Claremore Daily Progress

March 26, 2013

Diamond ‘Cats split series with OBU


CLAREMORE — On Monday afternoon the No. 5-ranked Rogers State Hillcat baseball team battled the No. 10-ranked Oklahoma Baptist Bison as both teams battled cold weather, north winds and even a few snowflakes at the Diamond Sports Complex.

In game one RSU tallied three runs, two on wild pitches, in the seventh inning to claim a come from behind victory over the Bison 5-4.

The nightcap of the doubleheader didn’t favor the Hillcats quite like the first game as the Bison used a four run fourth inning to gain a 5-2 victory to split the season series at two games apiece.

Game 1

The Hillcats jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage as Jose Olazagasti drew a walk with two outs. In the next at-bat Colton Campbell doubled to centerfield scoring the Hillcat second baseman from first. Tyler Wheeler followed with a RBI single sending Campbell home as the Hillcats led 2-0 after an inning of play.

OBU answered in the top of the second as Matt Page led off with a walk.

Hillcat starter Brandon Bargas fanned Jeff Johnson but issued back-to-back walks loading the bases with Bison.

A single by Kyle Wagner to left field scored Page trimming the Hillcat lead to 2-1. Another Bargas strike out, his second of seven on the day, was followed by a two RBI single by Yael Colon giving OBU the 3-2 lead after the top of the second.

In the visitor’s half of the fourth the Bison added another run as designated hitter Anthony Almonte reached on an error moved to third on a Colon single. A ground out to short stop by Garrett Roberts plated Almonte and pushed the Bison lead to 4-2.

After stranding six runners over the course of the middle six innings, it wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh that the Hillcats capitalized and it came with a new face on the bump for the Bison.

Brandon Willard entered the contest in relief and gave up a leadoff single to Eric Baker and walked Hector Rivera.

Olazagasti laid down a sacrifice bunt , moving Baker and pinch runner Jean-Francois Dumais-Fyfe into scoring position. With Colton Campbell at the dish a wild pitch by Willard scored Baker and moved Dumais-Fyfe to third. Campbell was intentionally walked to load the bases and bring Tyler Wheeler to the plate.

With Wheeler at the plate and facing a new pitcher in Jesus Carlos the Hillcat third baseman singled to centerfield scoring Dumais-Fyfe, moving Campbell to third and tying the game at 4-4.

Coach Ron Bradley went to the bench calling upon junior Nick Malter to pinch hit.

But before Malter could get his crack, a wild pitch by Carlos scored Campbell to give RSU the 5-4 victory.

Bargas (5-2) earned the complete game victory striking out seven Bison allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits.

Campbell went 3-for-3 including two doubles, one walk and one RBI. Wheeler went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the first game of the twin bill.

Game 2

RSU dented the scoreboard first in the second game of the twin bill as Colton Campbell singled to score Rivera from second base giving the Hillcats a 1-0 advantage.

In the second a one-out walk by Blake Heston followed by a McKenzie Matthews walk two batters later put runners at first and second. Eric Baker singled to load the bases before a wild pitch scored Heston pushing RSU ahead 2-0.

Then in the fourth inning the Bison put together four runs on four hits all to lead off the inning to take the 4-2 lead.

In the top of the sixth a fielding error by the Hillcats in the infield led off the inning. Back-to-back strikeouts by Jesse Baird seemed to have things on the right track but a double by Mitch Warne scored Kevin Hatch from second and stretched the Bison lead out to 5-2.

The Hillcats couldn’t spark the offense in the home half of the sixth as Heston led off with a single but was forced out on a fielder’s choice by Malter leading to back-to-back strikeouts to retire the side.

Jesus Del Rosario took the mound in the seventh and fanned the Bison three-up, three-down taking the Hillcats into final half inning.