William Woods pounds Park, advances to AMC baseball semifinals

— Senior shortstop Sam Moon and junior third baseman Austin Clapp both had three hits and two runs batted in as the No. 3 seed Owls charged to a 10-1 quarterfinal win at the American Midwest Conference postseason tournament Thursday.

William Woods University senior starter Dane Smith and two other pitchers combined to limit No. 6 seed Park University to one run on only three hits at Robin Roberts Stadium. The Owls (36-10), who have won two in a row and nine of their last 10, moved on to a semifinal matchup at 7 tonight against the winner of Thursday night’s quarterfinal between No. 2 seed Lyon (Ark.) College and No. 7 Mid-Continent (Ky.) University.

Moon went 3-for-6 with a triple, a double and a run scored as William Woods piled up 15 hits and turned the game into a runaway with a pair of four-run outbursts in the first and eighth innings. Clapp finished 3-for-5 and scored once, while junior right fielder Nick Spagnola was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Redshirt junior designated hitter Dustin Kremer also went 2-for-3 and scored once.

Moon ignited the Owls’ scoring spree in the first when opened the game with his triple to deep right-center and scored when junior center fielder Cody Stewart followed with a single into shallow left-center. Stewart made it 2-0 when he came around to score on Spagnola’s single with one out.

Clapp’s single through the hole at shortstop scored senior left fielder Zach Nichols. Clapp eventually raced home on redshirt freshman second baseman Alex St. Pierre’s groundout to extend William Woods’ lead to 4-0.

The Owls then tallied two runs in the fifth when Nichols scored on a wild pitch and Clapp came through with an RBI single. After Park (17-24) scored its lone run in the seventh, the Owls broke out for four more runs in the eighth to pull away. Senior catcher Kyle Switzer responded with an RBI single, Moon mashed a two-run double to deep right-center and junior pinch-runner Javier Ledesma dashed home on a wild pitch.

Smith surrendered the Pirates’ earned run on one hit over six innings to raise his season record to 9-1. He struck out eight and overcame five walks.

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