College of the Ozarks closed out their season on Thursday afternoon with a tough, one-run loss to Ecclesia College, 5-4.
The Bobcats opened up the game collecting three quick outs from Ecclesia and seeing Chad Reusch lead off the bottom of the first with a double and score on a Royals' error to take an early 1-0 lead. Ecclesia tied the game at one in the top of the third, and Zac Bolstad led off the bottom of the inning with a double but was left stranded.
Ecclesia scored a run in the top of four to take the lead, but it was not long-lived. Dylan Heitz proceeded to jump start the bottom of the inning with a line shot over the right field fence on an 0-2 count. The Cats then collected another run via a walk, an error, and a wild throw to reclaim the lead, 3-2.
The scoring flipped in the fifth, with Ecclesia putting up 2 runs and the Cats scoring one on a Jacob Karlson double and two ground balls that pushed him across the plate. Max Pulley followed up with a triple but was unable to score, closing the inning with a 4-4 tie.
The Royals put together 3 hits and a hit batsman in the top of the sixth, scoring one run to take a 5-4 advantage.
College of the Ozarks came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh down one run. Jacob Karlson hit a line drive to center field that looked to be a great start to the inning, but Royals' center fielder Matt Garrison dove and snagged the catch. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, Dylan Heitz hit a long shot to deep centerfield, and once again Garrison thwarted the Cats, reaching way back, tumbling, and coming up with the ball to close out the Bobcats' 2018 season.
Reusch went 1-for-2 at the plate, with Pulley and Bolstad hitting 1-for-3. Heitz drove in two runs for the Cats, while Karlson and Bolstad each drove in one. Collan Thrasher, who took a hard line drive to the upper arm and shoulder early in the game, suffered the loss for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats close their season with a record of 35-20.