Bobcats Split with Concordia
After a big win over Evangel University on Tuesday, the Bobcats stepped back on the diamond Friday to host a double header with the Concordia University Bulldogs.
The Bobcat pitching staff had struggled with control in their games earlier in the week and Tad Jones was tasked with turning that trend around in game one of the twin bill. Jones began the game pitching to contact and the Bobcat defense stepped up to keep the Bulldogs in check. A leadoff hit by Bulldog second baseman, Jayden Adams, saw him advance to third and score on a fly ball to center. Two hits later and it looked like the Bulldogs were set for a big inning. Jones continued to rely on his defense, and they continued to come through. A hard ground ball to third baseman Ryan Daggs, started a 5-3 double play to end the inning. Daggs fielded the ball, stepped on third for the force out, and threw to first to end the inning. Jones had escaped with only the one run scored. The Bobcats wasted no time in responding to the Bulldogs tallies on the scoreboard. Neco Lopez was hit by a pitch and he promptly stole second. Two quick outs would follow before the Bobcats responded with a single by Max Pulley to drive in Lopez. A walk issued to Lincoln Rasmussen would put two on and two out - with Chandler Tidwell at the dish. A two out double into the right field corner would drive in Pulley and the courtesy runner for Rasmussen, and the Bobcats would lead 3-1. The Bulldogs answered with three runs of their own in the second inning to regain the lead, 4-3. Concordia Pitcher, Alex Johnson settled in and would only allow two more base runners the rest of the way. Zac Salyers would single in the fifth and Rhett Hill would single in the seventh to round out the Bobcat offense. Concordia tacked on insurance runs in the third and seventh and won the opener, 6-3.
The Bobcats were led by Chandler Tidwell’s two RBI double and Max Pulley’s RBI single. Tad Jones threw well for the Bobcats, but the second inning burst of offense by the Bulldogs was too much to overcome.
Game two started off as a pitcher’s duel with Nolan Johnson on the mound for the Bulldogs and Trenton Hyde getting the nod for the Bobcats. Neither team could get the offense going and through four innings the only hits the Bobcats had were singles by Andrew Martinez and Caleb Johnson in the second, and a double by Neco Lopez in the third. Other than a few scattered walks, the Bulldogs were unable to reach base. The fifth inning saw the visitors from Nebraska break through on the scoreboard. A walk, an error, and a sacrifice fly led to two runs for the Bulldogs in the top of the fifth. The Bobcats needed to respond. Two walks to start the inning would help the cause as Martinez and Johnson were each issued a free pass. Neco Lopez would drill a one out single to load the bases. Ryan Daggs would draw a one out, bases loaded walk to bring in a run and the Bobcats trailed 2-1. Max Pulley would then step to the plate with the bases loaded. Pulley scorched a shot past the first baseman and into right field for a bases clearing double to make the score 4-2 Bobcats. Spencer Greene would come on in relief of Trenton Hyde and the Bulldogs were still hitless through five. Greene would continue filling up the zone and shut the Bulldogs down, facing the minimum in the sixth. The Bobcats would get a single by Caleb Johnson in their half of the sixth, but no more runs as the game headed to the seventh. Spencer Greene retired the first two Bulldog hitters in the seventh before allowing a two out walk. He responded by striking out the final batter to finish off the combined no-hitter with starter, Trenton Hyde and the Bobcats were victorious, 4-2.
The big blow for the Bobcats was the bases clearing double by Max Pulley in the fifth inning to put the Bobcats ahead for good.
The Bobcats finish the Concordia series with games at 11:00 and 1:00 on Saturday at Coach Bob Smith Field at the College of the Ozarks.