On an absolutely gorgeous day for baseball at Coach Bob Smith Field at the College of the Ozarks, the Bobcats hosted Ecclesia College for day two of a four game series. After splitting the doubleheader on Friday, the Bobcats were looking to add a couple games to the win column on Saturday.
Game one was quiet through the first three innings as neither team could get the bats going. The Bobcats got doubles from Lane McLevain and Dawson Nimmo but couldn’t come up with the timely hit to get on the board. The Royals used three singles and a walk to put three runs on the board in the fourth inning and things didn’t look good for the home team. The Bobcat bats remained silent in their half of the fourth and Neco Lopez pitched around a lead-off single in the top of the fifth to keep the score 3-0. Chuck Hill and Caden Kauffman hit back to back singles to lead off the Bobcat fifth. Andrew Martinez muscled a ball over the right field fence for a three-run blast and the Bobcats tied it, 3-3. Max Pulley kept the rally going with a single to center and Lane McLevain joined the hit parade with a two-run shot over the left field fence to make it 5-3 Bobcats. The Royals would answer with a run in the sixth, but the Bobcats responded on cue and scored on a Chuck Hill single, a Caden Kauffman sacrifice, and a Max pulley RBI single to lead 6-4. Neco Lopez pitched around a lead-off double and a walk in the seventh to go the distance for the 6-4 win.
Andrew Martinez’ three-run homerun and Lane McLevain’s two-run homer led the charge for the Bobcats. McLevain also added a double to the mix. Max Pulley had two hits, including and RBI single. Chuck Hill had two hits. Lincoln Rasmussen, Dawson Nimmo, and Caden Kauffman, chipped in one hit each for the Bobcat offensive effort.
The Royals wasted no time getting on the board in game two as they posted a run on two singles in the opening frame. The Bobcats threatened in the first with a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice but could not push the run across. A single off the bat of Neco Lopez and another walk in the second would be all the offense for the Bobcats as a double play ended the inning. Two more hits and a walk would add a run for Ecclesia in the top of the third. Lane McLevain singled in the Bobcat half of the third and Spencer Greene doubled in the fourth, but both runners were stranded, and the Royals led 2-0 heading to the fifth. A pair of doubles, two hit batsmen, and a walk would increase the Royals lead to 4-0. A Max Pulley homerun in the bottom of the fifth put the Bobcats on the board but the Royals answered with a run of their own in the sixth. Neco Lopez singled to lead off the sixth for the Bobcats and a series of miscues, prompted by aggressive base running, allowed him to come around to score, making it 5-2. Ecclesia added an insurance run in the seventh to make the core 6-2 and the Bobcats would need some 7th inning heroics if they were going to mount a come-back. Ryan Daggs led off the seventh with a double to left. Lincoln Rasmussen singled and Spencer Green followed with an RBI single. 6-3 Royals. Neco Lopez singled to drive in another run and things began to get interesting. Chandler Tidwell doubled to left and another run made the score 6-5. Andrew Martinez came to the plate with the tying run just 90 feet away at third base. Martinez lifted a deep fly ball to center for the sacrifice and the run scored making it 6-6. Back to back walks to Max Pulley and Lane McLevain brought up Ryan Daggs with the bases loaded and two outs. Battling pitch for pitch, Daggs found himself in a pressure cooker with a 2-2 count and bases loaded. The next pitch was down the middle and Ryan Daggs lifted a deep fly ball into left field. Back, back, back, and over the fence for a walk-off grand slam for the 10-6 win!
The Bobcats were led at the plate by Ryan Daggs with a double and a grand slam. Neco Lopez added three hits. Spencer Greene chipped in two hits with a double and a single. Max Pulley contributed a solo home run and Lane McLevain, Lincoln Rasmussen, Chandler Tidwell, and Andrew Martinez each added a hit.
The Bobcats will be back in action Tuesday, March 23 on the road against Southwestern Christian and March 26 & 27 at home as they take on the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in a weekend series at Coach Bob Smith Field.