College of the Ozarks Bobcats returned to their home field to post two victories on Tuesday afternoon. The Bobcats defeated the Central Baptist College Mustangs by a score of 4-2 in game one and 7-6 in game two.
The Bobcat bats came to life in the bottom of the third inning in game one. Following a leadoff walk to freshman Cade Little and a fly ball out, three back-to-back singles by freshman Kyle Abrahamson and seniors Jay Kaufman and Kole Kelley put the Cats up 2-0.
CBC responded with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth to tie the game on a two-run homer by Sam Abernathy, which would have been a 3-run bomb if not for a leaping catch by second baseman Jay Kaufman to retire the leadoff hitter. The Cats did not waste any time regaining the lead, as Westin Gann doubled , followed by Kyle Giefer and Bryce Burtless singles, to take a 4-2 advantage at the end of four.
The fifth and sixth innings saw the Cats shut down the Mustangs 1-2-3. The Bobcats continued to scatter hits throughout those innings but did not score, leaving four runners on base. In the top of the seventh, Bobcat outfielder Abrahamson made a diving catch on a ball deep to right center field for the first out. A ground out to third and a line out to second closed out the game for a Bobcat win.
Sophomore Ozzie Sindland picked up the win for the Bobcats, two earned runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Jay Kaufman closed the game allowing no hits or runs. Leading the Cats at the plate were Kelley, Gann, Giefer, and Burtless, all of whom went 2-for-3 in the game.
In game two, C of O again put the first run on the scoreboard, tallying four runs after two outs in the bottom of the second. The inning featured a Giefer dinger to right field for the Cats’ first run, followed by a Burtless single, Max Pulley double, Abrahamson single, and a Kaufman double for the remaining three runs.
Central Baptist rallied to pick up two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth, while holding the Cats scoreless.
In the top of the seventh, the Mustangs put three runs on the board to take a 6-4 lead, but the Bobcats were not yet finished. Pulley walked, and a fly ball out followed before Kaufman doubled to deep right center. With runners on the corners, senior Kole Kelley hit a single to right center to tie the game at 6 apiece. Kelly stole a base while Gann was at the plate. Just when fans were anticipating extra innings, a Westin Gann pop up was surprisingly mishandled by the Mustang’s first baseman. Gann had new life, and he took advantage of the error by pummeling a ground rule double to right center to drive in the winning run.
While Sean Neale pitched four innings for the Bobcats, giving up one earned run on one hit, 2 walks, and a strikeout, it was Ryan Daggs who picked up the win in the seventh inning. The Bobcats were led offensively by Kaufman, who went 3-for-4, and Max Pulley at 1-2 with 2 runs scored and an RBI.
The doubleheader wins bring C of O’s season record to 18-21. The Bobcats will play at home this weekend, as they host Bellevue University and Columbia College in a Tri-Match. Game times on Friday will be at 1, 3:30, and 6 p.m.; Saturday games are scheduled for 11 a.m., 1:30, and 4 p.m. The Bobcats will play the two later games each day. Recognition of the Bobcat senior players will take place on Saturday, between the 1:30 and 4 p.m. games.