Mar. 12, 2007

Hillcats Earn Second Straight Weekend Sweep

The Rogers State baseball team picked up three more wins on a weekend trip to Wichita, Kan., and extended its win streak to a record 10 games.

The Hillcats banged out 44 hits and scored 38 runs in victories over York College (York, Neb.), Friends University and Newman University.

Ryan Littlejohn closed out the week with home runs in both games on Saturday, putting an exclamation point on a historic week for the sophomore outfielder. Littlejohn homered in three consecutive games to end the week. He batted .695 (16-for-23) with eight doubles, two triples and three home runs. He scored nine times and drove in12 runs. Littlejohn was 14-for-15 during one stretch of the weeklong tear.

The Hillcats made quick work of York College in Game 1 on Saturday. Littlejohn just missed an opportunity to hit for the cycle in consecutive games. He followed up his 4-for-4 performance on Thursday with a single, a triple and a homer against York. He was left standing on deck when the third out was made in the sixth, needed just a double to complete the cycle. Blake Hollingsworth led off the top of the sixth inning with a homer over the center field wall, giving RSU a 12-2 lead. Reid Heskett worked a scoreless sixth to give the Hillcats a run-rule victory. Starter Brent Hill (4-2) picked up the win with five innings of work.

Rogers State scored in every inning of Game 2 on Saturday, dropping Friends by a score of 16-8. Jake Brumble led off the first inning with a walk and Littlejohn followed with a two-run homer to give the Hillcats an early lead. Friend responded with six runs in the bottom of the first. However, it wouldn’t take RSU long to climb back ahead. The Hillcats tied the game with three runs in the second and one in the third, then took the lead for good with a four-run fourth inning. Greg Speed clubbed his first homer of the season in the sixth and finished the game 4-for-4 with four RBI. Andrew Sherman chipped in with three hits and two runs scored as freshman Creston Moon (1-3) earned his first collegiate win in relief.

It looked as though the winning streak would be halted at nine games until some late inning heroics against Newman on Sunday. The Hillcats trailed Newman 9-3 entering the eighth inning but plated four runs in the eighth and three in the ninth to secure a come-from-behind victory, 10-9. Sherman and John Vaughn spurred the rally with RBI base hits in the eighth and ninth. Sherman and Vaughn each finished with two hits and three runs batted in. Brett Trzcinski (1-1) earned the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Rogers State improved to 16-11 with the weekend sweep. The Hillcats will return home on Tuesday for a showdown against Oklahoma Baptist. The conference opponents will play a single game at Hillcat Field with first pitch slated for 1:30 p.m.