FROM PRESS RELEASE
ARKADELPHIA – The third-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team exploded for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally past Upper Iowa, 5-2, Friday afternoon at Rab Rodgers Field during the Tigers’ home opener.
Ouachita Baptist (4-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a Rudy Jovanovski solo home run to left, but that was about all the offense the Tigers could muster off Peacocks starter Zach Raff.
Upper Iowa (0-1) tied the contest in the sixth on a solo homer by TJ Johnson and took a 2-1 lead in the seventh.
A leadoff home run by Destan Makonnen tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the seventh, followed by a one-out walk by Drew Maus. That would be the last batter Raff faced. Tom Longoni came in and walked Ryan Wade and pinch-hitter JoeDan Poulter delivered a double to right-center, plating Maus and giving Ouachita Baptist a 3-2 lead.
Longoni was replaced by Brian Putnam and Blake Lockwood reached on a squeeze bunt as Wade scored. Chandler Boyce followed with a sacrifice bunt, brining in Poulter for the final run of the inning.
Steve Smith started on the mound for the Tigers, pitching 6 1/3 innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Jerry Helferich earned his first victory of the season, working 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts, including getting the final batter of the game looking.
Raff took the loss, despite pitching 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Longoni faced just two batters and gave up a pair of runs on one hit with a walk.
The Tigers conclude the two-game series against Upper Iowa 2:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 at Rab Rodgers Field. The game can be heard via the internet at: www.obutigers.com.