Drovers Send Bulldogs to the Doghouse (Photo Essay)

Pitcher, Boone Lasater attempts to pick-off the Bulldog on first base with a throw to Peyton McDowall.

Preston Palm, Contributing Writer

This past weekend the #19 ranked USAO (10-6, 0-0 SAC) faced off in a three-game series against McPherson College (6-6, 0-0 KCAC). The Drovers came into this weekend with an 8-6 record going into their matchup with the 6-4 Bulldogs.

The first game Saturday afternoon opened with the Bulldogs sending a solo homerun over the fence in the bottom of the first inning. McPherson had failed to hold momentum, as the Drovers evened the score at 1-1 going into the second inning. The score stayed even at 1-1 until the third inning, which saw three runs total, two from USAO and one from McPherson. The first of these three runs came from McPherson, when they hit a single to take the 2-1 lead. The lead didn’t last as Peyton McDowell hit a two-run homerun giving USAO the 3-2 lead.

The fourth inning was where the Drovers found their rhythm. USAO scored six runs in the fourth inning alone, giving the Drovers a 9-2 lead. It had felt like the Drovers had taken complete control. That wasn’t quite the case. The Bulldogs climbed back slowly, and tensions were rising at Bill Smith Ballpark. In the fifth inning, McPherson scored three runs cutting the lead to four runs in favor of USAO. Then in the sixth inning, McPherson scored another three runs, making the score 9-8 still in favor of USAO.

This is where the game gets weird. McPherson ties the game at 9-9, off of a run that came with a very, very controversial call by the umpire. The controversial call paused the game for upwards of ten to 15 minutes. After the umpires settled everything and resumed play, the Bulldogs had all the momentum and used it to win the first game of the day 14-9.

McDowall went 3-5, scoring two runs and four runs batted in. Nick Fleckenstein went 2-5, including a run and a walk. Five players singled, including Christopher Martinez, Gabriel Arroyo, Gunnar Hansen, Gage Gaunt, and Ryan Duncan.

The second game wasn’t as complicated as the first, to say the least. USAO was looking to get back in the second game, and that’s precisely what they did. The Drovers scored two runs in the first inning, the first being a double from Martinez, which led to Fleckenstein crossing home plate. The second was a single by Gaunt, which led to Martinez coming home. The score stayed at 2-0 until the fifth inning, where McDowall flew out to center field for a sac fly that led to Arroyo scoring. McPherson would score their lone run in the sixth inning. USAO closed out the victory with Duncan scoring off a single from Hansen.

Coming off of a series-tying win in the second game of Saturday’s slate, USAO had one game to clinch the series against McPherson, and they did just that. It seemed like McPherson didn’t stand a chance as the Drovers destroyed them in the third and final game of the series. The bottom of the second inning is when the beatdown began. Four runs were scored in the bottom of the second by the Drovers. One run was scored in the third inning, and just like Saturday’s first game, the fourth inning saw another surge by the Drovers. USAO scored seven runs in the fourth inning alone to bring the score to 12-0. McPherson tried to fight back with three runs in the sixth and three in the seventh, but the Bulldogs couldn’t stop the Drovers as the game was called early due to mercy rule. The Drovers won 17-6, clinching the series and ending the weekend on the right foot.

Reed Butz had himself a day on the mound as he struck six batters out in six innings. As a team, the Drovers had 16 hits, nine players contributed runs to the team total of 17 and six of those players had multiple runs.

The Drovers will be in action again Tuesday, February 28th at 2 p.m. at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Conference play will begin for the Drovers Friday, March 3rd with a three-game series at Southwestern Assemblies of God University.


Preston Palm is a second-year Communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.