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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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Drovers Triumph Over #7 Bellevue with Series Win

Junior+Ben+Bach+dives+into+third+base+during+a+home+series+against+McPherson+earlier+this+season.+
Laura Barrios Bardi
Junior Ben Bach dives into third base during a home series against McPherson earlier this season.

Following their matchup last week in the Cajun Collision tournament in Sterlington, LA, USAO’s baseball team (7-4) came back to Bill Smith Ballpark looking to win the series against #7 ranked Bellevue University (4-6 Saturday, Feb. 17). The Drovers began their three-game series against Bellevue in low scoring, hard nose baseball.  

 

Game 1:  

In the bottom of the second, junior infielder Ben Bach broke the ice for USAO with a single, but thanks to an error by Bellevue at third base, Bach reached second. A ground out on the next play from junior catcher Gunnar Hansen got Bach to third, and a nice single into the outfield from junior infielder Ian Ortiz allowed Bach to reach home plate, making the score 1-0.

The fifth inning was filled with excitement from both teams, beginning with Bellevue’s Anthony Lind getting a single that allowed teammate Bryce Zimmerer to score. That score didn’t faze the Drovers, as Ortiz began the bottom of the inning with a single and then stole second. A groundout by junior infielder Devin Alvarez put Ortiz at third, where he would be rallied home thanks to a single from junior outfielder Gage Ninness, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Drovers.  

A double into right field from Hansen in the bottom of the seventh put the Drovers in a good position to score. Pinch runner Ryan Rodriguez came on for Hansen where he would advance a base with Ortiz thanks to a fielder’s choice. Bellevue made a great double play off a ground out by junior centerfielder Ben Lawson, but that out still allowed Rodriguez to reach home, adding another run to the board for USAO.  

Inning number eight saw Bellevue rally a comeback starting with a triple to center field from Alec Ackerman that allowed his teammate to score. Immediately following the play, Logan Grant hit a homerun allowing him and another Bruin to score.  

USAO couldn’t respond to the late rally, leading to a Bruin 4-3 victory in game one. USAO tallied eight hits. Kyler Denton, Ryan Cullinane, and closer Alden Norquist allowed four runs on seven hits, struck out seven, and walked none.  

 

Game 2:  

As game number two started, it looked like Bellevue would continue their hot hitting, with sophomore Elijah Bear hitting a single to right field that would bring home teammate junior Jake Lacey from second base.  

The early score from Bellevue didn’t faze USAO, as in the bottom of the second the team got on a roll at the plate. It started with a double from Bach. Bellevue committed an error at second on the next play allowing Hansen to get to first and Bach to advance to third. Ortiz hit a single up the middle allowing Bach to score, then Lawson hit a single that loaded the bases. A wild pitch from Bellevue allowed Rodriguez, who was pinch running for Hansen, to reach home. Following this, Alverez earned a single to bring Ortiz home. Even though the Bruins turned a double play during the next at-bat, Lawson reached home pushing the Drovers into the lead with a 4-1 score.

The third inning saw Bellevue put some more points on the board, making the score 4-3 by the time USAO secured three outs. Once USAO got up to the plate, Bach and Hansen got a nice couple of singles, and a groundout from Ortiz put both the runners in scoring position. Lawson stepped up to the plate and launched a ball into right field for a triple, with Bach and Hansen scoring, making the score 6-3 with the Drovers in the lead. 

The game was a bit quiet up until the sixth inning, where Bellevue scored two more runs, inching closer to USAO’s score now sitting at 6-5. Once the bottom of the inning hit, USAO added another run to their total off a double from Ninness that sent Alverez home after his single. The game ended with USAO on top, with a final score of 7-5.  

 

Game 3:

The last game of the series was a high scoring affair and an impressive hitting performance from USAO.  Bellevue held a lead in the top of the second inning of 3-1, but USAO tied it 3-3 thanks to a single from sophomore Christopher Martinez that allowed senior right fielder Gabriel Arroyo and Ninness to reach home base.  

With the game tied 4-4 going into the fourth inning, the Drovers continued their hitting showcase with a single from junior Gavin Machado that brought home senior Peyton McDowall and Martinez who both reached their base off errors from Bellevue.  

The fifth inning saw the Bruins try and make up for the errors they committed in the previous inning, scoring three runs to put themselves in the lead 8-6.

In inning six, USAO rallied for an impressive nine runs, staring with two quick runs thanks to a homer by McDowall. An error while Ortiz was at-bat made it possible for Bach to reach home and give the Drovers the lead. On the very next play Lawson hit a double that brought home Machado. Lawson reached home courtesy of Alvarez. In a spectacular play from the Drovers, Arroyo stole second base, and an error committed by Bellevue made it possible for Ninness to score. The Drovers gained one more run in the inning with Martinez stealing second and Arroyo stealing home due to another error by Bellevue.  

A big reason that USAO was able to bring in so many runs and stay aggressive at the plate is because of the number of errors committed by Bellevue. Bellevue’s total amount of errors this game stood at nine, but in the sixth inning alone they committed over half of those errors with five. In the sixth inning USAO had 18 chances at the plate and scored nine runs in total, making the most out of their opponent’s mistakes. The inning ended with a score of 15-8 with USAO holding a commanding lead over their opponents.  

Bellevue tried to spark something in the last few innings, but fell short, with the game ending at 15-10, a Drover win.  

The Drovers emerged victorious in this series, winning two of the three games. USAO saw good production out of their pitchers in the series, with Cullinane throwing 31 strikes out of his 43 pitches in the first game. Brian Erue with 61-104 pitches being strikes, and Jared Adams throwing 47 out of his 81 pitches as strikes. USAO throughout the three games this weekend also totaled 20 strikeouts, with Adams leading the Drovers in that category with five and Erue in second with four.  

USAO has a series of road games coming up, with their fist being against Kansas Christian College (KCC) beginning Friday, Feb. 23. USAO won’t play at home against until Tuesday, March 26 against Southwestern Christian University (SCU).

 

Matthew Yokum is a second-year communication major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Ray Thomas-Lapham

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About the Contributors
Matthew Yokum, Senior Writer
Matthew is a second-year communication major from Chickasha. He is also a member of USAO's men's soccer team. When he’s not kicking a ball or writing, you can find Matthew at home watching his favorite TV shows.   Experience with The Trend: Senior Writer: May 2023 - present Contributing Writer: Aug. 2022 - April 2023
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