MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The 25th-ranked Ouachita Baptist baseball team secured a spot in next weeks Gulf South Conference Tournament in Millington , Tenn. , with a doubleheader sweep of Christian Brothers, 8-4 and 16-3, Saturday at Buc Field.
Ouachita Baptist (42-12 overall, 11-8 GSC West) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the opener.
With one out, Justin Pennell walked and Jim Streicher was hit by a pitch. Rudy Jovanovski followed with a base hit up the middle, plating Pennell. Destan Makonnen walked to load the bases. Chad Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice as Makonnen was out at second with Streicher scoring. Jovanovski scored to give Ouachita Baptist a 3-0 lead when Taylor took off for second and was safe on an error by the catcher. Ouachita Baptist added to the margin in the second.
Drew Maus walked on four pitches, and then stole second. With one out, Blake Lockwood moved Maus to third on a ground out to second. Pennell crushes a 3-1 pitch over the right-center wall to give the Tigers a 5-0 advantage.
Christian Brothers (16-28, 7-12) cut the deficit to 5-2 with a run in the bottom of the second and after a solo homer by Mark Foster in the bottom of the third.
Ouachita Baptist got a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to grab a 7-2 lead.
Makonnen leadoff double to left and moved to third on a single to center by Taylor . With one out, Maus singled through the right side to score Makonnen. Taylor scored on a two-out stolen base to account for the scoring in the inning.
The Buccaneers cut the margin to 7-3 with a run in the bottom of the sixth.
Pennell gave the Tigers an 8-3 lead with a solo blast to center in the eighth.
Christian Brothers loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with one out, Ouachita Baptist collected 14 hits as Lockwood, Pennell, Streicher, Jovanovski, Makonnen, Taylor and Maus each had two hits.
Steve Smith (7-1) pitched a complete game. He surrendered four runs (three earned) on 10 hits with 11 strikeouts and a pair of walks.
John Daush (3-9) pitched six innings, giving up seven runs (five earned) on 11 hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Ben Chism worked three innings of relief as he gave up a run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
In the second contest, the Tigers broke open a scoreless tie in the second by sending 10 to the plate in grabbing a 5-0 lead.
Jovanovski doubled to left center to begin the frame and Makonnen walked. Taylor followed with a single to right, plating Jovanovski as Makonnen raced to third. Boyce scored Makonnen on a sacrifice bunt. Taylor advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a stolen base as JoeDan Poulter walked and moved all the way around to third on the play.
Lockwood bounced a double down the right field line, scoring Poulter and after Pennell walked, Streicher singled to right center to plate Lockwood as Pennell moved to third.
The Tigers added to the margin in the third.
Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice and scored when Maus doubled to right center with one out, giving Ouachita Baptist a 6-0 lead.
The advantage continued to grow with two outs in the top of the fifth as JoeDan Poulter walked and Lockwood reached on a bunt single. Both scored on Pennell’s double down the right field line to give the Tigers a comfortable 8-0 lead.
Ouachita Baptist put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth by scoring eight runs to grab a 16-0 lead.
Chase Baran (9-2) pitched a complete-game, surrendering three runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Dave Delugach (3-6) pitched 3 2/3 innings. He was tagged for six runs on six hits.
John Romo surrendered two runs on two hits. Will Scott, Matt Lewis, Steven Thomas and Justin Hopper pitched in relief.
Ouachita Baptist concludes the regular season and seeks the series sweep 1:00 p.m., Sunday, April 27 in Memphis , Tenn. , with the final game against Christian Brothers in a Gulf South Conference West Division contest. The game can be heard on the Ouachita Baptist athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.