Ouachita Baptist drop pair to Harding

FROM PRESS RELEASE

ARKADELPHIA – The road to winning a Gulf South Conference West Division title just got longer for the 12th-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team as the Tigers were swept by Harding, 3-2 and 6-3 Friday afternoon at Rab Rodgers Field.

In the opener, Steve Smith pitched six innings of one-hit baseball and came away with a no decision. He gave up two runs (both unearned) on one hit with two walks and five strikeouts. Jerry Helferich (3-3) took the loss, working 1 1/3 innings by giving up one run. Patrick Lemmond pitched the final 1 2/3 innings of relief, surrendering a pair of hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

After a scoreless five innings, Ouachita Baptist (24-7 overall, 1-4 GSC West) finally got a run in the sixth, but Harding answered with a pair in the top of the seventh. The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the frame, only to see the Bisons grab a 3-2 advantage in the top of the eighth.

Michael Skinner started for Harding (15-13, 2-3), pitching six innings. He gave up two runs on six hits with five walks and two strikeouts. D.A. Kremer (3-2) got the victory by working three innings of relief. He scattered two hits with a walk and a pair of strikeouts.

Chad Taylor paced Ouachita Baptist at the plate by going 3-for-3. Also collecting hits were Chandler Boyce (RBI), Jim Streicher, Drew Maus (RBI) and JoeDan Poulter.

In the second contest, Harding put two on the board in the top of the first, but Streicher belted a solo homer in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit in half.

But the Bisons continued to be the aggressive team offensively and scored three in the fourth and added one more in the sixth to grab a 6-1 advantage.

The Tigers tried to mount some late-inning heroics in the bottom of the seventh.

Drew Wurzelbacher, who was 1-for-3, led off the frame with a base hit to left. With two outs, Streicher, who went 4-for-4, crushed an 0-2 pitch over the left-field wall to cut the margin to 6-3. Rudy Jovanovski, who also went 4-for-4, followed with a single through the right side. After a pitching change, Destan Makonnen walked, but Boyce flied out to center to end the threat and the game.

Jarod Hershberger (6-1) started for the Tigers, lasting 3 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs on eight hits with a walk. Alex Smith surrendered one run on three hits in 2 1/3 innings, while Reece Dodd pitched an inning of relief.

Brodie Brumley (2-0) picked up the win by pitching 6 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs, while scattering 10 hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Troy Keith earned his second save by working 1/3 of an inning.

Ouachita Baptist concludes the three-game series 1:00 p.m., Saturday, March 22 at Rab Rodgers Field against Harding. The game can be heard on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.

HARDING RECAP