Mar. 27, 2007

Baseball Hillcats Drop Two to SNU

The Rogers State baseball team dropped two games to Southern Nazarene after a week’s layoff at the Hillcat Complex on Tuesday.

The Hillcats pounded out 14 hits and didn’t commit an error in Game 1, but it wasn’t enough as they lost 8-6 in extra innings.

RSU scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning off SNU starter Eric Burson. Todd Koscheski crushed his fourth home run of the season, a three-run blast over the left field scoreboard to give the Hillcats the early lead. The Crimson Storm answered with two runs in the second and two more in the third, then tied the game at 6-6 with a two-run fifth inning. The game, scheduled for seven innings, remained tied at six until the top of the ninth. Designated Hitter Brian Madden tagged a two-run double to center that proved to be the game winning hit.

Ryan Littlejohn and Brett Hollingsworth tallied three hits a piece in the losing effort. Koscheski finished 2-for-3 with five RBI.

Seth Merchant picked up the win in relief for SNU as Nicholas Patterson earned the save by shutting the door on the Hillcats in the ninth. Tyler Whitaker (3-2) took the loss in relief of starter Brent Hill. Hill pitched six innings and Whitaker tossed the final three frames.

RSU fell behind 2-0 in the second inning of Game 2 and never recovered. The Hillcats trailed 3-1 entering the top of the sixth when SNU busted the game open with a four-run, two-out rally. After retiring the first two hitters of the inning, RSU starter Dusty Carriger (5-3) walked three consecutive batters to load the bases. Alex Pagan followed with a three-run double and later scored as the Crimson Storm took a 7-1 advantage. RSU managed to scratch across two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh but ultimately fell short by a score of 7-4.

Carriger suffered the loss for RSU as Jonathan Dieball earned the victory in relief for Southern Nazarene.

Coach Ron Bradley’s club dropped to 22-15 after the losses. The Hillcats will host University of the Ozarks on Monday, April 2. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m.