Bartlesville, Okla. – The Eagles produce a dramatic game three comeback to complete the double header sweep of the MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers in Saturday’s contest at Doenges Memorial Stadium.
Game 1- Friday resulted in a loss for the Eagles. Despite a good defensive effort, the offense was held at bay by Pioneer starter, Kyle Olson (1-0). Olson went the complete game for MidAmerica, allowing only four hits on the day.
Chad Backward (0-1) and Chris Hubocan (0-1) battled throughout the game to keep the Eagles within striking distance, but their efforts came up short for the contest.
Backward took the loss for OKWU going 4.0 innings, allowing 6 hits and 2 runs, walking 1 and striking out 3. Hubocan finished the day throwing 5.0 strong innings of 2 hit baseball for the Eagles.
Game 2- The Eagles offense rebounded for 13 runs in the opening game of the double header on Saturday. Junior Jose Ruiz (3-4), freshman Asa Manship (2-3), junior Cody Riley (2-3), and senior Mason Feeler (2-3) all combined for multiple hits on the day for the Eagles offense.
Senior Josh Hemsoth, senior Josh Davis, and freshman Josh Donato contributed to the spray charts by adding a hit a piece as well. Ruiz led the offense with his season high 5 RBI day.
In conjunction with offense, right handed hurler Zach Hendrix (2-0) was phenomenal on the mound for OKWU. Hendrix went 6.0 innings (shut down due to a rain delay) surrendering only 1 run on 2 hits.
Hendrix added to his performance by striking out 9 Pioneer batters. Connor Garcia (1-0) finished the effort on the mound after the rain delay. Garcia went 1.0 inning, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs while punching out 2. Tino Luna took the loss for the Pioneers.
Game 3- The Eagles saved the dramatics for the finale of the weekend series. In an offensive effort that had struggled for most of the game, the Eagles rallied from down 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to win in walk-off fashion.
The Eagles were down 6-2 going into the bottom half of the last inning. Nick White got the rally started with a 1 out two-strike single to right field. After a Ruiz fly out, Cody Riley extended the inning with 2 outs by singling into right field. Nick Palese then reached on an error by the Pioneers, scoring Austin Peck who was in the game to pitch run for Nick White.
In the next at bat, Jerett Hardy was hit by a pitch from left Caleb Swartz to once again extend the inning and load the bases for the Eagles. Next to bat was sophomore catcher Niko Christ.
Christ singled into left, scoring Nick Palese and Riley. Coach Parker then added speed to the bases, pinch running Hunter Meyn for Hardy and Gunner Joyce for Christ, setting up the dramatic at bat by Senior Jake Palese.
After quickly getting down 0-2, Jake Palese battled through his at bat fouling off pitch after pitch until the Pioneer freshman, Blake Robberson, left a two strike mistake in the zone. Lefty Palese turned on the pitch and scorched a double down the right field line plating Meyn from second and Joyce from 1st for the Eagles first walk off victory of the season.
CJ Gregory (1-0) took the win in game three. Robert Santana (1-0) started the game for the Eagles. Santana went 5.0 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits, 5 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
Sophomore south paw Cody Stafford appeared in relief of Santana. Stafford had a big strike out in relief before giving way to the freshman right hander Gregory. Gregory went 1.1 innings giving up 1 run on no hits to earn the win.
The Eagles will host Hillsdale Baptist College in varsity and junior varsity contests on Tuesday. The junior varsity game will begin at 12:00 at the OKWU field, and the Varsity game will be held at Doenges Stadium beginning at 2:00.
On Wednesday the junior varsity squad will travel to Bacone College for a double header beginning at 1:00 in Muskogee.
In weekend action, NAIA #25 Doane College will visit the Eagles for a big series. Friday’s game will begin at 12:00 and Saturday’s double header will begin at 12:00.
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