ARKADELPHIA – It was a wild day at Rab Rodgers Field on Saturday as the 30th-ranked Ouachita Baptist University baseball team fell behind by 10 runs in the first inning and had to play behind the entire game, but couldn’t rally as Delta State took the first game of the Gulf South Conference West Division opener over the Tigers, 16-10.
Despite trailing 10-0 after the first inning, Ouachita (21-8 overall, 0-1 GSC West) scored eight runs in the second inning to cut the deficit.
Rudy Jovanovski, Luke Hardcastle and Drew Maus walked to begin the frame. Chris Gordon singled up the middle to plate Jovanovski and Hardcastle. Drew Wurzelbacher followed with a double to right-center to score Maus and Gordon. Blake Lockwood reached on an infield single and JoeDan Poulter reached on an error by the shortstop, allowing Wurzelbacher to score. Will Gowdy flied out to center for the sacrifice fly to plate Lockwood. Brock Green reached on a throwing error by the shortstop and Jovanovski, batting for the second time in the inning, homered to clear the bases.
Ouachita continued to cut the Delta State lead with runs in the fourth and fifth, but the Statesmen (14-9, 1-0) added a run in the seventh and put the game away with four in the top of the ninth for the 16-10 win.
Jerry Helferich (4-3) started, lasting just 2/3 of an inning. He gave up 10 runs on eight hits with a walk. Payne Spence, Sean O’Rourke and Patrick Lemmond pitched in relief.
Korey Cunningham worked 1 2/3 innings on the mound for Delta State. He surrendered eight runs (five earned) on four hits with four walks. Jason Coats, Brandon Hall, Marcus Wilson and Toby Easterly pitched in relief.
Ouachita concludes the three-game Gulf South Conference West Division series noon, Sunday, March 15 at Rab Rodgers Field against Delta State. The doubleheader can be heard on the Ouachita Baptist University Athletic Web site at: www.obutigers.com.