The College of the Ozarks Baseball Bobcats hosted the Royals of Ecclesia College Friday and Saturday in their final homestand of the season. With the post season right around the corner, the Bobcats were looking to continue rolling from their series sweep over Dallas Christian the week before.
College of the Ozarks vs Ecclesia – Game 1
Rhett Hill took the mound in game one and the effects of the long ball made their way into the game early. The Royals put a run on the board in the second inning with a double and a single, then added a pair of solo homeruns in the third to take a 3-0 lead. The Bobcats were limited to singles by Spencer Greene in the first and Trey Riley in the second. Ryan Daggs doubled in the third, but the Bobcats were unable to string hits together to score runs. The Bobcats turned the tide in the fourth inning with a walk to Caleb Johnson followed by a Titus Atkins single to right. The big blow came from Cadan Kauffman as he sent one over the left field wall for a three-run shot, tying the game. The Bobcats were unable to add more, and the game went to the fifth knotted up 3-3. Colin Pyatt came on in relief in the fifth and the Royals went back to work. A single, a pair of doubles, and a missed attempt for an out at the plate led to three Royal runs and a 6-3 game in the fifth. Devin McCullough came on to pick up the final out of the inning and the Bobcats had work to do. Singles by Ryan Daggs and Spencer Greene were erased with a double play and the game moved to the late innings. Neither team could generate offense in the sixth and Joe Lee came on to pitch the seventh and set the Royals down in order. It was going to take some seventh inning heroics if the Bobcats were going to come out with a win in the series opener. Zane Kelley led off the inning with a single to right and Isaiah Smith followed with a double to center. The Bobcats were unable to keep the line moving and the Royals took game one 6-3.
The Bobcats managed nine hits but couldn’t string them together to score the needed runs. Ryan Daggs (2B) and Spencer Greene recorded a pair of hits each and Titus Atkins, Caden Kauffman (HR), Trey Riley, Zane Kelley, and Isaiah Smith each added one hit.
College of the Ozarks vs Ecclesia – Game 2
Tyler Buchanan went to the hill for the start in game two and the Bobcats were looking to get back in the win column. Buchanan took care of business in the first and Chuck Hill led off the Bobcat half with a double. Ryan Daggs traded spots with Hill with a double of his own and the Bobcats took a 1-0 lead. A walk to Rhett Hill and an error on a stolen base allowed Daggs to score and Caleb Johnson ripped a two-run shot over the left field fence to give the Bobcats a 4-0 lead. Cadan Kauffman drew a walk and Titus Atkins reached on an error but that’s all the Bobcats would get. Buchanan set the Royals down in order in the second and another long inning ensued for the Bobcats. An Isaiah Smith walk started the inning and a Chuck Hill sacrifice moved him to second. Ryan Daggs walked, and Spencer Greene scored Smith with a single. Rhett Hill singled to load the bases and Caleb Johnson picked up an RBI with a walk. The next two outs were recorded, and the Bobcats took a 6-0 lead to the third. Buchanan pitched out of a bases loaded Jam in the fourth but allowed a run to score on four hits and a walk. A double play minimized the damage and the Bobcats maintained a 6-1 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth. Spencer Greene started the offense in the fourth with a one out double and Rhett Hill walked. Caleb Johnson followed with a walk and Cadan Kauffman picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to right. An RBI single by Titus Atkins moved the score to 8-1 as the game moved to the fifth inning. A leadoff homerun by the Royals cut the lead to 8-2 and they weren’t finished. Another double and a home run made the score 8-4 and a double followed to force a Bobcat pitching change. Devin McCullough came on in relief and closed the door. The Bobcats picked up a single off the bat of Isaiah Smith and a walk to Ryan Daggs in the fifth but that was all the offense and the game moved to the sixth. McCullough faced the minimum in the in the sixth and Caleb Johnson led off the bottom half with a single. A one-out walk was issued to Titus Atkins, but a double play ended the inning. Ryan Daggs came on to pitch in relief to try and secure the final three outs of the game. The Royals picked up a run on a hit by pitch and a double, but Daggs set down the next three straight and the Bobcats took game two 8-5.
Tyler Buchanan picked up the win on the mound for the Bobcats. Spencer Greene and Caleb Johnson (HR) led the way with a pair of hits and Chuck Hill, Ryan Daggs, Rhett Hill, Titus Atkins, and Isaiah Smith each added a hit.
College of the Ozarks vs Ecclesia – Game 3
After a split in the first two games on Friday, the Bobcats were looking to finish the regular season on a high note and head into postseason play on a roll. Trenton Hyde took the hill and the Bobcats had beautiful weather for baseball.
The homerun ball made an early appearance in this one as the Royals used a pair of walks, a double, and a homerun to take an early 4-0 lead. The Bobcats came up needing some offense and it didn’t take long for them to respond. With one out on the board, Ryan Daggs took the Royals pitcher deep and gave the Bobcats their first run. Spencer Greene followed with a shot over the centerfield fence and the Bobcats had cut the deficit in half, 4-2. Caleb Johnson ripped a single but that was all the offense in the first and the game moved to the second inning. The struggles continued for the Bobcat defense as Hyde walked the first batter in the inning and Riley Loyd came on in relief. A trio of singles and a walk were followed by a ground ball out and a sacrifice fly, and the Royals led 8-2 heading to the bottom of the second. Trey Riley started the offense in the bottom of the inning with a single and Chuck Hill followed with one of his own. A walk to Ryan Daggs loaded the bases with two outs and a walk to Spencer Greene pushed a run across. Caleb Johnson singled, and the ball scooted by the left fielder to clear the bases and get the Bobcats within two, 8-6. The final out was recorded on the next batter and the game moved to the third. A walk and a double grew the Royal lead back to three in the top of the third. A hit batsman was followed by a homerun and one out later, the Royals repeated the pattern with another hit by pitch and a homerun. When the dust settled, the Royals lead was 14-6. A Titus Atkins single was followed by a Cadan Kauffman double to start the Bobcat half. Two quick outs followed before Chuck Hill reached on an error that scored Atkins and Kauffman. A strikeout ended the inning and the Bobcats trailed 14-8 moving to the fourth. A pair of singles, a pair of walks, a double, and a Bobcat error led to five more Royal runs in the fourth. The Bobcats put a run on the board in the bottom of the inning with singles by Spencer Greene and Rhett Hill followed by a double by Titus Atkins. Ben Meyer pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth with the Bobcats going down quietly in the fifth. A Spencer Green double and a sacrifice fly by Zane Kelley scored another Bobcat run and a Titus Atkins shot over the right field fence cut the deficit to 19-11 heading to the top of the seventh. Caleb Johnson came on to pitch the seventh and a Bobcat miscue and a double led to another Royal run. The Bobcats couldn’t get the bats going in the seventh and the Royals took game one, 20-11.
Spencer Greene (HR, 2B) and Titus Atkins (HR, 2B) led the offense with three hits each and Caleb Johnson contributed a multi-hit game with two hits. Chuck Hill, Ryan Daggs (HR), Rhett Hill, Cadan Kauffman, and Trey Riley each tacked on a hit in the loss.
College of the Ozarks vs Ecclesia – Game 4
Spencer Greene took the mound in the second game of the day looking to get things back on track for the Bobcats. After Greene pitched around a single in the top of the first, the Bobcats wasted little time jumping on the board. Isaiah Smith reached on an error and Chuck Hill followed with a single. An error on the play allowed Hill to advance to second and Smith to score, giving the Cats the 1-0 lead. A Spencer Greene single scored Hill and the Bobcats took a 2-0 lead to the second. The first two outs of the top of the second came quick but a double, a pair of walks, and a hit by pitch gave the Royals their first run. Greene pitched out of the bases loaded jam and only allowed the single run. The Bobcats clung to a 2-1 lead coming to bat in the second. An infield single for Zane Kelley started the bottom of the second and Derek Skaggs reached on an error that allowed Kelley to come all the way around to score. Skaggs advanced to third and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Chuck Hill drove in another run. A Ryan Daggs solo blast gave the Bobcats a 5-1 lead heading to the third. Greene tossed three routine fly balls to get through the top half and Caleb Johnson started the offense in the bottom half of the third with a single. A walk to Titus Atkins and a sacrifice bunt by Cadan Kauffman moved the runners to second and third. Zane Kelley drew a walk to load the bases and Derek Skaggs was hit by a pitch to pick up an RBI. A sacrifice fly by Isaiah Smith scored Atkins and the Bobcat lead grew to 7-1 after three. A three up, three down fourth by Greene brought the Bobcats back to the plate. Ryan Daggs led off with a walk and Spencer Greene singled. A double off the bat of Caleb Johnson scored two and Johnson promptly stole third. Cadan Kauffman was hit by a pitch and a double steal allowed Johnson to score and the Bobcats took a 10-1 lead into the fifth. The Ecclesia bats came to life in the top of the fifth and they used a pair of singles, a triple, and a homerun to put four runs on the board, cutting the Bobcat lead to 10-5. A Derek Skaggs single and a walk to Chuck Hill was the extent of the offense in the Bobcat fifth and the game moved to the sixth. A pair of singles, a double, and an error pushed two runs across for the Royals and Ryan Daggs came on to pitch in relief. A sacrifice, a single, and another error kept things moving for the Royals and they had runners at first and second with the Bobcat lead now 10-9. A Royal single scored the tying run before an infield popup ended the inning and the score was tied 10-10 with the Bobcats coming up. Hits were evasive for the Bobcats in the bottom of the frame and the game moved to the top of the seventh. Both pitchers took care of business in the seventh and Daggs shut down the Royals in the top of the eighth. Two quick outs looked to spell another inning until Spencer Greene drilled a deep flyball over the fence in center for the walk-off win.
Ryan Daggs picked up the win on the mound and Spencer Greene led the offensive attack with three hits, including the game winning blast. Caleb Johnson recorded a pair of hits and Chuck Hill, Ryan Daggs, Titus Atkins, Zane Kelley, and Derek Skaggs added one hit each.
The Bobcats will be back in action May 9-12 in the NCCAA Regional Tournament. The tournament will be hosted at College of the Ozarks (Coach Bob Smith Field) and Baptist Bible College (US Baseball Park). The schedule will be announced this week.