FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES
ARKADELPHIA – The 22nd-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team returned to Rab Rodgers Field by taking a doubleheader Gulf South Conference West Division sweep of Arkansas-Monticello, 13-3 in seven innings and 11-7.
Ouachita Baptist (34-7 overall, 6-4 GSC West), in the opener, broke a scoreless tie in the fifth by plating eight runs on six hits to take an 8-0 lead.
In the fifth, JoeDann Poulter and Blake Lockwood drew back-to-back walks to begin the frame and scored by Justin Pennell laced a triple down the right-field line. Jim Streicher followed with a base hit to right center, scoring Pennell from third. With one out, Destan Makonnen, the Gulf South Conference West Division Player of the Week, belted a home run over the right field wall to clear the bases.
Chad Taylor followed with a single up the middle and moved to third on a base hit to right center by Drew Maus, who went 2-for-3. After a pitching change, Taylor was thrown out trying to steal home, allowing Maus to steal second. Drew Wurzelbacher walked and moved to third on a double down the line by Poulter as Maus scored. Poulter, who began the inning, walked to load the bases. Wurzelbacher scored on a wild pitch as the runners moved up and Pennell followed with a walk to again load the bases. Streicher, who was 2-for-3, walked to bring in Poulter for the final run of the inning.
The Boll Weevils (0-29, 0-11) cut the Tigers lead to by scoring three times in the sixth to trim the deficit to 8-3.
Ouachita Baptist got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the sixth to take a 9-3 advantage. The Tigers got the win by scoring four more in the seventh to get the 13-3 win.
Steve Smith (6-1) started Ouachita Baptist, giving up three runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts in seven innings.
Kevin Lienard worked four innings, giving up two runs on one hit with six walks.
Ryan Rawls (0-1) pitched just a 1/3 of inning in relief, surrendering three runs on five hits. Richard Eberle gave up two runs on one hit with three walks in a 1/3 of an inning, while Chris Watley, who started the game at shortstop, worked two innings, giving up five runs (one earned) on four hits with a pair of walks.
In the second game, Arkansas-Monticello jumped out to a 2-0 on a two-run homer by Ben Turner in the top of the second inning.
But the Tigers answered in the bottom half of the second as Rudy Jovanovski walked and Makonnen crushed a 2-2 pitch over the right-center wall, tying the game at 2. For Makonnen, that was his 17th homer of the year, which tied last season’s total.
Tigers starter Alex Smith struggled early, with his control and command, and was lifted with one out and the bases loaded in the top of the third for Sean O’Rourke. The native of Rockford, Mich., got the first batter out swinging and then got a groundout to third to end the Boll Weevil threat.
Ouachita Baptist took the lead in the bottom of the third as Pennell singled to right and moved to third when Streicher reached on an error by the shortstop. Jovanovski ripped a two-out double to right center, plating Pennell. Makonnen was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Arkansas-Monticello starter Kyle Thaxton walked to bring in Streicher. However, Maus bounced out to the pitcher to end the inning with the Tigers on top, 4-2.
Ouachita Baptist added a run in the fourth when Lockwood drew a two-out walk and stole second. He scored when Pennell doubled off the wall in right, giving the Tigers a 5-2 advantage.
Arkansas-Monticello rallied in the top of the fifth by plating four runs on five hits to grab a 6-5 lead.
However, the Tigers went to work in the bottom of the inning when Taylor doubled to right and scored when Maus drilled a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left, his fifth homer, to give Ouachita Baptist a 7-6 lead.
The Tigers added some insurance runs in the sixth, plating four runs on two hits, while taking advantage of three errors.
Arkansas-Monticello tried to mount a comeback in the seventh by scoring a run, but the frame ended when the Boll Weevils batted out of order.
Alex Smith pitched 2 1/3 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits with two walks and a pair of strikeouts. O’Rourke gave up three runs, while scattering four hits and fanning two in 1 2/3 innings. Jerry Helferich (4-3) gave up one run on two hits with a walk. Patrick Lemmond finished things off for the Tigers by working the seventh.
Thaxton (0-7) worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up 10 runs (eight earned) on nine hits with five walks and four strikeouts. Josh Wisnoski, who was the starting third baseman, came on in relief by pitching 2/3 of an inning.
Ouachita Baptist concludes the three-game series against Arkansas-Monticello, 1:00 p.m., Sunday, April 6 at Rab Rodgers Field. The contest will be available to listen on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.