Ouachita Baptist falls to Arkansas Tech 9-7

FROM PRESS RELEASE

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – Same story, different day for the 21st-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team as the Tigers failed to close out an opponent for the third time in four outings as Arkansas Tech rallied on Senior Day for a 9-7 Gulf South Conference West Division victory at

Arkansas Tech (20-17 overall, 8-6 GSC West) plated a run in the bottom of the third, but back came Ouachita Baptist in the top of the fourth by scoring five runs to grab a 5-1 lead.

Rudy Jovanovski reached on an error by Wonder Boy shortstop Josh Holloway, and then stole second. Destan Makonnen walked and Drew Maus had a bunt single to load the bases with no outs.

Chad Taylor, who had a spectacular catch in the bottom of the third, reached on a fielder’s choice as he bounced the ball to Tony Sanchez, the Arkansas Tech third baseman, who’s throw to the plate got away from Wonder Boy catcher Tyler Kellar, allowing Jovanovski to score from third. Makonnen scored when Drew Wurzelbacher reached on a walk. JoeDan Poulter took first when he was hit by a pitch to score Maus.

After a pitching change, Blake Lockwood reached on an infield hit as Taylor came across to score. With one out, Jim Streicher grounded out to score, plating Wurzelbacher for the final run of the inning.

The Wonder Boys cut the deficit to 5-2 by scoring a run in the bottom of the fifth. Again back came the Tigers, scoring two in the top of the sixth.

Wurzelbacher led off the frame with a base hit to left. He stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Kellar. With one out, Lockwood laid down a bunt, scoring Wurzelbacher, and beat the play to reach safely. Pennell moved Lockwood to third on a base hit through the right side. Streicher plated Lockwood with a sacrifice fly to center to give Ouachita Baptist a 7-2 advantage.

Arkansas Tech climbed back into the game by plating four runs in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the deficit to 7-6. The Wonder Boys struck for three more in the bottom of the eighth to grab a 9-7 lead.

Ouachita Baptist (37-10, 8-6) tried to rally in the top of the ninth as Jovanovski walked with one out and moved to third on a double down the right field line by Makonnen. But Maus struck out swinging and Chad Taylor struck out looking to end the game.

Jarod Hershberger started for the Tigers, pitching 6 1/3 innings. He surrendered five runs on 10 hits, while fanning three. Jerry Helferich (5-4) gave up two runs on two hits, while walking one. Zach Wilbanks pitched to one batter. Patrick Lemmond surrendered a hit, which led to Arkansas Tech scoring the go-ahead runs. Sean O’Rourke also saw action on the mound.

Brad Green was tagged for five runs on three hits in three innings of work. He had three walks and three strikeouts, while hitting two Tiger batters. Craig Cameron (3-2) worked 5 1/3 innings of relief, surrendering two runs on four hits with two walks. Cody Taylor closed things out by pitched the final 2/3 of an inning for his second save.

Ouachita Baptist gets some much-needed rest before playing host in a key three-game Gulf South Conference West Division series Saturday, April 19-20 at Rab Rodgers Field against Southern Arkansas . All three contests will be available on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.