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Smith, Boyce provide spark as Ouachita Baptist downs Missouri-St. Louis


ARKADELPHIA – Alex Smith pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief and the second-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team got a big day at the plate by Chandler Boyce as the Tigers won their fourth straight by beating Missouri-St. Louis, 8-1, Sunday afternoon at Rab Rodgers Field.

Smith (1-0), who came in for starter Chase Baran, surrendered just a run with a walk and four strikeouts. He was helped by a pair of outstanding diving catches in right field by Justin Pennell to get some great defensive help. Baran pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Ouachita Baptist (16-2) couldn’t get much going in the first three innings off Tritons starter Linds Prestia. But that changed in the bottom of the fourth as the Tigers scored five runs on three hits.

Jim Streicher, who was 2-for-4, homered to left to tie the game at 1. Pennell, Rudy Jovanovski (2-for-2) and Destan Makonnen drew back-to-back-to-back walks to load the bases. Drew Maus followed with a pair of RBIs on a single down the left-field line. After a pitching change and with one out, Drew Wurzelbacher was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for the second time in the frame. With two down, Boyce, who was 2-for-5 with four RBIs, ripped a base hit to left, scoring Makonnen and Maus.

The Tigers put the game out of reach by plating three runs on four hits in the sixth.

Prestia worked three innings, giving up five runs on three hits with four walks. Mark Sanders surrendered three runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings. Eric Kuntz and John Kalb also worked in relief.

The Tigers play host 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 5 against North Alabama in a doubleheader at Rab Rodgers Field.

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