Open menu

Bobcats Advance in NCCAA World Series

May 20, 2024

#24 Hunter Lewis

#7 Ty Rush

#34 Trey Riley

Kansas City, Mo. – Following a Final Four appearance in 2023, the College of the Ozarks Baseball Bobcats were looking for another deep post-season run in 2024. The 27-22 Bobcats were set to open the NCCAA World Series in Kansas City, Mo. against Columbia International University. The Bobcats were coming off an impressive performance against NAIA No. 2, Georgia Gwinnett College in the Continental Athletic Conference tournament, and they were looking to build on that performance going into the NCCAA World Series.

C of O vs Columbia International University – Saturday, May 18
Tyler Buchanan got the start on the mound for the Bobcats and Columbia International wasted no time setting the tone. A pair of doubles, a single, and free passes gave the Rams an early 4-0 lead before the Bobcats came in to swing the bats. A Ty Rush walk opened the Bobcat offense in the bottom of the first and a Jake Leeker hit by pitch moved Rush into scoring position. A deep fly ball off the bat of Spencer Greene moved Rush to third and the Cats were 90 feet away from their first run. A two-out single off the bat of Hunter Lewis scored a run and extended the Bobcat threat. Rhett Hill was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded. Trey Riley picked up an easy RBI with a walk and the Rams made a move to the bullpen. A pop out ended the inning and Buchanan went back to work. Buchanan recorded a three up-three down inning to make quick work of the Rams and bring the Bobcats back to the plate. A Chuck Hill double and a Ty Rush hit by pitch were stranded and the game moved to the third, 4-2 Rams. Aaron Gross took over the pitching duties for the Bobcats and a walk and a double added a run for the Rams. Another walk brought Garyn Hall in from the bullpen. A ground out pushed another run across for the Rams and when the final out was recorded, the Rams held a 7-2 lead. Not to be outdone, the Bobcats came up looking to stay within striking distance. Spencer Greene led off the Bobcat half with a double and Hunter Lewis promptly smacked an RBI single to center. Rhett Hill was hit by a pitch and a Caleb Johnson double added another Bobcat tally. A Rams balk scored Hill and the Bobcats had cut the gap to 7-5 after three. The Rams picked up a hit in the fourth, but Hall closed the door to bring the Bobcats back to the plate. A Jake Leeker bomb over the right field fence opened the inning and Spencer Greene went back-to back with a jack of his own. With the score tied 7-7, Hunter Lewis kept the line moving with a hit by pitch and Caleb Johnson ripped his second RBI double to give the Bobcats the 8-7 lead. A Chuck Hill bunt single was the only offense for both teams in the fifth and the Rams came back to life in the sixth. A pair of doubles tied the game 8-8 and the Bobcats brought in Spenser Greene to take over on the mound. The Rams took the lead on a wild pitch before the last out was recorded and the back-and-forth battle continued. Neither team produced any offense again until the Bobcat half of the seventh. Charlie Parker ignited the attack with a leadoff double and Chuck Hill singled to move Parker to third. Hill stole second and Ty Rush was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jake Leeker smacked a two-RBI single, and the Bobcats regained the lead. After a double play recorded the second out of the frame, a Rhett Hill double scored Leeker and the Bobcats held a 12-9 lead. A Rams miscue was followed by a Caleb Johnson walk and Charlie Parker doubled in his second at bat of the inning, scoring another pair of runs. Chuck Hill walked, and Ty Rush was hit by a pitch before the final out was recorded, and the Bobcats took a 15-9 lead to the eighth inning. Greene pitched around a two out single to retire the Rams and the Bobcats came up looking for more offense. Titus Atkins picked up a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning then stole second. Trey Riley drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Caleb Johnson continued his hot hitting and delivered a two-RBI single to add a pair of tallies. The game to the ninth and the Bobcats lead had grown to 7-9. The Rams refused to go down without a fight, and they used a pair of singles and a pair of doubles to tack on three runs. Greene buckled down to secure the final out and the Bobcats took the opening round game, 17-12.

Chuck Hill (2B) and Caleb Johnson (2B, 2B) led the offense with three hits each and Hunter Lewis, Jake Leeker, Charlie Parker (2B,2B), and Spencer Greene (2B) each added a pair of hits in the win. Rhett Hill (2B) also added a hit to the cause.

C of O vs Concordia University – Ann Arbor – Saturday, May 18
The Bobcats came back Saturday evening to face the No. 2 seed, Concordia University Cardinals. After a slug fest in the opening game, the Bobcats were hoping to keep the bats hot against one of the top teams in the tournament.

The Bobcats jumped on the board early with a Chuck Hill hit by pitch and a Hunter Lewis RBI single in the opening frame. The Bobcats sent Weston Whiteside to the mound, and he pitched around a Bobcat miscue to maintain the Bobcat advantage. The Bobcats threatened in the second with singles from Jake Leeker and Trey Riley, but the big hit was elusive and that was the extent of the offense in the top of the inning. Whiteside was dominant early and neither team would generate offense until the bottom of the third. The Cardinals picked up a run with a pair of doubles, but Whiteside minimized the damage and worked his way out of the inning with the score tied 1-1. Jake Leeker singled in the top of the fourth but that was all the Bobcats could get and the bats seemed to be stymied. Whiteside pitched around a two-out triple in the fourth and Charlie Parker and Ty Rush singled but were stranded in the Bobcat fifth. The Cardinals came to life in their half of the inning, and they used a pair of triples, and a walk to take a 3-1 lead. The Bobcats were needing to string some hits together to chip away at the gap. They could only manage a Hunter Lewis walk, and a two-out double off the bat of Caleb Johnson in the sixth. Whiteside gave way to Sam Teaster in the bottom of the inning and a double play helped end a threat for more Cardinal runs. Both teams were quiet with the bats until the eighth inning when Hunter Lewis provided a Bobcat single, and Rhett Hill followed with a walk. That was all the Bobcats could muster, and they were down to their final three outs. The Cardinals were contained in the bottom of the eighth, but the Bobcats went down in order in the ninth and the game ended with a 3-1 Concordia win.

The Bobcats outhit the Cardinals 8-7 with Hunter Lewis and Jake Leeker leading the way with two hits each. Charlie Parker, Trey Riley, Caleb Johnson, and Ty Rush each contributed a hit to the Bobcat effort.

C of O vs Kansas Christian College – Monday, May 20
In a win or go home contest, the Bobcats were set to take on the tournament host, Kansas Christian College Falcons.

Brody Baumann got the start on the mound and he and the Bobcats set the tone early. A quick defensive inning brought the Cats to the plate and the bats erupted. A Ty Rush single led things off with one out and Spencer Greene followed with a two out single. Hunter Lewis was hit by a pitch, Rhett Hill singled, Charlie Parker drew a walk, Caleb Johnson singled, and Trey Riley singled. When the dust settled, the Bobcats had an early 5-0 lead. The Falcons answered with a run in the top of the second, but Baumann limited the damage and closed the door on the Falcon offense. The Bobcats returned to the plate and another offensive outburst ensued. Ty Rush started things off with a walk, Jake Leeker followed with a single, and Spencer Greene singled to drive in a pair of runs. Hunter Lewis kept the line moving with a single, Charlie Parker walked, and Caleb Johnson was hit by a pitch. Spencer Greene and Hunter Lewis crossed the plate before the final out was recorded and the Cats took a 9-1 lead to the third. Neither team produced any offense until the bottom of the fourth. The Bobcats used a Hunter Lewis single, a pair of Falcon miscues, and a hit by pitch to add another two runs. Baumann had cruised through the first four innings, but the Falcons came to life in the fifth. A double, a single, and a pair of free passes added two runs to the Falcon side of the board and the lead was cut to 11-3. The Bobcats answered in the bottom of the inning with a run off of a walk to Jake Leeker and singles by Ty Rush and Hunter Lewis. Baumann continued to hold the Falcons in check and neither team could get the bats going. Sam Teaster came on to pitch in the top of the eighth and the Falcons were able to add a run, hoping to avoid a run rule situation. The Bobcats had other plans however, and a Kyle Beeman walk was followed by a single off the bat of Caleb Johnson. A Ty Rush sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third and Titus Atkins singled to drive in a run. With the winning run 90 feet away, Ty Rush hit a deep fly ball to drive in the final run and the Bobcats took the game, 14-4.

Hunter Lewis led the offensive attack with three hits and Spencer Greene, Ty Rush, and Caleb Johnson added two hits each. Titus Atkins, Jake Leeker, Rhett Hill, and Trey Riley added one hit each in the win.

The Bobcats return to action Tuesday when they face Mission University for a chance to advance to the Final Four.