CLAREMORE — No. 13-ranked Rogers State baseball opened a four game, Sooner Athletic Conference series against USAO with a doubleheader split versus the Drovers Friday afternoon at the Diamond Sports Complex.
RSU claimed the first game of the series with a complete game shutout by southpaw Shawn Spainhoward for the 1-0 victory. In the nightcap the Hillcats were never able to overcome a five run top of the first inning by the Drovers, as USAO hung on for the 8-5 win.
Spainhoward and the Hillcats held the Drovers scoreless through the first six innings of action. The St. Peters, Mo. native faced the minimum in three of the first six innings as he fanned just two batters.
In the bottom of the sixth Eric Baker led the inning by reaching on a misplayed grounder. The Ft. Gibson, Okla. native stole second and moved to third as Hector Rivera reached based on a Drover fielding error. Jose Olazagasti put the only run of the game on the board as he singled to left scoring Baker and putting RSU up 1-0.
The Drovers made a push in the top of the 7th with a pair of singles to lead off the inning to put runners on the corners. Spainhoward fanned the next batter to put one away and bringing Konrad Mueller at the plate with the Drovers looking to tie the game.
The USAO short stop sent a fly ball to right field that was caught by RSU’s Keith Poverud and the Hillcat outfielder fired a strike to home catching the coming from third for an unconventional double-play to end the game.
Spainhoward (5-3) totaled 77 pitches in the seven inning victory as the Hillcat starter.
Chris Fischer (2-3) received the loss for the Drovers as he went five innings in the starter. He fanned five Hillcat batters before handing the ball to Josh Goodman for one inning of relief for USAO.