BETHANY — The Rogers State baseball program had waited patiently for three years to play a game that meant something.

When the opportunity finally arrived Tuesday, the Hillcats took full advantage.

The first athletic program to arrive on the RSU campus in 2005, coach Ron Bradley's baseball squad was the fifth Hillcat team to get a crack at the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Hillcats passed their first test with flying colors as they swept a doubleheader from Southern Nazarene.

RSU overcame an early deficit in both contests to defeat a Crimson Storm team that was picked fourth in the NAIA Region VI pre-season poll. The Hillcats took Game 1, 6-5 and edged SNU, 5-2 in the nightcap.

First game

For the fourth time in five games, Brandon Denton tallied a hit and scored in the first inning for RSU. He started the day with a double and raced home on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Littlejohn. Chris Hardin answered in the home half of the first

with a two-run homer to put the Storm on top. SNU doubled its lead with a run in the third on three hits off of Shawn


Blake Kelley ignited a three-run fourth inning for the Hillcats with a leadoff double. Travis Harold chased him home with a double and Randy Jones followed with another double. An RBI grounder by Steven Fields gave the Hillcats a 4-3 lead. RSU added to its lead in the fifth on hits by Littlejohn and Zack Hamby to make it 6-3.

Two errors in the sixth opened the door for the Crimson Storm. SNU capitalized with two unearned runs, but Chris Graves came on in relief of Epps and got Brent Hardin to pop out with the bases loaded. SNU put the potential winning run on base in the seventh before Graves struck out Jared Elmore looking to end the game.

Second game

The Hillcats jumped out a 2-0 lead in the first as Denton and Littlejohn walked and later scored on a double by Kelley. RSU junior starter Tyler Whitaker was touched for two runs in the bottom of the

first. However, that would be the final scoring of the afternoon for the Crimson Storm.

Whitaker (1-1) allowed only two hits after the first inning and tossed four innings to earn his first win.

RSU regained the lead with two runs in the fourth. Jones deliverd an RBI single and Kelley picked up his third RBI of the

game when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Coby Wright added

a run in the seventh with a two-out RBI single.

Freshman Sam Cornell was dominating in three innings of relief for the Hillcats, allowing two hits and striking out six for his his first save.

RSU (5-1, 2-0) won its fourth straight. The Hillcats return home Thursday to complete the season series with Southern Nazarene with a nine-inning game at the

Hillcat Complex beginning at 2 p.m.


First game

Rogers State 100 320 0 — 6 7 3

Southern Nazarene 210 002 0 — 5 7 3

Epps, Graves (6) and Fields. Marchant, Cephas (5) and White. W — Epps. L — Marchant. Save — Graves. HR — SNU, C.Hardin.


Second game

Rogers State 200 200 1 — 5 7 1

Southern Nazarene 200 000 0 — 2 6 1

Whitaker, Cornell (5) and Henderson. Ledbetter, Stone (4) and White. W — Whitaker. L — Ledbetter. Save — Cornell.