OCU Baseball Sweeps Lindenwood-Belleville; Moves Closer to Regional BerthApril 15, 2012 at 5:18 PM
The Oakland City University baseball team entered the weekend with a record of 9-19, needing eight more wins out of their final 13 games to clinch a spot in the NCCAA Mid-East Regional Tournament. Two wins on Saturday, by scores of 5-4 and 11-7, and a comeback win on Sunday, 10-9, makes their job easier as they now need to take five of their remaining ten games to make the post-season.
After Lindenwood-Belleville scored two runs in the top of the first inning in game one of Saturday's double-header, the Oaks were able to notch three runs over the next two innings to take the lead. They added one run each in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, giving them a 5-2 lead with two left. The Lynx plated two runs in the top of the sixth inning, but went down in order in the final frame as Logan Clark pitched a complete game and earned his second win of the year.
Marc Rogier scored two runs going 1-3 at the plate and reaching on a walk. He stole three bases in the game, tying a single game high, while Eric Barnes had three RBI, going 1-2 at the plate, hitting his first home run of the year, a two run shot to left field. Also scoring in the game were Payton Karl (1-3) and Rolando Lopez (0-2).
Game two saw the Mighty Oaks jump out to an early 8-0 lead, thanks to a seven run third inning. The Lynx answered by scoring three runs in the top of the fourth, followed by four in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to one run at 8-7. OCU responded by knocking home three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, setting the final score at 11-7. Brian Blaydes started the game, pitching four and two-thirds innings picking up his third win on the year. Trent Benningfield earned his first save of the season, pitching two and a third innings in relief.
Marc Rogier, Nate Hall and Lucas Swartzentruber each scored twice, while Kingsley Alarcon, Eric Barnes, Payton Karl, Todd Carver, and Cordell Snyder each crossed the plate safely. Rogier had two of the team's RBI, going 2-3 at the plate and picking up a steal and a walk. Nate Hall also had two hits, while Barnes, Chaz Ferguson, Swartzentruber, Carver and Snyder each knocked in a run.
Chaz Ferguson left the game in the third inning after being tagged out at the plate. Test results show a dislocated left shoulder and his return date has not yet been set.
The final game of the series, a nine-inning matchup on Sunday afternoon, saw the Lynx jump out to an early lead, scoring in each of the first four innings. The Oaks saw themselves trailing 2-0 after one, 5-1 after two, 8-1 after three, and 9-1 entering the bottom of the fourth. RBI by Marc Rogier and Kingsley Alarcon moved the Oaks within six at 9-3. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Oaks were able to even the score at 9-9, thanks in large part to a two-out grand slam to left field. Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning, Cody Sparks led off with a double and scored on Marc Rogier's double to center field. Neither team scored after that as OCU held on to win by the score of 10-9.
Alex Portee earned the win, pitching a perfect sixth and seventh innings with one strike out. Neal Kunkler pitched the final two frames, earning the save and giving up just two hits.
Payton Karl led off the second inning with a home run, part of a three hit, two run day, while Cody Sparks and Lucas Swartzentruber also scored twice in the win. Eric Barnes had four RBI, followed by three from Marc Rogier, two from Kingsley Alarcon and one from Karl.
Next up for the Oaks is a double-header at Kentucky State University on Tuesday, April 17, starting at 12:00 PM.