RUSSELLVILLE, ARK. - The East Central University baseball team earned a 9-6 decision at Arkansas Tech in the first of three games in the Great American Conference series at Tech Field.
The Tigers (6-17, 6-7 GAC) recorded a total of 10 hits in the game, with four players garnering two each. Juniors Kaleb Matthews and Thomas McGarry led ECU with two hits and two RBIs each, with Matthews adding two runs scored.
Sophomore Shae Edmonds earned the win on the mound, moving to 3-2 on the season. Edmonds pitched the last six innings of the game, allowing two hits and zero runs, while striking out four. Senior Dylan Murphy started the game, allowing seven hits and six runs, while recording one strikeout.
The Wonder Boys (10-16, 4-9 GAC) started the scoring, taking a 0-4 lead after the second inning.
However, the Tigers responded immediately and tied the game at four in the top of the third inning. Junior Kodiak O'Ravez led off the inning with a bunt single and ended up on third on a sacrifice bunt attempt that included an error to put junior Trevor Huie on second.
Junior Riley Roberts earned the first RBI with a single through the left side. Senior Casey Kenny sent Roberts to second with a sacrifice bunt. Senior Kris Molter earned the next RBI with a single to the pitcher. Matthews added a run with a double down the left line and junior Jake McKeel scored the final run when he grounded out.
ATU regained the lead in the bottom of the third with two runs, for a 4-6 advantage.
It took another inning before ECU responded, but when they did they tied the game at six in the top of the fifth. Roberts started things with a double and was sent home when Matthews doubled to left center. McKeel was added to the base path with a walk and the second run was scored when McGarry singled.
After a scoreless sixth, the Tigers took control of the scoreboard with a three-run seventh inning (9-6). Kenney singled, Molter doubled and Matthews was walked to load the bases. McKeel earned an RBI when he drew another walk and kept the bases loaded. McGarry sent a run home and kept the bases loaded with a single and the final run came across the plate when sophomore Jacob Cowling was walked.
The ECU defense then held strong, sending the first three batters back to the dugout in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
The teams will resume the series, Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m., with a doubleheader on the slate.