The College of the Ozarks Bobcat baseball team opened up their home season Friday afternoon on the newly renovated Coach Bob Smith Field in Point Lookout against Graceland University.
Following a short dedication ceremony, where College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis threw out the first pitch, the Bobcats took the field and proceeded to win their first game of the season 4-2 over the Graceland Yellowjackets. The Bobcats tallied 4 runs on 10 hits, while the Cats’ starting pitcher, junior Garrett Woods, went 7 full innings, giving up only 4 hits on 1 earned run, with 3 strikeouts and no walks. Redshirt freshman Dylan Heitz batted in 3 runs on 2 hits in his DH role, and Center fielder Austin Schweiss was 2-for-2 with one run scored. Left fielder Cody Hull scored two of the Bobcat runs, while driving in one.
Game two, however, found the Bobcats struggling for hits, as Graceland’s Austin Liverant pitched 5 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and two walks, alongside 2 strikeouts. The Bobcats’s starting pitcher, Christian Vonderheide, also pitched 5 strong innings, where he allowed only one earned run on two hits, no walks and 2 strikeouts. The Bobcats rallied in the bottom of the seventh to load the bases with one out, but a ground out by Jacob Karlson resulted in a 4-6-3 double play that dashed their hopes of a comeback win.
Both teams will meet again in Point Lookout on Saturday for another doubleheader, which will begin at 1 PM. The Bobcats are now 1-4 on the season, and Graceland’s record stands at 3-3.
Pictures of Opening Day – President Davis-first pitch; Vonderheide on the mound