Claremore Daily Progress

May 4, 2013

BASEBALL: RSU eliminated from SAC Tournament


OKLAHOMA CITY — The Rogers State baseball team’s comeback bid fell short against No. 1 Oklahoma City on Friday afternoon at the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament as the Stars tallied a 9-7 victory at Jim Wade Stadium in Oklahoma City.

Eric Bakers led off the bottom of the first for the Hillcats with a triple to right field. Hector Rivera followed with a RBI single to right field to put the Cats on the board but was left stranded as OCU pitcher Dalton Bernardi retired the next three batters.

The Hillcat lead was wiped away in the top of the second as Cody Ferrell led off the inning with a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it a 1-1 contest.

After a scoreless third, the Stars took the lead in the fourth tallying four runs on four hits, highlighted by a two-run home run by Kale Garden. OCU pushed its advantage to 7-1 as they added one run in both the seventh and eighth innings.

The RSU rally started in the bottom of the eighth as the team loaded the bases with one out. Jose Olazagasti belted a grand slam over the right field fence to cut the deficit to 7-5. Colton Campbell and Johan Ochoa followed with back-to-back walks which led to a pitching change. Ricky Spain took the mound, fanning Ramcy Lora and forcing pinch hitter Nick Malter to fly out to end the inning.

Jonathan Rodriguez gave the Stars some insurance in the top of the ninth with a two-out home run blasted over the right field fence.

RSU continued to battle in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with two outs. Colton Campbell delivered a two RBI single through the left side of the infield. Ochoa followed with a walk to put the game-winning run on base but OCU pitcher Patrick Goelz entered the game and secured the win for the Stars as he forced Lora to fly out to center field.

The contest was a consolation game for the Hillcats. With USAO defeating Mid-America Christian prior to the Diamond Cats game against the Stars, RSU was automatically eliminated from the championship game. USAO moved to 2-0 in the bracket with a tie breaker over the Hillcats as they defeated RSU on Wednesday. OCU defeated the Drovers to win the bracket and will face Lubbock Christian in the tournament championship game on Saturday.

Rogers State (31-22) will await the pairings for the NAIA Opening Round. RSU will host the Opening Round-Claremore Bracket at the Diamond Sports Complex on May 9-13. The 45 qualifiers and brackets for the National Championship Opening Round will be announced on May 5.