While most students were relaxing and away from campus for spring break, the Bobcat Baseball team continued with work as usual. Prepping for a weekend series against Baptist Bible College, the Bobcats had a unique schedule. With the close proximity of the two schools, the Thursday contests would be played at US Ballpark in Ozark, Missouri and the final two games would be played at Coach Bob Smith Field on the C of O campus. The weather was not very spring-like but the Bobcats and Patriots were set to square off in a four-game series.
CofO vs Baptist Bible College – Thursday, March 16 – Game 1
The Bobcats opened the game with a pair of runs off a Chuck Hill single, an RBI double by Ryan Daggs, and a single by Spencer Greene. Rhett Hill drove in the second run with a ground ball to the shortstop and the Bobcats took the early 2-0 lead. Rhett Hill went to the mound for the Cats and the Patriots went down quietly in the first. The Bobcat bats were silenced in the second and BBC found a way to cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning. Things remained quiet until the fifth, with the Bobcats getting singles by Chuck Hill and Caleb Johnson along the way. BBC came to life in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs and it looked like the Bobcats were in trouble. Trailing 4-2 after five, the Bobcats needed to respond. Blake Hultgren started the sixth inning rally with a single and Chuck Hill reached on a fielder’s choice. Ryan Daggs singled to score a run and Rhett Hill followed with an RBI single to even the score. Colin Pyatt came on to pitch after Hill recorded the first two outs, and the score was held at 4-4. With the possibility of extra innings looming, the Bobcats pulled out the lumber in the top of the seventh. Trey Riley led off with a single and advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch. A Sacrifice fly by Zane Kelly drove in Riley and the Bobcats had something going. A walk to Hultgren was followed by a Chuck Hill single, and Ryan Daggs added to his RBI total with a single to score Hultgren. Spencer Greene delivered the big blow with a line drive to center that skipped all the way to the wall. Greene rounded one bag, then the next, and the next, only to meet Coach Richardson waving him home. The play at the plate was not in time and Greene had hit an inside the park homerun that was good for three RBI’s and a 9-4 Bobcat lead. The Patriots were retired in the bottom of the seventh and the Bobcats claimed the opening game victory, 9-4.
Chuck Hill and Ryan Daggs (2B) had three hits each and Spencer Greene (HR) added a pair of hits. Caleb Johnson, Rhett Hill, and Trey Riley each chipped in one hit in the win.
CofO vs Baptist Bible College – Thursday, March 16 – Game 2
With the wind continuing to whip around US Ballpark, the Bobcats and Patriots were set to do battle in game two. Tyler Buchanan took the mound for the Cats, and they were hoping to carry their late inning momentum into the second game.
The Patriots jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after a quiet first inning for the Bobcats. The second inning was quiet for both sides and the Bobcats came to the plate in the third looking to get on the board. Logan Daniels reached with a hit by pitch and immediately stole second. A Chuck Hill single drove in Daniels and the score was tied at 1-1. Ryan Daggs singled to move Hill to third and Spencer Greene added a two RBI single to his stats to give the Bobcats a 3-1 lead. The Bobcats had given Buchanan a cushion to work with as he went back to the bump for the bottom of the third. Neither team would create substantial offense until the top of the sixth. A Patriot miscue put Spencer Greene aboard and a Caleb Johnson single added another runner. Rhett Hill walked to load the bases and an Aaron Fisher ground out scored Greene. Ty Rush singled to drive in Johnson and an error scored Hill. The game moved to the bottom of the sixth with the Bobcats leading 6-1. Buchanan had scattered the BBC hits and was now in full control. A pair of singles helped BBC threaten in the sixth, but Buchanan slammed the door shut. The Bobcats went down quietly in the seventh and it was up to Buchanan to close out the game. A Patriot single would be all the offense and Buchanan finished the complete game and took the win, 6-1.
The Bobcat offense produced five hits, with Chuck Hill, Ryan Daggs, Spencer Greene, Caleb Johnson, and Tyas Rush all contributing one hit each.
CofO vs Baptist Bible College – Friday, March 17 – Game 3
The series moved to College of the Ozarks for games three and four and the Bobcats were looking to continue their streak. Spencer Greene took the mound for the Bobcats and the offense for both teams was scarce in the opening innings. A Chuck Hill double in the first, and an Aaron Fisher single in the second was all the noise the Bobcats would make. Greene cruised through the BBC lineup through the third, then doubled to help himself in the bottom half of the inning. Caleb Johnson singled, and the Cats took the 1-0 lead. The Bobcats were retired, and the Patriots came to the plate in the fourth. A pair of singles threatened but Greene closed the door to bring the Cats back to the plate. Both teams were silent with the bats until the sixth when BBC came to life. Three patriot runs brought Colin Pyatt out of the Bullpen. He got his man and Devin McCullough came in to close out the inning. The Bobcats picked up a run in the bottom of the sixth with a Caleb Johnson single, a fielder’s choice, a Trey Riley single, and a sacrifice fly for an RBI by Aaron Fisher. The game moved to the seventh inning with the Bobcats trailing 3-2. Weston Whiteside came on to pitch the seventh and he did the job, keeping the Patriots off the bases. The Bobcats had pulled off late inning heroics in previous games and would need it again to keep their hopes of a sweep alive. Ty Rush singled to start the seventh, but a double play quickly dashed the momentum. Ryan Daggs singled with two outs, but the Bobcats were unable to move him around and the game went to the Patriots, 3-2.
The Bobcats outhit BBC 9-6, but the big hit was elusive in this contest. Caleb Johnson picked up a pair of hits while Chuck Hill (2B), Ryan Daggs, Spencer Greene (2B), Trey Riley, Aaron Fisher, Seth Stamps, and Tyas Rush gathered one hit each in the Bobcat effort.
CofO vs Baptist Bible College – Friday, March 17 – Game 4
The Bobcats needed to bounce back in game four if they were going to win the series. The Patriots had other plans and were working toward the split. Brody Baumann took the mound for the Bobcats, and he shut down the Patriots in the first. The Bobcat bats were also silent in the first and the game moved to the second. Baumann pitched around a one-out single and the game remained scoreless with the Bobcats coming to bat. Caleb Johnson opened the inning with a walk and a wild pitch, and a ground out moved him to third. Another wild pitch scored the run and the Bobcats took the lead. An error and a Rhett Hill double scored a run and Ty Rush was hit by a pitch. Blake Hultgren kept the line moving with a single and the bases were loaded. Chuck Hill came through with an RBI single and Spencer Greene did the same to give the Bobcats a 5-0 lead moving to the third. The Patriots were quiet in the third and Aaron Fisher and Rhett Hill singled but were stranded in the bottom half. The Patriots broke through in the fourth and put a three-spot on the board. Weston Whiteside closed out the inning on the mound and the Bobcats needed to respond. A Ryan Daggs single and a Patriot error scored a run and the game moved to the fifth, 6-3, Bobcats. The Patriots refused to go away and added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth and Colin Pyatt came on to pitch in relief. With the score now 6-5, things were looking interesting. Singles by Aaron Fisher, Rhett Hill, and Blake Hultgren set up a fielder’s choice off the bat of Chuck Hill and the Bobcats added an insurance run. BBC was held scoreless in the sixth and the Bobcats picked up a Trey Riley double in the bottom half but left him stranded. The stage was set, and Ryan Daggs came on to close out the game for the Bobcats. A quick three outs was the result and the Bobcats took game four 7-5, and the series, 3-1.
Rhett Hill (2B) collected three hits in the win to go along with two hits each by Aaron Fisher and Blake Hultgren. Chuck Hill, Ryan Daggs, Spencer Greene, and Trey Riley (2B) each added a hit in the win.
The Bobcats will be back at home this weekend, March 24 & 25 when they host Kansas Christian College. Game times are 1:00 and 3:00 on Friday, and 12:00 and 2:00 on Saturday at Coach Bob Smith Field.