College of the Ozarks Baseball Bobcats hosted Day One of the Bobcat Tri-Match, which featured Texas A&M-Texarkana and Mount Mercy University.
The first game of the day, scheduled for 11:00 a.m., was canceled due to frostbite-level temperatures. The Bobcats took the field at 1:00 p.m. against the Mount Mercy Mustangs.
C of O opened the first inning with freshman right-hander Rhett Hill (Fair Grove, Mo.) on the mound, who proceeded to collect a ground out and two strikeouts. In the bottom of the inning, following a lead-off out, Kyle Abrahamson, Ryan Daggs, and Lincoln Rasmussen each delivered a single to load the bases. Mount Mercy ‘s starter, Dylan Campbell, then proceeded to walk Kyle Giefer, pushing a run across the plate for the Bobcats. Kolton Giefer reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Daggs, and the Cats began their day with a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the second, Hill gave up a one-out single, but a strike out combined with a caught stealing shut down the Mustang’s inning. The Bobcats returned in the bottom of the frame to post three runs on a Westin Gann hit, two walks, an error, and a Rasmussen sacrifice fly, posting a 5-0 advantage.
Carter Lawler came in to pitch for the Mustangs in the top of the third and, despite a few hits, held the Bobcats scoreless in the third and fourth innings.
The Mustangs replaced Lawler with Ben Steidler in the bottom of the fifth, and he plunked Gann to open the inning. A fielder’s choice, followed by a Brent Shinkle stolen base and a wild throw by the Mustang’s second baseman, found Shinkle on third with one out. Max Pulley hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Shinkle, and the Cats took a 6-0 lead.
Throughout the game, Hill continued to frustrate the Mustangs, allowing no additional hits until the top of the seventh inning. Mount Mercy could not capitalize on the hit, grounding into a double play and striking out looking to end the game.
Bobcat leaders at the plate featured Kyle Abrahamson (3-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, double),Westin Gann (2-2), and Ryan Daggs (2-3, 1 run, 1 RBI). Rhett Hill picked up the shut-out win for the Cats with an impressive performance, allowing only two hits and striking out seven batters against two walks. The win improves the Bobcats' record to 3-3 on the early season.
Texas A&M-Texarkana took the field against Mount Mercy later that afternoon and collected an 11-0 victory. The Tri-Match will resume on Saturday with games at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. The Bobcats will play at 1 and 3 p.m.