College of the Ozarks Bobcat baseball hosted the Evangel Crusaders for a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon and split the series. Evangel took the win in game one, 3-1, and the Bobcats captured a 4-0 victory in game two.
Evangel opened the first game with a two-run first inning on singles by Patrick Gaul and Jordan Yates, intermixed with two walks by Bobcat starting pitcher Riley Loyd to score their first run.
Michael White proceeded to take the mound for the Bobcats with bases loaded and promptly struck out the next two batters. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, a balk would push across the third run for Evangel before White was able to close out the frame.
Despite some hits an opportunities, it wasn’t until the top of four that Evangel struck again, capitalizing on a couple walks and two Bobcat miscues. Both teams would remain scoreless until the bottom of the seventh. Lincoln Rasmussen singled to right with one out and moved to second when Westin Gann was hit by a pitch. Following the second out of the inning, Kyle Giefer drove a double down the right field line to tally a run, but nor more were to follow.
Crusader Bret Hoffman collected a 3-1 complete game win, allowing just four hits. Evangel’s plate leaders featured Gaul with a 3-for-3 game, scoring one run. Jordan White and Jason Jarrell each went 1-for-1.
Leading the Bobcats were Rasmussen (1-1, 1 run), Giefer (1-2, 1 RBI), and Abrahamson (1-2). Loyd suffered the loss for the Cats.
Game two was a different story, as sophomore Ryan Daggs took the mound for C of O against Hunter Hancock from Evangel.
After two scoreless innings, Bobcat freshman Darren Sims reached base on an error and subsequently scored on a Rasmussen double. With two outs and a runner on, another Crusader error partnered with a Giefer single to give the Bobcats a 3-0 advantage. Hancock (3 runs, none earned, 2 strikeouts) was relieved by Austin Dill. The Bobcats would add another run in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to a Zach Ford single and stolen base, and infield hit, and a Rasmussen sac fly to deep center.
Daggs would proceed to hold the Crusader to five hits, while striking out eight, through six innings. Sean Neal came into the game in the top of the seventh, allowing one hit and striking out one batter to close out the game with a 4-0 Bobcat victory.
Leading hitters for the Bobcats included Ford (2-3, 1 run), Sims (1-2, 1 run), Rasmussen (1-2, 2RBI), and Spencer Greene (1-1). The Crusaders were led by Gaul and Stephen Belcher (both 2-3) and Yates (1-2).
The major factors of both games related to walks, errors, and stranded runners. Over the course of the two games, the Bobcats left nine runners on base and gave up 11 walks, committing two errors. The Crusaders stranded 20 runners, tallied three errors, and walked just three batters.
The Bobcats (5-5) will host Waldorf College (Iowa) with two doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. Evangel (3-5) will host Lincoln College (Ill.) with two doubleheaders as well this weekend.