OKLAHOMA CITY – The Drovers continue to fight in the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round as they defeat Northwestern (Iowa) and move on to play (2) Oklahoma City on Friday.
“It was a good day for us,” Ross said. “We played well and got the lead early. We were able to hang on for the win. It was a lot of fun.”
In Friday afternoon’s game, the Drovers scored all five runs in just two innings.
The game went scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Drovers got on the board first. Heath Wilda hit a two-run single up the middle to score Austin Ardrey and Daniel Edwards. On that same play, an error by Northwestern’s third baseman scored Konrad Mueller.
In the next inning, USAO had runners on each base when Edwards doubled to left field to score Blake Pruett and Chance Hill and extend the Drovers’ lead. Edwards went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The Drovers held Northwestern off for the first seven innings of the game. The Red Raiders were able to score four in the top of the eighth inning before the Drovers retired the side.
The Drovers held on to the one-run lead to win the game 5-4.
Junior Chris Fischer (6-4) spent 7.2 innings on the mound, throwing four strikeouts and allowing just seven hits, five of which were in the eighth inning. Josh Goodman, USAO’s go-to closer, finished the game without giving up a single hit. It was his 10th save of the season.
It is the Drovers’ first national tournament appearance in program history. They are now 1-1 in nationals.
The Drovers go on to play top-seeded Oklahoma City in another elimination game at 6 p.m. Friday. Northwestern returns home with the season wrapped up.