After sweeping a four game set at Champion Christian a week earlier, the College of the Ozarks Baseball Bobcats looked to continue their streak as they headed to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. On a cloudy, chilly, and windy weekend, the Bobcats and Tigers were set to square off in a four game series.
C of O vs Iowa Wesleyan University – Game 1
With Tyler Buchanan on the hill in game one, the Bobcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Chuck Hill reached on a Tiger error and Ryan Daggs singled. Caleb Johnson ripped an RBI single to score Hill and put the Bobcats on the board. Spencer Greene reached on a fielder’s choice and Daggs moved to third on the play that retired Johnson at second. Trey Riley reached on a fielder’s choice as Daggs was thrown out trying to score and it looked as though the Bobcats would settle for only one run. An error by the Tiger catcher trying to throw out a stealing Trey Riley would allow Greene to score and the Bobcats took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the inning. Buchanan pitched around a single in the bottom half to retire the side and the Bobcats led 2-0 after one. The bats were silent for both teams until the top of the fourth when Trey Riley singled for the Bobcats. That was all the offence the Bobcats could put together and the 2-0 lead was still holding up. The Tigers picked up a run in the bottom of the inning on a single, an error, and a sacrifice fly and the lead was cut to 2-1. The Bobcats would get a single by Isaiah Smith in the fifth but no more and the struggle to string hits together was becoming a concern. The offense for the Tigers, on the other hand picked up in the fifth. A trio of singles, a hit by pitch, and a double scored three runs for the home team and the Bobcats trailed 4-2 after five. The Bobcat bats were stymied, and the Tigers added another run in the sixth to lead 5-2. Down to their final three outs, the Bobcats needed a rally. Chandler Tidwell reached on an error to start things off in the seventh, but the string of hits did not show up and game one went to the Tigers, 5-2.
The Bobcats were limited to singles by Chuck Hill (2), Ryan Daggs, Caleb Johnson (RBI), Trey Riley, and Isaiah Smith. Tyler Buchanan took the loss on the mound, giving up four runs on six hits and striking out seven.
C of O vs Iowa Wesleyan University – Game 2
Rhett Hill took the mound for the Bobcats in game two and he was tasked with getting the Bobcats back in the win column. The Bobcats would have to put some hits together in this game if they were going to supply the needed run support for a win. Chuck Hill started things off with a single to center but a double play helped the IWU pitcher get out of the inning unscathed. Hill took care of business on the mound and kept the Tiger bats off balance through the early innings. The Bobcats picked up a single by Zane Kelley in the second but neither team could get their offense rolling. The Tigers opened things up in the bottom of the fifth, however, with four runs, on four hits, and a Bobcat error. The Bobcats answered in the top of the sixth with a pair of runs when Ryan Daggs led off with a double and Caleb Johnson singled. Spencer Greene walked to load the bases and Cadan Kauffman picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to center. Another run came in on an error by the Tiger first baseman and the Bobcats trailed 4-2 heading to the bottom of the sixth. Rhett Hill set the Tigers down in order in the sixth and the Bobcats found themselves with their backs against the wall. Trailing 4-2 and down to their final three outs, it was time to rally. One quick out was recorded before a Chuck Hill single and a Ryan Daggs walk provided a glimmer of hope. A flyout to center put the Bobcats down to their final out with a pair of runners on and trailing 4-2. Spencer Greene stepped to the plate for the Bobcats and promptly provided some seventh inning heroics. A deep fly ball was smashed into the wind in left and it dropped for a double to drive in Hill and Daggs. Greene’s two RBI’s tied the score 4-4. The Bobcats were not done as Kauffman drew a two out walk and Trey Riley singled to drive in Greene. Now leading 5-4, it would have been easy for the Bobcats to let up. This, however, was not the time. An error by the Tiger catcher and aggressive Bobcat baserunning allowed Kauffman to score and Riley moved to third. Isaiah Smith walked, and the Tigers made a pitching change. A shortstop error allowed Tidwell to reach and Smith and Riley both scored. Blake Hultgren kept the line moving with a walk of his own and Chuck Hill came through again with an RBI single. Ryan Daggs was hit by a pitch and the last out was recorded with the bases loaded. When the dust had settled, the Bobcats had scored seven runs, all with two outs, and led 9-4. Rhett Hill recorded the first out of the Tiger seventh before allowing a pair of hits. Ryan Daggs came on in relief and struck out the final two Tiger batters to close out the 9-4 win.
Chuck Hill led the way with three hits in five tries. Spencer Green (2 RBI’s) and Ryan Daggs each added a double to the offensive effort with Caleb Johnson, Zane Kelley, Trey Riley, and Blake Hultgren chipping in a hit as well. Rhett Hill picked up the win going 6.1 innings, giving up four runs on four hits and striking out seven. Daggs picked up the save for the Bobcats.
C of O vs Iowa Wesleyan University – Game 3
Coming off a huge come from behind win Friday, the Bobcats sent Spencer Greene to the mound in game one Saturday to keep things rolling. The Bobcats picked up where they left off Friday with a Chuck Hill walk, a stolen base, and a Spencer Greene RBI single for the 1-0 lead. That was all the Bobcats would get and IWU wasted no time in responding. Putting up four runs on two hits and an error, in the bottom of the first, the Tigers took a 4-1 lead in the early innings. The Bobcats were ready to battle however and came out fired up in the second. Cadan Kauffman led off with a walk and Chandler Tidwell reached on a hit by pitch to start the inning. Blake Hultgren singled to load the bases and it was time to rally. Chuck Hill reached on an error scoring two runs and putting runners at first and third. Caleb Johnson then ripped a two out double scoring another two runs and giving the Bobcats a 5-4 lead heading to the bottom of the second. Iowa Wesleyan answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning and the Bobcats trailed 6-5 after two. It appeared this game would be an offensive shootout. Cadan Kauffman walked in the third and made it to third but the Bobcats were unable to advance him the 90 feet needed to score. IWU was retired in order in their half of the third and the Bobcats stepped up to rally again in the fourth. Isaiah Smith singled then stole second to lead off the inning. Chuck Hill walked, and Smith was retired at third trying to advance on a pop out. Caleb Johnson singled moving Hill to third and Hill scored on an error. A double play ended the Bobcat half and the score was tied, 6-6. The Tigers refused to be outdone and put up three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead 9-6. Both teams went down quietly in the fifth and the Tigers added another run in the bottom of the sixth. Trailing 10-6, the Bobcats could only get a Spencer Greene single in the seventh and the Tigers took game three, 10-6.
Caleb Johnson (2B), Spencer Greene, and Chuck Hill led the offense with two hits each. Blake Hultgren and Isaiah Smith each added a hit to the cause and Spencer Green took the loss on the mound for the Bobcats.
C of O vs Iowa Wesleyan University – Game 4
Having fallen in game three, the Bobcats now needed to set their sights on a series split. Riley Loyd was tasked with the pitching duties and getting the Bobcats the win. The Bobcats went quietly in the first inning and Loyd pitched around a one out single in the bottom half to keep the game scoreless. Trey Riley singled in the second but that was the extent of the offensive threat. Loyd continued to keep the Tigers stymied through two and the Bobcats broke through on the scoreboard in the third. Isaiah Smith ripped a one out single and moved up on a passed ball. Ryan Daggs then drilled a two out double to right to drive in Smith for the 1-0 lead. IWU answered in the bottom of the third to tie the score 1-1 and the battle was on. The Bobcats continued to apply pressure in the top of the fourth when Green singled to left and Trey Riley walked. Kauffman reached on a fielder’s choice when Green was forced out at third. Titus Atkins ripped an RBI single to left center to score Riley and Blake Hultgren added to the total with an RBI single of his own. Isaiah Smith followed with a single and Daggs came through with a two out, RBI single to drive in Atkins and Hultgren. The Bobcats led 5-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth. Loyd took care of the Tigers through the fifth inning and the Bobcats threatened again in the top of the sixth. Blake Hultgren singled and Isaiah Smith reached on an error. A ground out to second advanced the runners and an intentional walk to Ryan Daggs loaded the bases with two outs. A ground out ended the inning and the Bobcats held a 5-1 lead going to the bottom of the sixth. A single and a walk were sandwiched around a pair of strikeouts and Loyd was in a bit of a jam. A Bobcat error and a single scored a trio of runs and Ryan Daggs came on in relief. The next out was recorded, and the Bobcats were clinging to a 5-4 lead heading to the seventh. No insurance could be found in the top half of the inning and it was up to Daggs and the Bobcat defense to preserve the win. Daggs made quick work of the Tigers in the seventh, striking out the side and securing the 5-4 Bobcat win.
Spencer Greene, Blake Hultgren, Isaiah Smith, and Ryan Daggs (2B and 3 RBI’s) each posted a two-hit game while Trey Riley and Titus Atkins each added a hit in the win. Riley Loyd took the win and Ryan Daggs earned the save to get the series split.
The Bobcats are scheduled to be in action Wednesday in a 6 PM start at Arvest Park in Springdale, Arkansas. The Bobcats will take on Ecclesia College in the home stadium of the Arkansas Naturals.
The Bobcats will hit the road again this weekend as they head to Moore, Oklahoma to take on Randall University.