The College of the Ozarks Bobcats (22-22 overall, 13-11 conference) are closing out their 2015 season in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, as Oklahoma Wesleyan University hosts the 3-day double elimination MCAC Conference Tournament.
The Bobcats played the first game of the championship tournament on Thursday at noon and soundly defeated Central Baptist College by a score of 10-0. Senior left-handed pitcher Josh Neufeld picked up another win (now 7-1), allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. Eight of the nine starters picked up hits in the game, featuring 16 hits, seven of which were doubles.
The Bobcats moved on in the competition to play Oklahoma Wesleyan University, seeded #1 in the tournament. OKWU currently leads the nation (NAIA) in total runs scored (476) and is #4 in Total RBI (417) and Runs Scored per Game (8.815). Hits were a little more difficult to come by for the Bobcats, as they faced Hugo Lemus, who is 7-2 on the season. In addition, the Bobcats posted an unusual number of errors (5). The Cats picked up 5 runs on 7 hits and were able to make some noise in the ninth with men on base, but they were unable to overtake OKWU, losing the game 7-5. J.D. Payne and Scott Stephens each went 2-for-5, with Payne knocking a double. Christian Vonderheide took the loss for the Cats, giving up 10 hits and 3 earned runs while striking out 2.
The Bobcats will now play from the loser’s bracket in the double elimination tournament on Friday at 7 PM, facing the winner of Central Baptist College vs. York College (noon game). York, seeded #3 in the tournament, was defeated by #2 Bellevue University on Thursday, 5-3. .