Grabbing an early lead against Oklahoma Baptist University, the Oklahoma Christian University’s baseball team stole two of three games from the Bison on Feb. 10 and 11, despite above-average temperatures in the early season.
Oklahoma Christian started its three-game series in Shawnee, OK, last Friday. In the first inning Freshman Zach Morrow scored on senior Lane Paul’s single to center field, and Paul scored shortly after on senior Cory Duran’s 2 RBI home run.
Oklahoma Baptist managed one run in the fourth inning but the Eagles’ extended their lead with sophomore Isaac Holt’s 2 RBI homer in the top of the fifth. The Bison scored a second run in the fifth. However, scoring then ceased for the remainder of the game, giving the Eagles the 5-2 win. Senior pitcher Dalton Rentz took his second win on the mound.
“When it came to Friday’s game, we executed well when it came to our offense and defense played lights out, which helped us overcome their home-field advantage,” Paul said. “The team had a personal goal of coming out and doing our absolute best regardless of the scores of the game. Whether we won or lost we just wanted to give everything we had.”
The action moved to Oklahoma Christian’s Dobson Field on Saturday, where both teams started the double header in 80-degree weather. The Bison hit the bases in the first inning and scored two runs, but the Eagles retaliated with four: Holt and junior Chad Kennedy scored on junior Hayden Strobel’s double, Duran stole home and Strobel ran home on senior Jake Baxter’s single.
By the sixth inning the Eagles led 6-5 and each team scored once more, Paul in the sixth and Oklahoma Baptist in the seventh, before ending play. The Eagles took the second game of the series 7-6 and entered the third, three-hour game with temperatures reaching 86 degrees.
The Bison scored twice in the third inning and once in the fifth, while the Eagles scored twice in the fourth — Strobel and sophomore Ryan Ward — and twice more in the fifth — freshman Drew Wright and Morrow. Although the Eagles lead 4-3 going into the sixth, Oklahoma Baptist controlled the final four innings, scoring an additional seven runs and keeping the Eagles at a standstill. The Bison ended the weekend series with a 10-4 victory.
“There wasn’t anything that influenced us on either game,” Paul said. “Yes, the heat was a factor, but both teams were affected by it and in the second game, they just came out fired up and ready to play. They are a good team and they will win a lot of ball games against a lot of good teams in their conference.”
Oklahoma Christian will host a three-day, three-game series against Northwestern Missouri State University starting Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 19. Each game is at 1 p.m. at Dobson Field.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information Office.