OMAHA, Neb. – Leadoff hitters as supposed to get on base and three-hole hitters are supposed to drive them in.
Arizona made that combination work in their 3-0 win over Coastal Carolina to kick off their Championship Series in the 2016 College World Series.
Leadoff hitter Cody Ramer reached four times. He led off an inning three times and reached each time.
“He’s that guy that’s a pain in your side,” CCU head coach Gary Gilmore said. “He’s one of the kids on their team that as the opposing coach you go, ‘Man, I’d like to have that kid.’ He’s a good-looking player.”
Ramer scored twice and was driven in both times by three-hole hitter Ryan Aguilar.
“It’s awesome having Cody and [Zach] Gibbons up right before me,” Aguilar said. “Right before every game, you’re going to have an opportunity to score runs. I have to thank Coach for putting me in that order and trusting me a lot so I could get that opportunity. And today I pulled through for him.”
Ramer started the game by bouncing a ground-rule double over the left field fence. After Ramer moved to third on a groundout by Zach Gibbons, Aguilar singled up the middle to drive in Ramer with the game’s first run.
In the third, Ramer singled to right and went to third on a double by Gibbons. Aguilar hit a fly ball to left, but it was not deep enough to bring home Ramer. The Wildcats would leave the bases loaded without scoring in the third.
Ramer drew a leadoff walk in the fifth, but was erased on a fielder’s choice.
In the seventh, with Cesar Salazar on third, Ramer drew a walk to greet reliever Cole Schaefer. Gibbons hit a fly ball to center that drove in Salazar to make it 2-0. On the play, Ramer tagged up and made it second just ahead of the throw. He would have been out prior to Salazar touching home, negating the run.
“It wasn’t the most ideal thing,” Ramer said. “But I saw a little opportunity when both infielders vacated the bag, and I figured if I got to the outside, slid in, I would be safe, which would get me into scoring position with two outs. And Ryan was able to drive me in. But I’ve got to be a little smarter, especially with our catcher on third base.”
Aguilar singled to left to again bring home Ramer, upping the score to 3-0.
“Cody and Ryan,” UA head coach Jay Johnson said, “when you do good things and have good teams, it’s usually your guys are guys, and they’ve been doing it for us all year, and it was no different tonight. A bunch of great at-bats at the top of our order.”