FROM PRESS RELEASE
ARKADELPHIA – Destan Makonnen belted three two-run home runs as the third-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team took two from Fort Hays State, 2-1 and 11-3, Saturday afternoon at Rab Rodgers Field.
In the opener, Steve Smith (2-1) pitched eight innings to pick up the win. He surrendered a run on three hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts. Patrick Lemmond earned his sixth save after working the ninth.
Ouachita Baptist (11-1) played small ball, scoring both runs on stolen bases as Blake Lockwood came across both times.
Eric Gilliland (0-1) took the loss for Fort Hays State (2-5). He gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits with three hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Brian Thompson worked 1 1/3 innings of relief.
In the second contest, Makonnen went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and six RBIs as he had three two-run blasts to lift Ouachita Baptist to its 11th win.
Fort Hays State jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but Ouachita Baptist scored a run in the bottom of the first, a run in the second and exploded for four in the third.
In the third, Chandler Boyce led off the frame by reaching on an error by the third baseman. Jim Streicher walked and moved Boyce to second. Justin Pennell followed with an RBI base hit through the right side, plating Boyce. Streicher was out at third, trying to advance a base on the play. With one out and after a pitching change, Rudy Jovanovski singled through the left side, scoring Pennell. Makonnen followed with the first of three two-run blasts to give Ouachita Baptist a 6-1 lead.
Jarod Hershberger (4-0) started on the mound for Ouachita Baptist, giving up two runs on seven hits with a strikeout in 4 1/3 innings. Jerry Helferich had three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings, while Alex Smith pitched the seventh.
Sean Bartholomew (0-1) took the loss, working 2 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout. Thompson Austen Bickford and Jake Nuss also pitched in relief.
Ouachita Baptist concludes the three-game series 1:00 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24 at Rab Rodgers Field against Fort Hays State. The game can be heard on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.