The College of the Ozarks Baseball Bobcats traveled to Chickasha, Oklahoma over the weekend to face one of the top NAIA teams in the country. The Drovers of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is the number 12 team in the nation in the latest NAIA rankings and the Bobcats knew they would need their “A” game in order to come home with some wins.
C of O vs USAO – Game 1
The Bobcats sent Rhett Hill to the mound in game one. Returning from being sidelined due to arm discomfort, Hill was tasked with getting the Bobcats off on the right foot in what was sure to be a tough series. The Bobcats jumped on the board early with a Ryan Daggs single, followed by a Spencer Greene double. Daggs advanced to third and scored on a Drover wild pitch to give the Bobcats the early 1-0 lead. USAO responded in the bottom of the first with a single and a pair of homeruns to take a 3-1 lead to the second inning. Neither team would produce offense in the second and the Bobcats could just manage a Chuck Hill single and a walk to Daggs in the third. The Drovers were able to score four runs in the third and Colin Pyatt came on to pitch. Trailing 7-1, the Bobcats found themselves in a challenging hole. Another big inning in the Drover fourth plated five runs and Ben Meyer came on to close out the inning on the mound. Chandler Tidwell ripped a solo homerun to open the top of the fifth to give the Bobcats some excitement, but that was the only offense they could muster. The Drovers pushed another pair of runs across in the bottom of the fifth and things were not looking good for the Bobcats. Trailing 14-2, the Cats had a lot of work to do in the late innings. A Caleb Johnson single was the extent of the offense in the sixth and Joe Lee pitched a scoreless sixth to send the game to the top of the seventh. Tidwell singled to open the inning and pinch runner Kyle Brattin moved to second on a wild pitch. Zane Kelley walked, and an Isaiah Smith single loaded the bases. Chuck Hill picked up an RBI the hard way as he was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. Ryan Daggs brought his bat to life, drilling a grand slam over the wall to add four additional tallies. Caleb Johnson scorched a one-out double to keep things moving and Trey Riley was hit by a pitch. Cadan Kauffman singled up the middle to score Johnson and the Drovers made a pitching change. The bullpen regained control of the situation and the next two Bobcats were retired to end the game with the Drovers outscoring the Bobcats, 14-8.
Ryan Daggs led the offense with two hits, in three tries, with a grand slam and four RBI’s. Caleb Johnson (2B) and Chandler Tidwell (HR) each had two hits and Chuck Hill, Spencer Greene (2B), Cadan Kauffman, and Isaiah Smith each added a hit to the cause.
C of O vs USAO – Game 2
Trenton Hyde saw his first action of the season in game two after being sidelined with an injury. The senior pitcher took the mound and threw three solid innings, giving up two runs on two hits, with a pair of strikeouts. The Drovers took the early lead in game two, scoring a single run in each of the first two frames. The Bobcat bats were silenced through the first two innings but came to life in the third. Isaiah Smith ripped a one-out single and Chuck Hill doubled to move Smith to third. Ryan Daggs came through with a double to right to drive in Smith, and the Bobcats were on the board. Spencer Greene singled to score Hill and Daggs and the Bobcats took a 3-2 lead. Caleb Johnson kept things moving with a single to left and Cadan Kauffman walked. Greene came in to score on a wild pitch and the lead was 4-2. With Kyle Brattin running for Johnson at third and Kauffman on at first, the Bobcat double steal was executed perfectly and Brattin scurried across the plate on the throw to second. Chandler Tidwell singled to score Kauffman with two outs and Zane Kelley followed with a single. A pitching change for the Drovers induced a force out at second, and the Bobcats took a 6-2 lead to the bottom of the third. Hyde took care of business and shut the Drovers down in the third. Spencer Greene singled in the top of the fourth, but the Bobcats could not move him around. With the Bobcats leading 6-2, things got interesting in the bottom of the fourth. With runners at first and second, a hit to the right side looked like it would score a pair of runs for the Drovers. One run scored and as the next runner rounded third, he fell between the base and home plate. The throw from the outfield came to third base where Ryan Daggs gave chase toward the approaching runner. The runner veered out near the outfield grass and advanced to third base. Thinking the runner was out for being out of the baseline, Daggs ran to tag the runner between third and home who was still on the ground. The inning appeared to be over with the Bobcats leading 6-3. The umpires then converged and made a controversial call that made both runners safe and kept the inning going. A Drover homerun tied the score and the game moved to the fifth inning. Neither team would produce any offense until the Drovers managed a run in the bottom of the seventh to take the game 7-6.
Spencer Greene recorded a pair of hits to lead the Bobcats while Chuck Hill, Ryan Daggs, Caleb Johnson, Rhett Hill, Chandler Tidwell, Zane Kelley, and Isaiah Smith each added one hit.
C of O vs USAO – Game 3
Feeling as though they’d had a game taken from them the day before, the Bobcats were faced with the challenge of regrouping and preparing for day two. Riley Loyd took his 4-0 record to the mound to get the Bobcats back on track. The Bobcat bats could not get warmed up and base runners were hard to come by as the Drovers put their top pitcher on the mound. The Drovers broke through in the third inning, scoring four runs. While the Bobcat bats remained stymied, the Drovers tacked on two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. Trailing 7-0, the Bobcats had only managed a double off the bat of Spencer Greene in the top of the second. Chandler Tidwell led off the sixth inning with a double and Isaiah Smith drove him in with a one-out single to get the Bobcats on the board. That was all the offense the Bobcats would get, and the Drovers took game three, 7-1.
Spencer Greene and Chandler Tidwell each recorded a double and Isaiah Smith’s RBI single were the highlights for the Bobcats offense.
C of O vs USAO – Game 4
Isaiah Smith headed to the mound to start game four. The Bobcats were hoping to escape with a win, but the challenge was a tall one. As the Bobcat bats remained silent, a single off the bat of Chuck Hill in the first inning would be the extent of the offensive noise through the first three innings. The Drovers, on the other hand, wasted no time getting on the board. Scoring a single run in the first inning, USAO took the early lead. Four more runs crossed in the second and another run in the third and the Bobcats were in a deep hole early on. Spencer Greene singled in the fourth for the Bobcats, but stringing hits together was not to be. The Drovers would add three more runs in the sixth to lead 9-0 and the Bobcats had work to do. The Bobcats showed signs of life in the top of the seventh. Zane Kelley reached on an error and Chandler Tidwell drew a one-out walk. Cadan Kauffman singled to drive in Kelley and the Bobcats were on the board. An Isaiah Smith walk loaded the bases and an error by the Drovers on Chuck Hill’s hit to right scored a pair of runs to make it 9-3. Unfortunately, the rally would end there and the Bobcats fell in game four, 9-3.
Chuck Hill, Spencer Greene, Trey Riley, and Cadan Kauffman gathered the only hits for the Bobcats in game four.
The Bobcats are back in action Tuesday afternoon as they make the short trip north to Ozark and US Ballpark. The Bobcats will face the Patriots of Baptist Bible College in a midweek double-header with games beginning at 2:00.