The East Central University baseball team opened the 2013 season at Tiger Field and split a pair of games with St. Gregory’s. The Cavaliers (1-1) earned a 1-10 win in the opening game, but the Tigers (1-1) responded with a 15-7 win in a six inning game. The win was a come-from-behind win, with ECU scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The Tigers were led by senior Benny Woodard, who tallied four hits in six at-bats and added three RBIs. Woodard hit two doubles and a two-run home run for the Tigers.
On the mound, senior Gabriel Martinez earned the win for ECU, while senior Andrew Olson has a 3.60 ERA in five innings pitched, with six strike-outs.
The Tigers hit .358 as a team and tallied six doubles and a home run on the day. The Cavaliers hit .333 and tallied five doubles on 19 hits.
The Tigers and SGU will pick up the home-and-home series Saturday, Feb. 2 in Shawnee, Okla., with the first game of the double-header set to start at 1 p.m.
The Cavaliers opened the second game with strong offense, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning.
This time the Tigers did not wait as long to get their offense started and cut the lead to 2-4 in the bottom of the first. Junior Brede Kochi stated ECU off with a bouncer to short that he outran for a single. Senior Benny Woodard was the next batter up and he sent a ball over the left field fence for a two-run home run.
SGU added a run in the second and two in the third to go up 2-7.
The Tigers cut the deficit to two (5-7) in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run inning. Senior Justin Sutherland started inning with a double to left field. Junior Chris Lane was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Senior Spencer Penrod tallied a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher to advance the runners. Caton was the next batter and single between the gap at first and second to score Sutherland.
Caton stole second to put runners at second and third for Kochi who earned a sacrifice fly to right field to score Lane. Woodard continued the scoring with a single to left field to score Caton and make the score 5-7.
Both teams remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when the Tigers scored 10 runs to earn the come-from-behind win. Kochi started the inning with a double and was followed by a double from Woodard. Senior Mac Grace sent Kochi home on a sacrifice fly to left field. Junior Kyle Watase earned a walk, Benley Ramos was hit by a pitch and pinch hitter junior Ethan Gold was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Sutherland hit a single to right field and the right fielder made a throwing error that allowed Gold, Gibson and Woodard to score to put the Tigers within one (6-7).
The bases were loaded again on a two walks when Kochi recorded a sacrifice fly to right field to score the tying run. Grace added two more runs for ECU on a double past third base. Freshman Brandon Maggia added the final two runs on a single up the middle for the final score of 15-7.
The game was called after the inning finished due to darkness.
The Cavilers scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning and then added five more in the top of the fourth and two in the top of the fifth.
The Tigers scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Caton led off the inning with a single past second base. Caton was then brought around when Gold tallied a double to the right center gap.
SGU added three more runs in the top of the seventh for the final of 1-10.
Senior Will Grimes earned the start and pitched 4.1 innings. He struck-out two and allowed seven hits. Senior Hernan Vivas finished the game for ECU and allowed four hits and struck-out three batters.