Ouachita Baptist Tigers split pair with Southeastern Oklahoma State

FROM PRESS RELEASE

DURANT, Okla. – It was a rather interesting afternoon as the second-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team split a doubleheader with Southeastern Oklahoma State Tuesday by dropping the first game 23-2, but taking the second contest, ,8-5 at the Ballpark in Durant.

In the second contest, after falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Ouachita Baptist (13-2) bounced back by plating six runs on five hits with the big hit coming on a 3-2 pitch by Josh Rose to Jim Streicher, who belted a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double to left-center to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead.

Streicher moved to third and scored on wild pitches, giving Ouachita Baptist a 6-3 advantage. Justin Pennell doubled to center and came across to score on Rudy Jovanovski’s seventh homer, a bomb over the center field fence, giving the Tigers an 8-3 lead.

Josh Rose (0-1) started for the Savage Storm and lasted 1 2/3 innings. He gave up seven runs on five hits. Rose was relieved by Sean Garrett, who surrendered the home run by Jovanovski. Garrett pitched four innings and was lifted for Brady Huckabee with two out in the top of the sixth. For Garrett, gave up just one run on four hits, while walking four and striking out six. Huckabee worked 1 1/3 innings with a strikeout.

The Savage Storm (4-8) grabbed a run in the bottom of the third inning as Cody Pearce walked and took second on a balk. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on a Trey Wingo double to right center, cutting the Tigers lead to 8-4.

Pearce, who went 3-for-4 in the opener and was a thorn in the Tigers side all day, hit a solo homer to left in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the margin to 8-5.

Zach Wilbanks (1-0) started on the mound for Ouachita Baptist, pitching 5 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits with one walk and one strikeout. Wilbanks was relieved by Jerry Helferich with one out in the sixth and a runner on second.

The junior pitcher from Cincinnati, Ohio got Scott Hancock and Ryan Bowen to pop out to end the frame. Patrick Lemmond came in after Helferich allowed a leadoff hit by Kolby Williams to begin the seventh. Lemmond earned his seventh save of the year in helping the Tigers get the split.

In the opener, Blake Lockwood reached a base hit up the middle to begin the game. Chandler Boyce followed with a single to right-center. Lockwood was thrown out at third for the first out. Streicher followed with a double to right, moving Boyce to third. Pennell hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Boyce from third to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

However, Southeastern Oklahoma State took advantage of Sean O’Rourke’s inability to find the srtrike zone in the bottom of the first, plating 10 runs on nine hits to grab a 10-1 lead.

O’Rourke (1-1) worked a third of an inning, giving up seven runs on five hits. O’Rourke was replaced by Trent Lingle, who surrendered three runs in just the first inning. Lingle, who gave up five more runs, was relieved in the second by Josh Turner. Turner, who gave up two runs, couldn’t get a batter out and walked two straight on eight straight balls.

Head coach Scott Norwood, who earned his 250th win Sunday, quickly went to the bullpen yet again as Tyler Bell became the fourth pitcher used. Bell, who surrendered six runs, was replaced by Payne Spence with one out in the bottom of the fourth.

The Tigers got a run in the sixth as Streicher led off the inning with a double to center and Brandon Moyer came in to pinch run for the senior catcher. Pennell followed a sacrifice fly to center, moving Moyer to third. Rudy Jovanovski ripped an RBI base hit to right, scoring Moyer.

Getting the win for the Savage Storm was Daniel Ingram (2-1), who pitched six innings. He gave up two runs, while scattering seven hits with a pair of walks and fanning six.

Ouachita Baptist returns to Rab Rodgers Field 12:00 p.m., Saturday, March 1 against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville for a one nine-inning game and a one seven-inning contest.