College of the Ozarks Baseball Bobcats split their two games played at home on Saturday, picking up a come-from-behind walk-off 4-3 win over Mount Mercy University (Iowa) and falling 8-3 to Texas A&M-Texarkana.
The Bobcats opened their day with an early afternoon game against the Mount Mercy Mustangs. MMU tallied the first run of the game in the top of the second on a single off freshman starter Michael White, two walks, and a pass ball. The Bobcats evened the score in the bottom of the third, as second baseman Brent Shinkle led off with a double to left center. Sophomore Max Pulley singled to advance Shinkle to third, and Kyle Abrahamson hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the run.
The two teams were scoreless in the fourth and fifth, but Mount Mercy opened the top of six with a pair of singles, a bobbled ball by the shortstop, and a hit by pitch to score a run. A Bobcat pitching change ensued, and right-hander Spencer Greene struck out the next batter. However, the Mustangs were not finished and followed up with a single to drive in a second run before the Bobcats turned a double play to close out the inning.
Following a scoreless bottom of the sixth by the Bobcats and top of the seventh by the Mustangs, C of O came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, trailing 3-1. Nathan Barnes, who entered the game in relief in the fourth inning, collected two quick outs to open the inning. Designated hitter Rhett Hill came to the plate and reached base on a bobbled ball by the Mustang’s second baseman. A subsequent walk and hit batsman saw Barnes exit and Brady Donohue take the mound. Junior Dawson Nimmo was called upon, with the bases loaded, to pinch hit for the Bobcats, and he certainly delivered. Dawson singled to center field to drive in two runs and tie the game. Right fielder Max Pulley stepped to the plate and ripped a single to center field to score the winning run in walk-off fashion with a 4-3 victory.
Bobcat plate leaders featured Dawson Nimmo (1-1, 2 RBI), Ryan Daggs (2-3, 1 double), Brent Shinkle (1-2, 1 run, 1 double), Max Pulley (2-4, 1 RBI), and Kyle Abrahamson (1-2, 1 RBI). Freshman Tad Jones picked up the win for the Bobcats, allowing one hit in two innings, striking out two. Nathan Barnes suffered the loss for the Mustangs.
Game two for the Bobcats immediately followed, as C of O faced off against Texas A&M-Texarkana (TAMUT), with senior Kyle Giefer on the bump. The Eagles opened the game with a single and advanced the runner with a sac bunt. A single by Eagles’ first baseman Chris McGinty drove in a run. The Bobcats responded in the bottom of the frame, as Pulley led off with a double to deep left center, followed by an Abrahamson single. Daggs pushed Pulley across the plate with a ground ball to tie the score.
C of O scored in the bottom of the third on an Abrahamson lead-off double, a wild pitch, and a grounder by Daggs to score Abrahamson. Rhett Hill followed with a double to center field but was left stranded. While Giefer held the Eagles scoreless from the second through fourth innings, the Bobcats added another run in the bottom of the fourth on a Pulley homerun to left center.
The top of the fifth found Giefer experiencing some difficulties, as the Eagles’ lead-off batter was hit by a pitch and three of the next four hitters doubled to score three runs. Freshman Tad Jones took the mound in relief and gave up a single, and a subsequent sac fly scored the fourth run of the inning for TAMUT. The Eagles tagged on two additional runs in the sixth and one in the seventh, while holding the Bobcats scoreless, giving Texas A&M the 8-3 victory.
Leading the Bobcats at the plate were Pulley (2-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI, double, homerun, walk), Kyle Abrahamson (2-4, 1 run, double), and Rhett Hill (2-4, 1 double). Giefer takes the loss, and Mike Herrera picks up the TAMUT win.
The Bobcats’ season record now stands at 4-4. C of O will host Evangel University on Tuesday afternoon with a doubleheader beginning at noon.