EASLEY—New Jersey pitcher Anthony Lopez doubled home Jarred Corniell with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift New Jersey to a 4-3 win over Texas Saturday afternoon in the Big League World Series at the JB “Red” Owens Recreation Complex in Easley.
The one-out double by Lopez was one of four hits by the New Jersey pitcher, who also hit a home run in the fifth inning. He also pitched a complete game, giving up five hits and three strikeouts. Lopez also walked five batters and threw 105 pitches.
New Jersey, the East Region champion, got its first win of the series, improving its record to 1-2, while Southwest champion Texas dropped to 0-3 in the tournament.
New Jersey scored first when Vaughn Watson singled and scored three batters later on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Cox. In the fourth, Gabe Rosado reached first on the only Texas error of the game and scored on a double by Corniell to give the East champion a 2-0 lead. Lopez hit his home run in the fifth to increase the lead to 3-0.
Lopez flirted with a no-hitter, holding Texas hitless until Martin Maldonado singled to lead off the sixth inning. Maldonado scored on a sacrifice fly to cut the New Jersey lead to 3-1.
Texas struck again in the top of the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Yoshio Saito and Nicholas Perales. Saito scored on Perales’ double to cut the lead to 3-2. Perales tied the game at 3-3, scoring on a single by Maldonado.
Corniell led off the seventh for New Jersey with a single reached second on another single by Watson. Lopez followed the two singles with his double to score Corniell and give New Jersey the 4-3 win.
In addition to four hits by Lopez, Corniell had three hits and Watson had two hits. Maldonado had two of Texas’ five hits to lead the Southwest Region champion.
New Jersey plays Central champion Indiana at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Texas plays the Easley-based host team at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.