3-28-07 - East Central University’s Tigers matched Central Oklahoma hit-for-hit in both games, but the Bronchos managed to pick up the doubleheader sweep as they edged the host Tigers, 9-7 and 7-6, to open Lone Star Conference North baseball play Wednesday at Tiger Field.
ECU even matched the Bronchos homer-for-homer (three each) in the opener, but couldn’t capture the win. In the nightcap, the Tigers rallied from a 6-1 decifit with two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh, but came up a score short.
The losses dropped the Tigers to 6-27 overall and 0-2 in the LSC North while the Bronchos improved to 22-9-1 and 2-0.
Central Oklahoma 9, ECU 7 (Game 1)
Jared Owen, Josh Walker and Scott Nevland each homered for the Tigers, who finished with 10 hits in the game.
Walker hit a three-run homer (his second blast of the season) in the first to lift ECU to a 3-0 advantage. Back-to-back singles by Owen and Tyler Pybas set the stage for Walker’s blast.
Owen connected for a solo-homer (his second of the year) to lead off the fifth and Nevland later had a two-run blast (his first of the season) in the inning as the Tigers pulled within 8-7. Jason Wellington also had a run-scoring single in that same frame.
Owen, Pybas and Wellington each went 2-for-4 from the plate while Derrick Romines was 2-for-3.
Breck Draper, Tyler Carroll and Bryan Covington each homered for the Bronchos, who also compiled 10 hits.
ECU starter Kevin Peoples (0-2) was tagged with the loss after lasting 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight earned runs off nine hits. Brad Staggs pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run off one hit.
UCO starter Marcus Lara (3-0) was credited with the win after throwing four-plus innings and allowing five earned runs off seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Three other Bronchos saw mound duty in the game.
Central Oklahoma 7, ECU 6 (Game 2)
Down 6-1, the Tigers scored twice in sixth off a two-run double by Gus Bordones.
Then in the seventh, ECU made it too close for comfort in the Bronchos eyes as Wellington drew a bases-loaded walk. Nevland then reached on a fielder’s choice as Owen scored and Walker scored on the same play, off an error to get the Tigers within 7-6.
However, relief pitcher Cameron Karner got ECU to ground out to end the game as the Tigers fell a run short.
Owen and Nevland collected two hits apiece in the Tigers’ nine-hit attack. Owen went 2-for-4 and scored once while Nevland was also 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Pybas had a run-scoring single in the third inning for ECU’s other score.
Staggs (0-1) took the loss after pitching 2 1/3 innings. He allowed three earned runs off seven hits with one walk and a strikeout. Freshman T.J. Gaines had a strong effort in relief as he gave up just one earned (the three others were unearned) off two hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Dean McIntyre (2-1) got the win after throwing 5 2/3 innings and allowing just one earned run off eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Michael Pollock went 2-for-3 and scored twice for the Bronchos while Bryce Columbus and Draper each went 2-for-4. Draper had an RBI and scored once while Columbus scored twice.
Carroll hit his ninth homer of the season for UCO.
The Tigers continue LSC North play with a weekend series at Cameron University in Lawton. The two teams will play a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday before squaring off in a 2 p.m. single game on Sunday.