ARKADELPHIA – The 30th-ranked Ouachita Baptist University baseball team cruised to a doubleheader sweep of East Central Tuesday afternoon as the Tigers won the opener, 5-3, and took the second game, 14-3, at Rab Rodgers Field.
In the opener, Jared Hershberger went six-plus strong innings to get the victory and improve to 3-0 on the year. He gave up three runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts. Patrick Lemmond earned the save, his fifth of the season.
Ouachita (21-7) picked up a run in the bottom of the first, but scored a pair in the second to grab an early 3-0 lead.
With one out in the second, Luke Hardcastle singled to center and moved all the way to third on back-to-back bunt singles by Chris Gordon, who went 2-for-3, and Drew Wurzelbacher, who was 1-for-2. With two down, JoeDan Poulter, who went 1-for-3, singled to right-center to plate Hardcastle and Gordon.
East Central (9-15) cut the Ouachita advantage to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the fourth, but Ouachita scored two in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.
Blake Lockwood, who was 1-for-3, was hit by a pitch to begin the frame. With two outs, Lockwood stole second and Brock Green walked. Rudy Jovanovski, who went 1-for-3, followed with a double down the line in left to plate Lockwood and Green.
East Central scored a run in the seventh off a pair of hits, but that was all it could get.
Jamie Voight took the loss by going five innings. He was tagged for five runs on seven hits with a pair of walks. Kyle McCormick worked an inning of relief.
In the second game, Ouachita jumped out to a 2-1 through two innings and used a six-run third to grab an 8-1 lead.
Gowdy, who went 2-for-3, began the frame with a homer to left – his seventh of the season. With one out, Drew Baker, who went 2-for-3 singled to right-center and scored on Derek Dibbens’ double to left. After a wild pitch moved Dibbens, who went 2-for-3, to third, Drew Maus, who was 1-for-1, walked. Hardcastle, who went 1-for-1, followed with a sacrifice fly to center to plate Dibbens. Wurzelbacher walked and Lockwood reached on a three-base error to clear the bases. Gordon followed with a double through the right side to score Lockwood, giving Ouachita an 8-1 advantage.
Ouachita scored three more runs in the fourth and two in the fifth to take a 13-2 lead.
Gordon, Green, Sean O’Rourke (first career collegiate hit), Mark Cain, Heath Cariker and Cody Matthews each collected one hit.
Payne Spence (2-0) started, going four innings. He surrendered a run on four hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts. Wesley Clingman, Beau Martin and Zach Treece pitched in relief.
Justin Watley took the loss by working 2 1/3 innings. He gave up five runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Jacob Gammons and Wesley Hager pitched in relief.
In a game which, was completed from Feb. 17, Ouachita defeated East Central, 13-3. In the final inning, Lemmond picked up his first career collegiate hit in the seventh inning.
Ouachita opens a three-game Gulf South Conference West Division series, noon, Saturday, March 14 at Rab Rodgers Field against Delta State. All games will be available to listen to on the Ouachita Baptist University Athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.