The East Central University baseball team dropped the opening game of the three-game series at Northwestern Oklahoma State, 4-6.
The Tigers (1-12, 1-3 GAC) were led by junior Jake McKeel, who tallied one hit, one run and four RBIs. McKeel was one of six ECU players to garner a hit in the game.
On the mound, sophomore Brandon Dusenberry earned the start, throwing the first 6.2 innings, allowing six hits and six runs and striking out five. Sophomore Shae Edmonds finished the game, striking out four and allowing just one hit in 1.1 innings of work.
ECU opened the scoring in the first inning, with four runs. Senior Casey Kenney started things for the Tigers by reaching due to an error after the first out. A second out was recorded before senior Kris Molter was walked and junior Trevor Huie loaded the bases with a single to left field. McKeel then hit a grand slam to left center to score all four runs.
The Rangers (5-7, 3-1 GAC) cut into the advantage in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs on three hits.
NWOSU added two more runs to tie the game at four in the fifth and then tallied two more in the seventh for a 4-6 lead.
The Tigers had their chances to score after the first, with bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings, but were unable to get a run across the plate.
The teams will wrap up the series, with a double-header starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.