CHICKASHA – With a two-run single by Joe Burnell and a two-run home run from Kevin Carby in the seventh inning, the University of Science and Arts wrestled away Friday’s series finale from St. Gregory’s 10-6. The Drovers swept SGU after taking Thursday’s doubleheader 11-3 and 18-7.
USAO improved to 29-10 overall and 13-8 in the conference after falling 20 spots in the latest NAIA national top-25 ranking. The team appeared as the No. 21st-ranked team last week before losing three games to No. 1 Lubbock Christian and nose-diving to the “receiving votes” category.
This week’s wins put the Drovers back in position for a huge conference showdown with third place Southern Nazarene. The teams square off beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday in Bethany before Saturday’s home doubleheader.
Friday, the Drovers were in control for much of the game after scoring three runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth. Senior first baseman Daniel Wood hit two doubles in his first two at bats to spark the offense.
SGU responded with six runs in the seventh inning to tie the game 6-6. A potential interference call that wasn’t scored two runs, and a double down the line brought home two more for the Cavs. A sacrifice fly and a wild pitch scored two more to tie the score.
USAO answered in the bottom half as Josh Moore single to left field, and Dalton House doubled to put two players in scoring position for Burnell. Burnell, pinch-hitting for Wood, drove in both runners, and Carby’s bomb on the first pitch of the next at bat finished off the upset bid.
Brady Taylor picked up his first win of the season in relief. He pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit while striking out two batters. Ricky Duke got the start and pitched six scoreless innings with six strikeouts before the seventh inning.