RSU MEDIA RELATIONS
RSU MEDIA RELATIONS
The Rogers State baseball team stretched its current win streak to 13 games Friday afternoon at Bill Nicklas Field sweeping the St. Gregory’s Cavaliers in the series with a pair of victories.
Two innings of four runs each helped RSU claim a 9-3 win in the first game of the doubleheader but it took late game heroics from the Hillcats in a 3-2 extra inning affair in the nightcap.
RSU lit up the scoreboard first in the top of the third inning as back-to-back singles from Blake Heston and Hector Rivera led off the inning. Colton Campbell reached on a fielder’s choice to score Heston and moving Rivera to third as the Hillcats took the 1-0 lead. The Hillcat advantage quickly built to 2-0 on Tyler Wheeler’s RBI single to center scored Rivera. SGU loaded the bases with a walk of Cody Campbell. Emmanuel De La Cruz made the most of the opportunity with a single to left scoring Colton Campbell and Wheeler as the RSU lead grew to 4-0.
The Cavaliers answered in the home half of the inning as a ground out to short stop by Roberto Celestino scored Jordan Funtila and moved Matt Blackwell to third. A passed ball by the RSU catcher scored Blackwell before RSU starter Brandon Bargas could fan Mark Milioto to end the inning as the Cavs cut the Hillcat lead in half 4-2.
Heston led off the fourth with a single to right and moved into scoring position on a ground out to short by Hector Rivera. Colton Campbell traded places with Heston a double down the right field line building the lead to three runs.
SGU had a response to the Hillcats’ solo run scored in the top of the fourth as the Cavs’ Christian Torres homered to left field trimming the RSU lead to 5-3.
RSU waited till the top of the seventh to provide insurance and the Hillcats did so with four runs. A hit by pitch with bases loaded scored Colton Campbell followed by a bases loaded walk sent Wheeler home as RSU went up 7-3. A pitching change by the Cavaliers didn’t change the recent trend as Mike Pople walked his first batter faced to score Austin Culwell helping the RSU lead grow to 8-3. Hector Rivera pushed the score to its final mark of 9-3 as the senior second baseman reached on a fielder’s choice to second scoring Alex Cochran.
Jacob Ratliff (2-2) received the loss for SGU going 6.1 innings on the mound allowing nine runs, all earned, on nine hits. He fanned six but walked six Hillcats facing 28 batters.
Hillcat southpaw Brandon Bargas (4-1) earned the victory pitching the complete seven inning affair. The Owasso, Okla. native struck out six allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits.
In the second game of the twin bill it took solid relief pitching and key hitting in the final for RSU to win the extra inning contest.
The Cavaliers scored the first run of the game in the home half of the third to take a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Cody Guenthart to left field.
Colton Campbell led off the next half inning with a single to shallow left field. A RBI double to deep left field by Wheeler scored Campbell from second as RSU tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the sixth an error by RSU first baseman Cody Campbell scored Taylor to give the home Cavaliers the lead back at 2-1 and three outs away from victory.
RSU had other plans for the afternoon as Colton Campbell singled to left and advanced to second on a ground out by Wheeler. A two-out single by De La Cruz scored Campbell tying the game at 2-2.
In the bottom half of the inning Jesse Baird saw his first action of the season and led off with a hit by pitch. A sacrifice bunt by Blackwell moved Funtila to second with one out. Baird settled in as he struck out Milioto and Davis Murphy to end the inning sending the Cats and Cavs into the eighth.
Alex Cochran walked and stole second to lead off the top of the eighth inning. Two batters later Rivera reached on a wild throw by Guenthart to score Cochran giving the Hillcats its first lead of the game at 3-2. Rivera was caught stretching to second following the error and Olazagasti grounded out to end the inning putting RSU three strikes away from the win.
Baird forced a fly out by the Cavs to lead off the home half of the eighth but gave up back-to-back singles and putting runners on the corners. Coach Ron Bradley called upon sophomore Mason Marquette out of the bullpen and the southpaw fanned the first batter faced. The Broken Arrow, Okla. native forced a ground out to second base of Funtila to register the save for RSU.
Baird claimed the victory in his first action of the season pitching 1.1 innings of scoreless action allowing just two hits while striking out two.
Casey Cassisty had the start for the Hillcats going 5.1 innings allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits as the senior southpaw struck out three. T.J. Law and Jesus Del Rosario each saw one-third inning of action in relief. Marquette earned his second save of the season in two-thirds inning of relief striking out one.
St. Gregory’s (7-13, 0-4) relied upon Chris Sutton for the complete game on the mound as he allowed three runs, two earned in the loss. Sutton allowed six hits, walked two and fanned three.
Colton Campbell went 4-for-7 on the afternoon with two RBI while Emmanuel De La Cruz batted 3-for-5 with four RBI on the day.
Rogers State (19-3, 4-0) returns home to face NCAA Division II University of Arkansas – Fort Smith on Tuesday, March 12 for a 4 p.m. first pitch. The game is scheduled for nine-innings at the Diamond Sports Complex and live coverage available at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.