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The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

The Student News Site of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma

The Trend

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Ninness Led in Hits in First Series Win of Season

Gabriel+Arroyo+had+his+hands+in+the+air%2C+waiting+for+the+next+play+in+a+game+late+last+season.
Laura Barrios Bardi
Gabriel Arroyo had his hands in the air, waiting for the next play in a game late last season.

USAO’s baseball team (2-1) opened its season against Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) (1-2) Friday, Jan. 26. The Drovers began with a double header Friday and finished the series the following day.  

The Drovers came out hot in the season opener, scoring two runs in the first inning with a hit by Christopher Martinez and a sac-fly from Peyton McDowall. Brian Ereu toed the rubber for 5.1 innings for the Drovers, in which the Saints were held at zero runs. McDowall was the next individual to score for the Drovers, as a double from Ian Ortiz would give him enough time to make it to home plate, leaving the game 3-0 after the third inning.  

The next two innings for this game were uneventful for both sides, with OLLU not recording a single hit, and USAO picking up two walks.  However, the sixth inning is where the game would come back to life. In an RBI situation, Gabriel Arroyo hit a double to right field to bring Gage Ninness home for the fourth run of the game.  

The Saints scored their first runs with a single to right, bringing the score to 4-2 at the end of the sixth inning. Despite this though, USAO’s pitchers Ereu and Ryan Cullinane did not allow another hit from OLLU, giving the Drovers their first win of the 2024 season.  

The second matchup between these two teams started off a little differently than the first game as the Saints scored first. In the second, Ortiz hit a sac-fly to center to bring McDowall home. OLLU snapped back with two runs off a triple in the second inning, leaving USAO down 4-1.  

USAO’s pitching squad of Sam Repogle, Kyler Denton, and Rob Schidmt only gave up two hits and three walks in the next three innings. In the sixth inning, USAO found their way back onto the board.  

A triple to centerfield by Martinez brought Arroyo home. Martinez followed him soon after as McDowall hit a sac-fly toward centerfield. After these two runs, Gunnar Hansen hit a double and crossed home plate with a single from Ortiz.  

Despite tying the game back up, the Saints began scoring again in the bottom of the sixth inning. An error at third allowed OLLU to make it to first, which eventually led to their first run of the inning. The Saints got on base through two walks and a sac-fly that brought one Saint home. By the end of the sixth, the score was 6-4 in favor of OLLU.  

Starting at the top of the seventh, Ninness made it to first after an error from OLLU. Following that play, a double from Martinez allowed Ninness to score the fifth run of the game for USAO. McDowall and Ben Bach picked up walks after this, but Bach would be called out after a controversial interference call. The game ended in USAO’s first loss of the season, with a 6-5 score.  

The third game was on Saturday, and USAO came out strong with two runs in the top of the first inning.  

After Martinez and Arroyo walked, Bach hit a triple to center field. OLLU matched this in the first inning as well, with one of those coming from an error by the Drovers. Following the first inning, USAO went on a scoring barrage, earning eight runs by the fifth inning. Ninness and Arroyo would score in the second inning, followed by Bach and Ortiz in the third. For the fourth inning, Bach would score again, and Ryan Duncan scored for the Drovers in the fifth. OLLU did not score again until the fifth inning when they hit a home run. This was the only run the Saints had in this inning, leaving the Drovers in the lead 8-3. 

In the seventh inning, Ninness scored his second run of the game after stealing on a pass ball. USAO kept OLLU scoreless in the seventh and only allowed two more runs in the last two innings of the game.  

While the Drovers didn’t score in the eighth inning, they scored five in the top of the ninth. Ninness scored his third run of the game and Duncan scored his second off a single from Arroyo. After a double from McDowall, Arroyo scored again for the Drovers. USAO had their final scores came from a double from Hansen, which allowed McDowall and Martinez to cross home. The offensive showing from USAO in this game gave them the 14-5 win and their first series victory of the year.  

The Drovers had 23 total runs across the three games, with Ninness leading the team with six. Arroyo leads USAO in hits with seven, giving him a batting average of .583. Ortiz is also tied with Arroyo for RBIs with five across the series.  

Looking at the pitching stats, Ereu and Jared Adams lead in innings thrown throwing with five each. Ereu had a WHIP average of just .38 for the innings he threw in. Ereu also leads the Drovers in strikeouts with four during the three-game span.  

“We have great comradery as a team, so anything is possible.” McDowall said about his team responding to adversity.  

The Drovers will host their first home series Friday, Feb. 2 against McPherson College. The first game will be at 5 p.m. Friday. The second and third games will be Saturday, Feb. 3, starting at noon. 

 

Gary Jackson is a third-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham
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About the Contributors
Gary Jackson, Sports Editor
Gary is a third-year communication major from Kingston. He works as a resident assistant (RA) and as a host for the Drover Talk podcast at USAO. Gary began writing for The Trend in January 2022, and has interned with the Madill Record and Marietta Monitor newspapers during the past two summers. When Gary isn’t attending class and working, you can watch him making the game-winning catch at the ultimate frisbee game, hanging out with friends, or visiting with his family. Experience with The Trend: Sports Editor: Nov. 2023 - present Senior Writer: Dec. 2022 - Nov. 2023 Contributing Writer: Jan. 2022 - Dec. 2022
Laura Barrios Bardi, Contributing Photographer
Laura Barrios Bardi a third-year art major from El Paso, TX. Laura currently works for USAO's Sports Information Department as a photographer. She is also a member of USAO's track and field team. Her hobbies include stargazing, spending time with friends, and working towards elevating her photography skills.   Experience with The Trend: Contributing Photographer: Nov. 2022 - present