Claremore Daily Progress

March 8, 2013

BASEBALL: 'Cats open SAC play with clean sweep of St. Gregory's

RSU MEDIA RELATIONS
RSU MEDIA RELATIONS

CLAREMORE — The Rogers State baseball team opened the Sooner Athletic Conference schedule with a doubleheader sweep over St. Gregory’s (Okla.) on Thursday afternoon at the Diamond Sports Complex.

The Hillcats had to stage a come-from-behind victory in the opener. The Cats trailed 2-1 before taking the lead with two runs in the sixth that led to a 3-2 victory. In the nightcap, the Hillcats plated runs in the final three innings to claim a 7-1 victory over the Cavaliers. With the sweep, RSU pushes its win streak to 11-straight games.

GAME ONE

RSU took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a two-out rally. Junior Jose Olazagasti got things started with a single to shallow centerfield.  Colton Campbell followed with a RBI double belted to left-center field, giving the Diamond Cats the lead.

SGU threatened in the fourth with its first hit of the game. With two outs, Davis Murphy registered a single into shallow left field to put runners on first and third. Southpaw Shawn Spainhoward got out of the inning with a fielder’s choice in the next at bat.

SGU took the lead in the top of the fifth with the help of two RSU errors. Jacob Ratliff led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Consecutive errors by the RSU infield led to Ratliff scoring and a sacrifice bunt by Matt Blackwell allowed the second run to score.

The Cavalier held RSU scoreless in the bottom of the fifth but the Hillcats rallied in the sixth frame. Hector Rivera and Olazagasti opened the inning with consecutive walks and Colton Campbell moved them into scoring position with a fly-out to right field. Tyler Wheeler followed with a RBI single in the left-center field gap to tie the game. With runners on the corners, Cody Campbell singled down the left field line to give RSU the lead.

The one-run advantage was all Spainhoward (4-1) needed to seal the win, facing the minimum in the top of the seven. The St. Peters, Mo. native tossed the complete game victory, allowed two unearned runs on five hits with five strikeouts.

Ben Moore went the distance on the mound for SGU, tallying the loss. He allowed three runs on six hits with five walks and one strikeout.

Olazagasti went 2-for-2 in the game with two runs scored to lead the Hillcat offense. He was the lone RSU player to tally multiple hits in the game.

GAME TWO

The nightcap started slow with neither team finding a rhythm on offense. The Hillcats dented the scoreboard in the fourth frame with some help from a SGU error. Rivera led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Olazagasti. Colton Campbell followed and reach base on a wild throw by the second baseman that allowed Rivera to score.

RSU added to its advantage in the fifth with sacrifice fly by Rivera that allowed Cochran to score. Eric Baker also scored on the play after the pitcher tried to throw the ball to third base to tag Baker out as he slid into the base but the ball sailed over the third baseman’s head into the outfield, allowing him to score and give RSU a 3-0 lead.

RSU added four insurance runs in the sixth. Cody Campbell tallied a one-out single and Keith Poverud drew a walk to put runners on first and second with two outs. Pinch hitter Brandon Bargas slapped a ball into right field to drive in pinch runner Nick Malter. Baker and Rivera drew consecutive walks to bring in a run. Olazagasti rounded out the scoring in the inning with a two RBI double to left-center.

The Cavaliers started the seventh inning with three-straight walks. A fielder’s choice by Taylor drove in one run. With two outs, Jordan Funtila walked to load the bases. Mason Marquette came in to pitch for the Cats and forced the next batter into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Kyle Duncan (4-0) registered the win on the mound for the Hillcats as he tossed 6.2 innings and allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts.

Rogers State (17-3) returns to the diamond tomorrow as the Cats travel to Shawnee, Okla. to complete the series against SGU. First pitch for the twin bill is set for 1 p.m.