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Justin Pennell’s walkoff grand slam homer lifts OBU to doubleheader sweep



ARKADELPHIA – Justin Pennell made the most of his final home collegiate at-bat Tuesday afternoon as the senior belted a walkoff grand slam home run to lift the 25th-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Montevallo, 6-2 and 6-4 in a non-conference series at Rab Rodgers Field.

After a scoreless first three innings in the second contest, Montevallo got on the scoreboard in the fourth when Chris Cooper homered to center, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead

The Tigers (40-12) grabbed a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the frame.

Rudy Jovanovski reached on a two-out single to center and moved all the way to third on a base hit to right by Destan Makonnen. After a stolen base by Makonnen, Chad Taylor ripped a double down the left field line to plate Jovanovski and Makonnen.

Montevallo opened things up in the top of the sixth, while taking advantage of an error to grab a 4-2 lead.

Ouachita Baptist loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the frame, but came away empty handed.

Pennell, a native of Toronto, Canada, led off the inning with a base hit to center. Jim Streicher was hit by a pitch and Jovanovski reached on a fielder’s choice as Pennell was out at third. Makonnen drew a walk to load the bases. However, Taylor struck out and Boyce popped out to third to end the threat.

The Tigers again tried to put something together in the bottom of the seventh and walked away with the 6-4 victory.

Drew Maus walked to begin the inning and Drew Wurzelbacher was hit by a pitch. After a pitching change, Lockwood reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Pennell absolutely crushed a 1-0 pitch by reliever Garett Mims over the scoreboard in right-center for the walk-off home run.

Alex Smith pitched 6 2/3 innings. He surrendered four runs (one earned) on nine hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Reece Dodd (2-0) worked 1/3 of an inning in relief.

Daniel Hicks worked 3 2/3 innings for the Falcons. He was tagged for a pair of runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout. Zach Andrews scattered a pair of hits, while giving up two runs and walking and fanning a pair in 2 1/3 innings. Mims (3-4) took the loss as he surrendered two runs on two hits.

In the opener, Zach Wilbanks (3-0) picked up the win by pitching 5 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Sean O’Rourke earned his first save of the year by pitching 1 1/3 of an inning. He scattered a pair of hits, while walking one.

The Tigers raced out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Lockwood, who went 3-for-3, led off the frame with a base hit to left and then stole second, while advancing to third on an error. Pennell grounded out to second to plate Lockwood. With two outs, Jovanovski, who was 2-for-4, doubled down the left field line and scored on a Makonnen single to right.

Ouachita Baptist added to the margin in the second by plating a run as Maus scored on a wild pitch.

Leading 3-0 going to the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers struck for a pair of runs to grab a 5-0 lead.

Taylor began the frame with a walk and with one out, Wurzelbacher singled right and advanced to third on an error by Falcons right field Jeremy Jones, which allowed Taylor to score. Lockwood followed with a single through the right side to score the second run.

Montevallo (30-23) cut the deficit to 5-2 with a pair of runs in the sixth, but Ouachita Baptist answered in the bottom of the frame with a run to grab a 6-2 advantage.

Jason Sheehan (1-1) worked 4 1/3 innings for the Falcons. He surrendered five runs (four earned) on nine hits, while walking four. Jason Ellis pitched 1 2/3 innings for relief.

Ouachita Baptist returns to Gulf South Conference West Division play 12:00 p.m., Saturday, April 26 in Memphis, Tenn., against Christian Brothers. One victory by the Tigers will clinch a spot in next week’s Gulf South Conference Tournament in Millington, Tenn. All three games of the weekend series against Christian Brothers will be available on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at:

We would also like to thank Dr. Kluck for providing us pictures of the games.

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