The College of the Ozarks baseball team returned to their home field Saturday to play games 2 and 3 of a four-game series against Avila University.
Game 1 on the day found the Bobcats’ starting pitcher, Christian Vonderheide, struggling in the first, giving up three runs. The Bobcats went scoreless in innings one and two, but while Vonderheide settled down, the Cats’ bats were warming up. In the bottom of the 3rd, the Bobcats put together four hits, along with 2 Avila errors, to tally 4 runs, to take the lead. Both teams scored a run in the 4th, and the Bobcats also put up a run in both the 5th and 6th, but Avila rallied in the top of the 7th against Cats’ reliever Jason Myers to score 3 runs on a homer by Trevor Norbury. With the game tied up at 7 headed to the bottom of the inning, Dylan Heitz slammed a walk-off home run over the right field fence to close out the game with an 8-7 win.
The Bobcats were led in Game 1 by red-shirt freshman Hunter Simmons, who was 3-for-3 with 2 runs scored, 2 RBI, and 2 stolen bases, along with junior Austin Schweiss, who went 2-for-3 with a double and 2 runs scored. Christian Vonderheide pitched 6 innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 4 hits, with 3 strikeouts, but it was reliever Jason Myer who took the win. Avila pitcher Caleb Curry was credited with the loss.
College of the Ozarks did not fare as well in Game 2, falling 8-3 to the Eagles. The game was scoreless headed into the 4th, when Avila picked up 3 runs on 4 hits. The Bobcats put up a run in the bottom of the inning to narrow the gap to two runs. The long ball once again came into plan in the sixth, as Avila’s Kyle Simmons crunched a 3-run home run over the left field fence. Two runs in the 7th by each team closed out the game with an 8-3 win for Avila.
The Bobcats were led in game 2 by sophomore J. D. Chadwell, who was 3-for-3 with a double and one run scored. Freshmen Jacob Karlson and Tad Mitchell each went 2-for-4, and junior Schweiss was 1-for-2 with one RBI.
College of the Ozarks is now 8-9 on the season and looks to move to the .500 mark when they face Avila in the final game of their series on Sunday at 2 pm in Point Lookut.