Photo by: Nick Conley
The unpredictable Oklahoma weather toyed with the Oklahoma Christian University baseball team’s schedule this past week, leading to cancellations, rescheduling and more cancellations.
However, a slight break in the weather on Sunday would allow the Eagles a chance to take on two former foes from the NAIA in a doubleheader.
York College made a stop by Putnam City High School on their return trip to Nebraska to take on the Eagles in game one.
The York College Panthers, ranked as high as 28th in the NAIA preseason polling, gave the ball to junior Josh Knoll to begin the game. The Eagles countered with Division I transfer junior Tyler Sturges, seeking his first win of the season.
The Eagles jumped out to the lead in the first inning, grabbing one run against Knoll. Oklahoma Christian’s offense went stagnant in the following two innings and York took advantage with two runs in the top of the third to take the 2-1 lead.
The Eagles tacked on one more run in the fourth that the Panthers matched in the sixth; the score moved to 3-2 in favor of York with only six outs remaining for Oklahoma Christian.
After a long at-bat, senior Matt Blaemire hit junior Caleb Price, sending him to first and bringing senior Dillon Andrews to the plate as the winning run for Oklahoma Christian. Andrews clutched-up for the Eagles and sent a screaming line drive to the wall, scoring both Carr and Price and sliding into third for a two-out, two-RBI triple to put his team up 4-3.
“It was a 3-1 count, and I knew that I had to hit something deep,” Andrews said. “I was looking for two pitches – one down the middle or in my alley up and in. I swung early but I swung hard enough that it went somewhere. I liked it off the bat, and coming around second I put my boosters on and slid in safe at third.”
The Eagles ran their senior closer Chris Burgess out for the seventh to try and close the door on the Panthers. Burgess was able to do just that, and the Eagles stole a close one from York, bringing their record to 4-4 on the season.
Head coach Lonny Cobble offered his expertise on game one of the doubleheader.
“I was really proud of the way we battled,” Cobble said. “We had a little bit of adversity in the game against York but we continued to fight, continued to get guys on and finally got that big hit to take the lead. Pitching came in and did a really good job, it was a good first game for us.”
Game two of the doubleheader was a gem as the Eagles squared off against former SAC conference rival Oklahoma City University.
The Oklahoma City Stars, who stood in the fourth position in the NAIA standings, ran senior Cody Crabaugh out to the mound while the Eagles gave the nod to sophomore Cale Coshow.
The first run did not come until the third inning, when a botched pickoff attempt sent Stars senior Jonathon Sidago from first to third and was capped off by junior Chris Wallis’ RBI single.
The lone run remained on the board all the way up until the top of the sixth, when a pair of doubles from seniors Walker Davidson and Kale Gaden gave Oklahoma City a 2-0 lead, once again leaving the Eagles in the hole with only six outs remaining.
The Eagles answered in the bottom of the inning, with Carr serving as the catalyst with his pinch-hit double to the gap in left-center.
The seventh inning yielded nothing from the Eagles’ offense, and their record fell to 4-5 with the 2-1 loss to the Stars.
Cobble commented on the close contest with Oklahoma City and what he took away from the game.
“We had our chances; I told the guys we really let one get away from us that I thought we could have won,” Cobble said. “I was really disappointed because I really thought we could win that game. It was a good learning experience for us, and I hope that it proves that we’ve taken a lot of steps forward, and that we are on the verge of reeling off some wins if the hitting will come through.”
The future of the Eagles lies in the hands of the weather, as the wet conditions have already cancelled or postponed several of the team’s games.