Claremore Daily Progress

February 10, 2013

BASEBALL: No. 5 Diamond 'Cats off to hot start


CLAREMORE — NAIA No. 5-ranked Rogers State baseball began its 2013 campaign with a four win weekend facing Arlington Baptist College and Southwestern Assemblies of God University over in a pair of doubleheaders Friday and Saturday.

RSU claimed the season opener with a 12-1 victory over ABC in five innings Friday afternoon. Later in the day the Hillcats won 15-8 over SAGU from the Waxahachie Sports Complex.

Saturday saw RSU best SAGU 9-2 and then top Arlington Baptist 17-7 in the second game of the day.

Game One

The Diamond Cats totaled 12 runs on 13 hits in a 12-1 season opener over Arlington Baptist Friday.

A RBI single by Colton Campbell scored Eric Baker from third base for the first run of the season in the bottom of the first inning. Tyler Wheeler, a transfer from Cumberland University, tripled in his first at-bat as a Hillcat scoring Campbell and stretching the lead to 2-0. Cody Campbell singled to left field to plate Wheeler giving RSU a 3-0 advantage.

The Hillcats added another two runs in the bottom half of the second as Hector Rivera scored Nick Malter on a sac-fly to left-centerfield and Wheeler racked up his second RBI in as many innings with a single to right-center to push RSU up 5-0.

In the third inning RSU plated five runs, two coming off the bat of Wheeler as the Cats third baseman hit a two RBI double.

The bottom of the fourth RSU added another two runs stretching the lead 12-0 in just four innings.

Kyle Deaton relieved RSU starter Brandon Bargas in the fifth inning. Deaton allowed two hits as the Cats gave up one run on an infield error to lessen the Hillcat lead to 12-1 as the game was called after the top of the fifth.

Bargas (1-0) pitched four complete innings allowing one hit, one walk and fanning five batters in 41 total pitches.

Caleb Sims suffered the loss for the Patriots in three innings as he gave up 11 hits, three walks and striking out three.

Wheeler was 3-for-3 at the plate falling a home run short of the cycle with four RBI. Rivera went 2-for-3 with four RBI as all but one Hillcat recorded a hit.

Game Two

The Hillcat burst out of the gate in the top of the first versus the SAGU Lions in the second game for RSU Friday.

Coach Ron Bradley’s squad tallied eight runs in the opening frame but host SAGU responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning, 8-1.

A lead-off double by Cody Campbell to start the inning was followed by a Blake Heston single, moving Campbell to third. Johan Ochoa reached base on a fielder’s choice that scored Campbell to push RSU up 9-1.

With two outs in the fourth, Ochoa drew a walk to keep the Hillcats alive. Ochoa moved to third on a McKenzie Matthews single and came home on an Alex Cochran single pushing the Cats ahead 10-1.

RSU added four runs in the top of the fifth inning as the Cats built a 14-2 lead. The Hillcats went to the bullpen for the second time in the game and the Lions capitalized with five runs cutting the deficit to 14-7.

Heston scored on an error by the SAGU shortstop giving the Diamond Cats yet another insurance run in the top of the seventh. Colton Weeks came in to close out the game for RSU and allowed one run on two hits facing five batters.

Shawn Spainhoward (1-0) was awarded the win allowing two unearned runs on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Sean Patton pitched an inning of relief retiring three batters, two on ground outs, with just five pitches. In an inning of relief Drew Anthony allowed five earned runs on three hits walking four.

In three innings for the Lions, Nick Cox allowed nine runs, six earned, on nine hits with two walks as he earned the loss.

Blake Heston went 4-for-5 with two RBI as the Hillcats designated hitter. Catcher McKenzie Matthews went 2-for-3 with three RBI and reached base on balls once.

Game Three

Saturday started with a much lower scoring affair versus SAGU then the Friday contest as RSU bested the Lions, 9-2.

Both squads were held scoreless in the first three innings of play before RSU broke the scoring open with a three run top of the fourth. A triple by Cody Campbell scored Rivera and Colton Campbell as the Cats led 3-0.

A RBI triple by Eric Baker in the fifth inning scored Blake Heston followed by Baker scoring on an error to stretch the RSU lead to 5-0. In the bottom half of the inning the Lions plated two runs and trimmed the Cats advantage to 5-2.

Back-to-back walks started the sixth inning and Emmanuel De La Cruz hit by pitch loaded the bases. Heston’s RBI sac-fly to right scored Cochran pinch running for Cody Campbell. Jose Olazagasti scored on a Hector Rivera walk while Colton Campbell singled to plate Nick Matler courtesy running for De La Cruz as the Hillcats plated three runs to push ahead 8-2.

Cody Campbell doubled to lead off the seventh inning and Caleb Kohlmeyer, pinch running for Campbell, scored on an Olazagasti double putting the score at its final mark of 9-2.

Casey Cassity (1-0) recorded the win in the start as the senior from Barnsdall, Okla. went four innings allowing no hits with one walk and five strikeouts. T.J. Law pitched two complete innings allowing two earned runs while fanning a pair of Lions. Closing the game Jesus Del Rosario fanned all three batters faced on just 14 pitches.

In five innings pitched Hayden Killebrew allowed seven runs, five earned, with three walks and five strikeouts in the start for SAGU.

Game Four

The fourth and final game of the opening weekend for the Hillcats saw a tightly contested affair versus Arlington Baptist after three innings as RSU led 3-2.

In the fourth inning the Cats exploded with five runs fueled by a two RBI double by Tyler Wheeler pushing the Cats ahead 8-2.

In the bottom half of the inning Mason Marquette came to the mound in relief fanning three batters. RSU didn’t record a run in the top half of the fifth but the Patriots scored three, two earned, to trim the advantage to 8-5 in favor of the Hillcats.

A seven run, sixth inning pushed the Hillcats well in front of ABC as the defending NAIA Runner-Up led 15-5.

Two runs in the seventh inning gave RSU a 17-5 lead before the Patriots answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning for a final 17-7 score.

Kyle Duncan (1-0) recorded the win for RSU with three complete innings allowing two earned runs, walking three and striking out three Patriots in nine batters faced. Marquette pitched two innings giving up three runs, two earned, while he fanned four batters. Zach Tyson closed the game for the Cats allowing two earned runs and four hits as he face ten batters.

Tyler Wheeler went 3-of-4 at the plate including four RBI while Colton Campbell was 3-of-5 with three RBI. Olazagasti went 3-of-4 as the Hillcats totaled 20 hits as a team.

Tyler Wheeler, Cody and Colton Campbell combined to go 23-of-41 at the plate with five doubles, two triples and 24 RBI on the weekend.