Game one saw the Bobcats move into the win column, as CollanKole Kelley lined an RBI single to right. The Crusaders responded in the bottom of the second by scoring three runs on five hits. In the top of the third, the Bobcats retaliated, scoring two runs on three hits to tie the game at 3-3. Thrasher again took the mound in the bottom of the inning and settled in to hold the Crusaders scoreless the remainder of the game. In the top of the fourth, the Bobcats managed to score two runs on one hit, thanks to a hit-by-pitch, a Crusader’s throwing error, and another RBI single by Kole Kelley. The Bobcats took a 5-3 lead--all they would need to collect the win. The Crusaders tallied 3 runs on 11 hits with two errors, while College of the Ozarks put up 5 runs on eight hits with one error. Thrasher (2-3) picked up the win for the Bobcats, striking out five and walking none. Mason Bauer (1-1) suffered the loss for Evangel, walking two and striking out four over 4.0 innings. Leading the Bobcats at the plate was left fielder Kole Kelley, going 2-3 with two RBI, 1 Daggs was also 2-3 at the plate, and Jay Kaufman went 1-2 with one run scored and a stolen base. Evangel struck first in game two of the doubleheader, as CofO freshman pitcher Daggs drove in one run and a ground ball by Camden Burns scored another. Theadded two runs in the bottom of the second on just one hit and two Bobcat miscues to take a 4-0 lead. The Bobcats were able to score a single run in the third when Kyle Giefer singledulley reached on a walk, and Kaufman’s single drove in Giefer to close the gap.
In the top of the fourth, the Cats looked to make a move. They opened with singles by Westin Gann and Ryan Daggs, followed by a walk to Burtless to load up the bases. Kolton Giefer hit a shot up the middle, but the second baseman made an amazing play to snag the ball before it left the infield and doubled up Daggs trying to return to second on the lineout. Evangel hitters tallied two more runs in the fourth and three in the bottom of the sixth to take a 9-1 lead.
The Bobcats made some noise in the seventh, as Kolton Giefer opened the inning with a homerun over the left field fence. Following a strikeout, Pulley singled to shallow center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Another Bobcat strikeout was followed by a walk to Kaufman, and Kelley singled to load the bases. Lincoln Rasmussen was hit by a pitch, scoring Pulley, but a fly ball closed out the inning and the game. Both teams utilized three pitchers in the game. Evangel’s Austin Dill (1-1) collected the win, and Bobcats’ Ryan Daggs (1-1) suffered the loss. Leading the Bobcats at the plate were Max Pulley (2-3, 1 run), Jay Kaufman (1-2, 1 RBI, double), Kole Kelley (2-4), and Westin Gann (1-2). Despite recording nine hits, the Bobcats were only able to push three runs across the plate. Evangel scored nine runs on 11 hits and benefitted from three Bobcat errors. The Bobcats will return home this coming weekend with a four-game series against Manhattan Christian College (Kan.). Weather permitting, they will play a doubleheader at 4 p.m. on Friday and a doubleheader at noon on Saturday.