SHAWNEE — 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.