Jud Kinzy worked two shutout innings, walking one and striking out one. Logan Austin and Andrew Gross each worked shutout innings to help clinch the win. Team Bocchi got two innings in a start from Drew Gooch, with Parker Schkade and Nick Skeffington working in relief. Jordon West worked two shutout innings for Team Bocchi, fanning four with one hit allowed.
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