The College of the Ozarks Baseball Bobcats returned from the Easter break and hosted the William Woods Owls Tuesday afternoon. The Owls had taken both games of a double header from the Bobcats earlier in the season. The Bobcats set out to avenge one of those losses in a single nine-inning game at Coach Bob Smith Field.
The Owls broke through on the scoreboard in the first inning when Isaiah Gibbs lined a one out double into left center field. After a walk to the next Owl batter, Pyatt induced a double play ball to the second baseman. The batter however, beat the throw at first and Gibbs came in to score. The Bobcats wasted no time in answering the Owls run in the bottom of the first. Max Pulley reached on an error by the third baseman and Caleb Johnson promptly ripped an RBI triple into the right field corner. Ryan Daggs followed with an RBI single to right and the Bobcats led 2-1 after one. Both teams were set down in order in the second inning. The Owls threatened early in the third inning with a walk and a bunt single. A deep fly ball out moved the runner from second to third but two straight strike outs by Pyatt shut down the Owl’s and the threat was squelched. Max Pulley was issued a one out walk in the Bobcat third but that was the only offense that would happen. 2-1 Bobcats, after three. Pyatt retired the Owls in order in the fourth. Andrew Martinez led off with a single in the Bobcat fourth and Dawson Nimmo followed with a walk. With the next batter going down via the strikeout, it appears as though the Bobcat threat would end. A Chandler Tidwell walk would load the bases to extend the inning for Neco Lopez. Lopez lifted a 1-1 pitch deep to left center field and over the fence for a grand slam homerun and a 6-1 Bobcat lead. Max Pulley followed with a single and moved to second on a ball that got by the Owl’s catcher. A Lane McLevain pinch hit RBI single scored Pulley and the Bobcats led 7-1 after four. The top of the fifth brought life back to the Owl’s dugout. A leadoff single was followed by a strikeout and another single. A Bobcat error allowed the runners to advance to second and third and a sacrifice fly would plate the second Owl run. The next batter was retired, and the score was 7-2 after the top of the fourth. Ryan Daggs increased his RBI total with one swing of the bat to lead off the Bobcat fifth. Taking a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence, Daggs gave the Bobcats an 8-2 lead. Two strikeouts and a walk to Lincoln Rasmussen would follow the homerun but the Bobcat courtesy runner for Rasmussen was thrown out stealing and the Bobcats were retired. Joe Lee, on in relief for his second inning of work, pitched around a one out walk to shut down the Owls in the sixth inning. A Chandler Tidwell single and a Max Pulley hit by pitch had the Bobcats threatening again in the bottom of the sixth. A strikeout would have the Bobcats with runners at second and third with two outs. A high flyball on the infield was misplayed by the Owls and two runs both runners cored to make it 10-2 Bobcats. Back-to-back singles by Ryan Daggs and Andrew Martinez would give the Bobcats another run and an 11-2 lead after six. The Owls were issued a leadoff walk in the seventh, but Tad Jones came on in relief and retired the next three batters to end the top of the seventh. Neco Lopez walked in the Bobcat seventh but they couldn’t capitalize, and it was 11-2 heading to the eighth. Tad Jones retired the Owls in order in the top of the eighth to set down six straight. A one out single in the bottom of the eighth for Caden Kauffman brought up Ryan Daggs. Daggs launched his second bomb of the afternoon to drive in two and end the game, 13-2 with the run rule taking effect.
The Bobcats were led by Daggs who went 4 for 5 with two home runs and four RBI’s. Neco Lopez provided the needed spark with his grand slam in the fourth to break the game open. Max Pulley, Caleb Johnson, Lane McLevain, Caden Kauffman and Chandler Tidwell each added a hit. Andrew Martinez chipped in a pair of hits and the Bobcat pitching staff was solid throughout the game.
The Bobcats will be back in action Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10 as they host Kansas Christian College. They will play a single nine-inning game at 5 PM on Friday, and a double header, with games starting at 11 AM Saturday. The Bobcats will honor this year’s seniors between games Saturday afternoon.