TULSA — The Rogers State University baseball team saved its longest game of the season for its finale dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker in 12 innings to Oklahoma Baptist, the top ranked team in the NAIA, Tuesday at ONEOK Field.
The Hillcats rallied back from a one-run deficit to tie the game, 2-2, in the eighth but could not break through for the winning run falling in their season finale.
A lead-off double by the Bison's Joey Szczepanski in the third led to the first run of the game as he moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Matt Page brought Szczepanski home with a sacrifice fly to deep center field for his team-leading 67th RBI of the year and a 1-0 advantage off starter Mason Marquette, pitching on three day's rest.
The Hillcats wasted no time clawing back to even the game in the bottom half of the frame showcasing their speed on the bases. Alex Cochran drew a one-out walk and stole second for his 14th swipe of the season. Chase Knott followed and pulled the ball down the left-field line through the legs of the OBU fielder as Cochran flew around third and snuck past the throw at home plate with a perfect hook slide to tie the game, 1-1.
OBU's Kevin Hatch was hit by a two-out, full-count pitch from RSU reliever T.J. Law in the fourth. He stole second before moving to third on a wild pitch and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Mason Ankeney giving the lead back to the Bison, 2-1.
RSU got runners on base in five of the first seven innings but got only the one run as its bid to even the score in the seventh fell one hit short. Ryan Hendricks ripped a single into center to start the inning and stole second as J.P. Seifried struck out swinging. Hendricks advanced to third on the play as the throw down from the catcher got away from the fielder. The junior was stranded at third as OBU got the final out to get out of the inning.