The Rogers State baseball team stayed perfect on the first day of the NAIA Opening Round-Claremore Bracket at the Diamond Sports Complex on the RSU Campus.
The Hillcats tallied two of the three wins on the day on Thursday. The No.4-seeded Hillcats took an early lead in the opening game against the fourth seed Midland (Neb.). However, the Warriors took over the advantage and the Cats had to claw their way to an 8-4 victory. In the final game of the day, RSU upset top-seeded Lubbock Christian (Texas), 7-5. The Hillcats tallied a six-run lead over their Sooner Athletic Conference foe in the first four innings of play and held on for the victory.
RSU senior Eric Baker led off the bottom of the first with a single to right field. A sacrifice bunt by Hector Rivera and a ground out by Jose Olazagasti moved Baker to third base. Colton Campbell drove Baker home with a double in the right-center gap and scored on a single by Tyler Wheeler. RSU tacked on a third run in the in the second as Blake Heston scored on a wild pitch.
The Warriors dented the scoreboard in the third with one run on two hits and plated a trio of runs over the next two innings to take a 4-3 lead. The Midland lead was short-lived as the Hillcats rallied with three runs. Emmanuel De La Cruz belted a two-RBI single to deep right field and Brandon Bargas followed with a squeeze bunt for a base hit to give RSU a 6-4 advantage.
The Hillcats pushed the lead to 8-4 with two runs on an error by the Warriors. RSU shut down Midland in the final two innings to secure the win.
Shawn Spainhoward (8-4) registered the complete-game win on the mound for RSU. He allowed four runs on 10 hits with 12 strikeouts. Dylan Stockton (8-3) suffered the loss as he allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits in 5.1 innings of work.