Apr. 23, 2007

Baseball Hillcats Silence Mid-America Christian

Tyler Whitaker and Josh Walker turned in back-to-back complete game pitching performances to lead Rogers State past Mid-America Christian in a doubleheader at Curtis Field in Oklahoma City on Monday.

Whitaker (4-4) scattered seven hits over seven innings in Game 1 as the Hillcats cruised to a 6-1 victory. He allowed just one earned run while striking out five. RSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Greg Speed led off the game with a walk and Ryan Littlejohn followed with a single to left field. Back-to-back RBI ground outs by Eric Bunch and Blake Hollingsworth gave RSU an early two-run advantage.

The Evangels scored their only run in the fifth when John Bell earned a two-out walk and scored on a double off the right field wall by Jon Reed. The Hillcats responded with four runs in the top of the sixth. A sacrifice fly by Eric Bunch and an RBI single to right by Zack Bacon helped RSU reach the final margin, 6-1. Speed and Littlejohn paced the Hillcats offensively with two hits a piece. Eric Bunch went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

Freshman Josh Walker turned in the best performance of his young career to earn his first collegiate victory in the nightcap. Walker (1-1) allowed one run on just four hits in a 2-1 Hillcat victory. He tallied a career-high nine strikeouts in the winning effort. RSU claimed a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Speed looped a single down the left field line, scoring Andrew Sherman from second base. The Evangels knotted the game, 1-1, in the fourth when Rock Polk doubled to start the inning and scored on a single up the middle by Chris Johnson.

The teams remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the sixth when Travis Harold delivered a game-winning RBI single to left, scoring his brother Tyler Harold from second. Walker went the distance to finish off the Evangels, 2-1. Harold and Littlejohn had two hits a piece for the Hillcats in the nightcap.

Coach Ron Bradley’s club improved to 26-22 with the doubleheader sweep and took 3-of-4 from Mid-America Christian for the season. The Hillcats will return home for a single game vs. St. Gregory’s on Tuesday at the Hillcat Complex. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m