For the first time since joining the Heartland Conference in 2012, the Oklahoma Christian University baseball team won a game against St. Edward’s University on the Hilltopper’s home field in Austin, TX, March 31.
“There are things we can improve of for sure,” senior pitcher Jared Price said. “We can take a lot away from that series and build on the good stuff. We never think we play the best we can after a game, but going forward as competitors we will try harder.”
The Eagles scored twice in the first inning to take an early lead over the Hilltoppers before falling behind after three consecutive runs by St. Edward’s during the same inning.
The Eagles pulled away late with a three run seventh inning. Freshman Zac Bycko and sophomore Isaac Holt both had a run and RBI.
Senior Dalton Rentz allowed three total runs and struck out 10 batters in his six innings on the mound. He was relieved by junior Garett Hill who gave up a single run and struck out two opponents to close the game and give Oklahoma Christian the 6-4 win.
The second game of the doubleheader saw Oklahoma Christian place six different pitchers into the game, all of which allowed at least one hit during their time on the mound.
Junior Mason McAlister led the team with three strikeouts, while also giving up six of the eight St. Edward’s runs in the 8-3 loss. Senior Jake Baxter was a perfect three for three on hits, scoring on one of those at bats.
“We played okay,” Price said. “They are probably the toughest team in our conference and can do a little bit of everything. I feel like they did a lot of things better than we did, but we did a lot of good things, too.”
Oklahoma Christian went into the final game of the series tied 1-1 with the Hilltoppers, but were unable to keep St. Edward’s from hitting the ball as they routed the Eagles 14-2.
Four Eagles stepped onto the mound in the series finale, with all of them allowing at least one run. Senior Jake Collins had three strikeouts and gave up five runs in a little over five innings.
Bycko and sophomore Ryan Ward were the only Eagles to score in the game. Ward and Holt both had a single RBI.
“We plan on seeing them again in the conference tournament,” Price said. “We learned a lot about their tendencies and techniques, so I feel we will be better prepared if we play them again.”
The Eagles are currently ranked 7th in the Heartland conference rankings with an overall record of 18-16 and conference record of 5-7.They will play at home against Oklahoma Panhandle State University today at 4 and 6 p.m. The final game of the three-games will series will take place tomorrow at noon.
Statistics provided by the Oklahoma Christian University Sports Information office.