CHICKASHA – The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma split in a Friday afternoon home doubleheader against No. 20 Texas Wesleyan, ending the day on a walk-off single by Drover catcher Owen Adams.
The Drovers (9-13, 1-7) secured their much-needed Sooner Athletic Conference win and look to take the series in the final game against the Rams (13-10, 6-2), which is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Monday at Bill Smith Ballpark.
In the first game, the Drovers gave up a pair of runs in the first two innings but took the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third when designated hitter Jaime Gurrola knocked one out of the park for a three-run bomb. Ryan Wescott and Joe Black each scored on the play.
Wescott also scored the only other Drover run of the game, returning home on a fifth-inning double by Rafael Peña.
The Drovers gave up four more runs in the final three innings and fell 6-4.
Chris Fischer (2-4) pitched five innings, throwing four strikeouts. Isaac Rodriguez finished the game on the mound and struck out one batter.
Coming off the loss, the Drovers started the second game slowly. Their first run, scored by Gurrola, didn’t come until the fourth inning.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth trailing 6-1, the second game looked bleak for USAO. But the Drovers broke out the bats in a five-run sixth inning to tie the game.
In the sixth, second baseman Chris Musick scored off a sacrifice fly by Peña. An Adams’ single then scored Spenser Mailman. A double down the left line by Blake Scannell scored Colton Baker, who was courtesy running for Adams.
Joe Barron, who had reached on a single, scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Reiger, and finally, Scannell came home on an error for the tying run.
The Rams’ Anthony Samuel scored in the top of the seventh, giving TWU the 7-6 advantage heading into the final three outs of the game.
After a quick out, the Drovers got down to business. Mailman, who had earned his spot on base with a walk, scored from second when Peña hit a well-placed single to left field. Peña advanced to second on the throw, at which point Baker came in to run in his place.
Hungry from the win, Adams hit the ball to the exact same spot, giving Baker the opportunity to score the decisive run. USAO won 8-7.
Josh Terrell pitched the complete game, throwing eight strikeouts and just one walk. Only three of the Rams’ runs in the game were earned.
The teams finish the series on Monday afternoon in Chickasha. The Drovers then turn around to play at Friends University at 2 p.m. Tuesday before traveling to Cedar Hill, Texas, for a three-game weekend series against No. 13 Northwood University.