Ouachita Baptist takes two from Missouri Southern!

FROM PRESS RELEASE

ARKADELPHIA – The second-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team got solid pitching performances by Jarod Hershberger and Steve Smith as the Tigers swept Missouri Southern State and completed a three-game series sweep of the Lions Sunday afternoon with scores of 12-2 in seven innings and 6-1 at Rab Rodgers Field.

In the opener and a contest that was called after seven inning because of the 10-run mercy rule, Ouachita Baptist (21-2) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and extended the lead to 7-0 by plating six runs on six hits in the second inning, knocking Lions starter Ryan Verfurth out.

Drew Maus, who went 3-for-4, began the inning with a base hit through the right side and Chad Taylor, who was 1-for-2, doubled down the right-field line, moving Maus to third. JoeDan Poulter walked to load the bases and everyone moved up a base when Blake Lockwood reached on a fielder’s choice. Taylor scored on a passed ball.

With one out, Jim Streicher, who was 1-for-2, reached on an infield single, as Poulter scored. Pennell followed with a bloop single to center, scoring Lockwood. Rudy Jovanovski, who was 1-for-2, singled up the middle and Destan Makonnen, who went 1-for-2, walked to load the bases. Maus, batting for the second time in the inning, singled to right, scoring Jovanovski and Pennell. Taylor walked to load the bases yet again and Makonnen scored when Poulter took first on a base on balls.

The Tigers added to the margin in the third inning off Missouri Southern reliever Chris Green, plating three runs on three hits.

Missouri Southern (1-12) got on the scoreboard in the fourth with Ouachita Baptist on top 11-1 and the Tigers added to that with a run in the bottom of the fifth.

Hershberger (6-0) pitched a complete game, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts.

Verfurth (1-2) gave up eight runs on seven hits with five walks and one strikeout in 1 2/3 innings. Green was tagged for three runs on three hits with a pair of walks. Jacob Garrison gave up a run on three walks in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

In the second game, the Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and didn’t look back.

Lockwood begin the bottom of the first with a walk and Chandler Boyce followed with a base on balls. Lockwood stole third and Boyce advanced to second as Streicher, who finished the second game with a pair of hits, walked to load the bases. Pennell ripped a two-RBI base hit through the right side, plating Lockwood and Boyce.

Jovanovski, who also had two hits, followed with a base hit to load the bases. Makonnen was hit by a pitch, scoring Streicher from third. With two outs, Makonnen was caught steal in between first and second, allowing Pennell to score as Ouachita Baptist plated four runs on two hits in the frame.

That would be all the run support Smith would need as Ouachita Baptist added to the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

Smith (3-1) pitched four innings, scattering two hits and fanned six. Sean O’Rourke surrendered a run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in three innings.

Austin Lawrence (0-2) started for the Lions in the second contest, pitching two innings. He gave up four runs on two hits with four walks. Matthew Mantle gave up two runs on seven hits in four innings with a walk and three strikeouts in relief.

The Tigers play a twin bill 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 11 against Southeastern Oklahoma State at Rab Rodgers Field. The two teams split the earlier series as Ouachita Baptist lost the opener 23-2 and bounced back with an 8-5 victory. The games can be heard on the internet on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.