In Thursday’s opening game of the NCCAA Central Region tournament, College of the Ozarks was defeated by Arlington Baptist University, 5-4.
The Bobcats led 3-1 headed into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Patriots, who were the home team via a pre-game coin toss per tournament rules, put up 5 runs on 5 hits in the sixth to take a 6-3 lead. The Bobcats opened the top of the 7th with a groundout, followed by a J.D. Payne single. Another out later, Jay Kaufman and Kole Kelley each reached base on a walk. The Bobcats proceeded to score two runs on wild pitches, and Max Pulley reached base on another walk. However, the final out was made before the Bobcats could push the tying run over the plate.
It was a game of missed chances for the Bobcats, who left 9 runners on base during the course of the game.
Leading the Bobcats at the plate were Zac Bolstad, who was 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, J. D. Payne with 3 hits in four at bats, and Kole Kelley at 2-for-3 with one run scored. Kelley posted a double and Chad Reusch hit a triple.
Bryce Burtless suffered the loss for the Bobcats, pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing 6 runs with two walks and 5 strikeouts.
The Bobcats will play again on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. with their opponent yet to be determined.
Other results of the day: Ecclesia College defeated Central Baptist College 5-4; Southwestern Christian Univ. defeated Dallas Christian College, 22-2; and Colorado Christian defeated Arlington Baptist University, 1-0.
Tournament games will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, and continue at 12:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. The final games of the tournament are scheduled for Friday.