The Bobcats took the road this past Saturday to play a four-game conference series against Bellevue University, followed by two scheduled games against Missouri S&T in Rolla on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Bobcats garnered only one victory on the road trip.
On Sunday, Cody Hull went 2-for-2 (1 run) and Cody Pentecost was 1-for-3 (1 RBI) posting the 3 lone Bobcat hits of the game against Bellevue pitcher Steve Sarcone (7-1, 1.83 ERA). The Cats were down only 2-1 going into the bottom of the 5th, but a 10-run inning by the Bruins in the 5th and 4 runs added in the 6th shut down the Cats with a final score of 16-1. Josh Neufeld took the loss for the first time since his opening game of the season. Rain postponed play of the second game until Monday.
In Monday’s Game 1, the Bobcats rallied with strong performances at the plate by J.D. Payne (3-for-3, 1 run, 1 RBI) and Cody Hull (3-for-4, 3 runs, 1 RBI), alongside a complete game by freshman right hander Christian Vonderheide, to capture a 6-2 victory. Vonderheide held the Bruins to only 5 hits, giving up one walk and striking out 8 batters, bringing his record to 3-2, 2.81 ERA.
In Game 2, the Bobcats were knotted up at 1-1 heading into the 5th. The Bobcats took a 2-1 lead in the 5th and added a 3rd run in the 6th, but unfortunately Bellevue scored 2 runs in the bottom of both the 5th & 6th innings to collect a 3-5 win. The Bobcats were led at the plate by Cody Pentecost (2-3, 1RBI) and Cody Hull (2-4, 1 run, 1 RBI). Alex Stephens suffered the loss, pitching 5.2 innings
Monday’s third game, a 9-3 loss, found the Bobcats facing another tough Bruins’ pitcher--Sean McManus (7-2, 2.63 ERA). Bobcat highlights featured J. D. Payne going 3-for-4 at the plate with one run scored and Christian Vonderheide hitting 1-for-2 and driving in one run. Garrett Woods started the game, but was unable to complete the first inning. Bobcats’ reliever Jason Myers stepped in to pitch the remainder of the game.
Following a grueling weekend schedule at Bellevue, a late Monday night return, and an early Tuesday morning departure, the Cats were short on rest and pitching. Five Bobcats went 1-for-2 at the plate, but scored no runs, while S&T tallied 14 to take the win.
The Bobcats head back out of town this Saturday to take on Central Baptist (23-18, 8-12 MCAC) in another 4-game conference series. The Cats are now 18-19 overall, 10-10 in conference play, and are hoping to have a strong weekend to push their record over the .500 mark heading into the conference playoffs.