Bartlesville, Oklahoma: Explosive offense and solid pitching have pushed the Eagles (24-14, 9-3) to one game out of first place in the MCAC.
After splitting the opening weekend of conference with Central Christian, the Eagles have won 11 of their last 14, and are currently riding a 7 game win streak.
A weekend with conference foe, College of the Ozarks, landed the club with 3 wins out of the 4 game set, with the loss coming in the third game of a Friday triple header.
After rain cancelled the April 2nd midweek contest with Roger State (rescheduled for April 10th), the Eagles hosted Central Baptist College in a pivotal Friday Saturday Conference match-up.
Game 1: W (17-16) The first game of the 4 game set was an offensive juggernaut that plated 33 runs through the course of the game. Eagle starter, RHP Chad Backward (3-2) cruised through the first 4 innings before the Eagles saw an 11-1 score tighten to 11-7 in the 5th inning.
From there, the bats began to boom from both benches. The Eagles found themselves trailing 14-13 in the 7th before rallying to win the game 17-16. Freshman CJ Gregory(3-1) recorded the win, throwing only one pitch that served up a 1-4-3 double play. Chris Hubacon (2-2) and Cody Stafford (0-1) bridged the gap between Backward and Gregory in a day that did not fare well for either pitching staff.
Game one saw the Eagles combine for 19 hits and 17 runs. The 3-4-5 combination of Jerett Hardy, Nick Palese, and Cody Riley led the offense for the day. Each of them hammered home-runs, and combined for 11 RBI, Hardy plating 6 of those RBI. Seniors Jake Palese, Chris McElderry, and Mason Feeler all had multiple hits on the day. Senior Nick White had a critical pinch hit at bat to tie the game in the 7th at 14, and Feeler’s sacrifice fly in the 9th was the walk off tally for the Eagles in game 1.
Game 2: W (17-4) The Eagles did not let the bats go to rest in the 7 inning game of the double header, as the Eagles plated 17 again in game 2 on Friday.
After surging to an 11-0 lead, the CBC Mustang morale was at a minimum after the heart-breaking loss in game 1. Junior Zach Hendrix (8-1) went 6 innings on the bump for the Eagles, surrendering 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits while striking out three. Senior Brendin Vogt closed the door on game 2, throwing a scoreless 7th.
Once again, the offense was the storyline of game 2. Seniors Jerret Hardy, Nick Palese, and Chris McElderry all combined for multiple hit days. Nick Palese launched another homerun in game 2, and his 4 for 5 day at the dish plated 5 RBI as well. Jose Ruiz added to the homerun and RBI total with one homerun to deep right-center, and had a combined 5 RBI in game 2. Each Eagle starter had at least one hit in game 2. Friday’s double header combined for to see 34 Eagles cross the plate, and 5 balls leave the yard at Doenges.
Game 3: W (5-4) After the offensive explosion on Friday, the first game on Saturday saw pitching dominate the show. Freshman Connor Garcia (3-1) started for the Eagles and threw a gem on the hill. Garcia went 7 strong innings, surrendering 3 runs on nine hits while only walking two Mustang hitters. Gregory closed the door in relief of Garcia, allowing 1 run on two hits and earning the save in game three.
At the plate, the Eagles scrapped for a 5 run effort. Cody Riley paced the offensive effort with a 3 for 4 game which included a solo bomb. Ruiz, Hard, and Jake Palese added a hit a piece as well as an RBI a piece to help lead the Eagles to a game 3 victory.
Game 4: W (10-7) With all pressure on the Mustang’s to keep the Eagles from sweeping, game 4 proved to be a gritty contest that landed an Eagle sweep with a 10-7 Eagles win. Robert Santana started the game for the Eagles, going 5 innings, allowing 6 runs, 2 earned, while only surrendering 2 hits and 5 punch outs. Brendin Vogt (1-0) earned the win in relief of Santana. Cj Gregory made his 3rd appearance of the series, 2nd of the day, and once again earned the save as he shut the door on the CBC Series.
The bats once again came out in full force in game 4 of the series. Landon Cloud, Nick Palese, and Jose Ruiz all combined to have multiple hit days for the Eagles. Nick Palese and Jose Ruiz once again contributed a big fly to the Eagles offensive effort. Jake Palese, Chris McElderry, Asa Manship, Cody Riley, and Mason Feeler all added hits for the Eagles as well.
This week the Eagles travel to Friends University on Tuesday and to Rogers State University on Wednesday. Game time for the Tuesday contest is 2:00 pm, and the Wednesday contest is set to begin at 5:00
This weekend the Eagles host York in MCAC play. The Friday’s games will be played at Doenges beginning at 2:00, and Saturday will play Host to senior day and will be held at the OKWU field with the first pitch at noon.