CLAREMORE, Okla. – The Rogers State baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader to Heartland Conference leader UA Fort Smith on Sunday (April 15) at the Diamond Sports Complex. The Lions won 6-5 and 11-5 to take the four-game series with three victories during the weekend.
UAFS 6, RSU 5 — The Hillcats (20-18, 6-10 Heartland Conference) had an opportunity to tie the score late in game one, but the tying run was thrown out at home as the Lions hung on for a 6-5 victory.
Trailing 6-3 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, Zack Mann plated one run for the navy and red with a single to center for a 6-4 score. Blake Chiaramonte followed Mann with a single to left to score Matt Seubert, but Bradley Degnan was sent from third and was out at home for a 6-5 deficit. After a pitching change, a fly out ended the opportunity for the Hillcats with the score at 6-5.
The Lions (27-10, 12-4) jumped on the Hillcats early with three runs in the second inning to go in front 3-0. An RBI single drove in the first run of the game plus a second run came home due to an error for a 2-0 lead. A single up the middle made it 3-0 after two innings.
Mann pushed the first run across for RSU with an RBI on a ground ball plus an error allowed another run in the third for a 3-2 margin.
UAFS used a double in the fourth to add one run for a 4-2 score, and the Cats pulled to within one in the inning on a wild pitch.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Lions scored two runs; including the final run that would be the difference in the one-run game. A deep home run to left increased the margin to 5-3 and the final run scored on a double to the gap in right for a 6-3 score.
Seubert went 3-for-3 with three runs scored in game one. The Hillcats posted 11 hits.
Spencer Bivens pitched the complete seven innings. He allowed six hits and four earned runs with five strikeouts. The senior dropped to 6-3 on the season.
UAFS 11, RSU 5 — The Lions pulled out to an 8-0 lead in game two and held on for an 11-5 win to sweep the doubleheader.
After a solo home run in the first inning, UAFS poured on four runs in the second. Back-to-back walks with the bases loaded plated the first two runs, and a sacrifice fly and error brought in the other two runs for a 5-0 advantage.
Three runs in the top of the fourth inning extended the score to 8-0 for the Lions. A double down the line plated two runs and another error scored one more run.
The Hillcats bounced back to tally five runs in the next two innings to close to 8-5 after five complete innings. Back-to-back RBI singles in the fourth by Patrick Reynier and Degnan started the scoring, and the navy and red added three runs in the fifth frame. A wild pitch and balk scored the first two runs in the fifth. Reynier added another RBI with a sac fly to make it 8-5.
UAFS tallied the final three runs for the 11-5 final. Two runs scored in the sixth for the Lions on a RBI triple and a balk. The final run scored on a single in the eighth inning.
Reynier went 1-for-2 with two RBI and one walk. Chiaramonte and Griffith both were 2-for-5 at the plate.
Troy Cahill of UAFS finished 4-for-6 with three RBI in game two.
The Hillcats used six pitchers in the nightcap with AJ Deason getting the start. He suffered his first loss of the season, dropping to 5-1. Preston Whitten, Case Woodard, Devland Zakar, Joey Lucas and Hunter Johnson all pitched in relief.
The Hillcats end their 2018 home slate with a four-game series against Lubbock Christian next Friday and Saturday (April 20-21) at the Diamond Sports Complex. The series starts on Friday (April 20) with a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Coverage will be available on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.
For more information on RSU baseball, go to www.rsuhillcats.com.
Saturday’s Games — RSU rallied to win Saturday’s opener 10-9 over Fort Smith, but lost game two 4-1 to split the first two of a four-game set at Diamond Sports Complex.