The College of the Ozarks Bobcats fell to Mount Mercy College by a score of 8-4 on Saturday in the first round of the A.I.I. Conference Baseball Tournament being held in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
The Mount Mercy Mustangs got off to a quick start by scoring in each of the first three innings to take a 5-0 advantage. The Bobcats had a slower start—not posting a hit or scoring their first run until the bottom of the 4th, when Jacob Karlson doubled to deep right center, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a ground ball by J.D. Chadwell.
The Cats picked up another run in the 6th on a Winston Rasmussen single, Austin Schweiss double, and a ground ball by Karlson to score the run. After giving up a run to the Mustangs in the top of the 7th, C of O collected 2 runs on a Dylan Heitz double, J.D. Payne walk, two stolen bases, a wild pitch, and a Tyler Whiteis ground out.
Heading into the 8th inning, the Bobcats trailed by only two runs despite having given up ten hits. Reliever Jason Myers took the mound for the Cats, replaclng Christian Vonderheide, but the Mustangs were not quite finished for the day. They put together a single, hit-by-pitch, sac bunt, and double to score 2 runs and take an 8-4 lead.
The Bobcats were unable to score in the bottom of the eighth and ninth, giving Mount Mercy the win. Vonderheide took the loss for the Bobcats, while Mustang Cale Henke grabbed the win. The Cats tallied 4 runs on 5 hits with one error; the Mustangs posted 8 runs on 13 hits, no errors. C of O’s record moves to 30-23.
College of the Ozarks hopes to work their way through the loser’s bracket, starting on Sunday at 11 AM (Central time) against Fisher College (Mass.). Fisher (19-27) lost their opening game, falling to the number 1 seed, Georgia Gwinnett by a 13-5 score to close out the first day of play.