Jared Owen hit a clutch two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning as East Central University rallied for a 7-6 victory over second-ranked Ouachita Baptist Tuesday in the first game of a non-conference baseball doubleheader at Tiger Field.
However, OBU pounded out 15 hits, including five home runs, to claim a 13-3 win in the second game, which lasted just six innings on a run rule.
The split left ECU at 2-6 on the season while OBU moved to 10-3.
ECU 7, Ouachita Baptist 6 (Game 1)
ECU was trailing 6-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh when pinch-hitter Kyle McCormick got things rolling with a leadoff double to right-center. One out later, Lucas Armenta singled and McCormick moved up to third to put runners at the corners.
Tyler Gillum’s single to left then scored McCormick to make it 6-5 as Armenta ended up at second base. Then after a pitching change, Ryan Estes drew a walk to load up the bases with one out.
Following a strikeout, Owen came through with his heroic hit to left field on a 1-1 count as Armenta scored from third and Gillum raced home, just ahead of the tag, from second to end the contest.
Armenta went 3-for-4 from the plate as the host Tigers pounded out 10 hits. Owen was 2-for-3 with his game-winning hit and Gillum finished 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and a pair of runs scored.
ECU freshman reliever Jacob Gammons (1-0) got the win as he worked the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four. Trey Robberson started the game and gave way to Justin Watley after three innings.
Sean O’Rourke (0-1) suffered the loss for OBU after working 4 1/3 innings. He was relieved in the seventh, but went down with the loss after Armenta and Gillum got hits off him.
OBU leadoff man Blake Lockwood had two of his team’s four hits as he drove in four runs with a two-run triple in the fourth and a two-run single in the fifth.
ECU was in the game thanks to four unearned runs in the bottom of the third as the hosts totaled three hits with the help of three OBU errors.
Ouachita Baptist 13, ECU 3 (Game 2)
Armenta, who was 5-of-7 from the plate for the day, went 2-for-3 with a solo-homer and run-scoring single in the nightcap, but it wasn’t enough to offset the explosive offense of the visiting OBU Tigers.
Will Gowdy hit two home runs for the visitors while JoeDan Poulter, Mark Cain and Drew Baker each went deep once.
Armenta’s solo-blast came in the third inning, but it was already after OBU had built up a 9-0 advantage. Armenta’s two-out RBI single came in the fifth after Dusty Rowland led off the inning with a double down the left field line.
ECU’s only other run came in the sixth when Ryan Estes’ RBI single scored pinch-runner Shawn Langford from second base. Langford was running for Andrew Minnich, who had singled with one out.
Starter Atlee Kile was tagged with the loss after lasting just two innings.
ECU’s Tigers return to Lone Star Conference play Friday and Saturday as they host West Texas A&M in a pair of noon doubleheaders each day at Tiger Field.