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

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

The Trend

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Eagles Fall in Drover Territory

Laura Barrios Bardi
Gunnar Hansen, USAO’s starting pitcher, is ready to catch the ball as a MACU player swings and misses in late February.

USAO’s baseball team (20-10, 6-4 SAC) faced the Eagles of Southwestern Christian University (SCU) (21-11, 5-5 SAC) at Bill Smith Ballpark on a windy spring Friday afternoon. Last time the Drovers faced the Eagles was in the SAC tournament last season, where the Drovers beat the Eagles with a score of 22-20, with senior Peyton McDowall hit a home run to give the Drovers the lead and the win. McDowall singlehandedly kept the Drovers in that game with four home runs and eight runs batted in.

Because of the recent history between these two teams, the crowd could sense the bad blood in the air. SCU wanted to spice things up early and did so with a home run during their first at bat of the game. After their home run, SCU kept the bats swinging and put a player in scoring position with a double. That player would later be brought home for another run off a single to right field. Halfway through the inning, SCU would hold a lead of 2-0 over the Drovers.

The second inning was a showing of quality pitching on both ends. USAO starting pitcher Brian Ereu and he was able to take down three batters in a row, shortening SCU’s chances that inning. However, SCU was able to match that and take down three Drovers in a row as well.

Inning number three is where USAO finally stepped up. The inning started with four walks from the SCU pitcher in a row. Starting with a walk against junior Devin Alvarez and ending with McDowall, USAO had bases loaded and their first run on the board by the time sophomore Christopher Martinez stepped up to the plate. The runs kept coming back home as Martinez kept the bases loaded with a single and brought another Drover home to tie the game. A sacrifice fly from junior Ben Bach brought home senior Gabriel Arroyo. After that play SCU walked junior Gunnar Hansen to load the bases, from there SCU walked junior Ian Ortiz to allow McDowall to score. At the end of the third, USAO held a lead of 4-2 over the Eagles.

In the fourth, SCU managed to gain another run off of a double to left field that brought a runner home from second. SCU was still trailing but looking to make a comeback after four innings, with a score of 4-3.

The top of the fifth inning was a good defensive performance by USAO. Although they allowed a single off the first batter, they corrected their mistakes with a double play after an attempted bunt by SCU. A fly out to left field ended SCU’s offensive possession.

When it was USAO’s turn to bat, the scoring got started with McDowall hitting a home run followed by a double by Martinez. His double was followed by a hit by Bach that got him to first base. However, on the next play Hansen reached first off a fielder’s choice, but Bach was called out at second. This was not an issue though as Martinez was still able to reach the plate, adding to USAO’s tally of 6-3.

Inning six was an important one for the Drovers that they almost let slip away. Ereu’s pitching was solid to start the inning getting two consecutive outs, but SCU was able to make contact with a few singles and ended up adding one run to their score. Sophomore Tristan Perry relieved Ereu and ended the inning with two SCU players left on base.

On offense the Drovers were in scoring position early thanks to junior Ben Lawson getting walked and stealing second off a wild pitch. A groundout from Alvarez moved Lawson to third where he would reach home from a single from junior Gage Ninness, making the USAO lead 7-4 at the end of the sixth inning.

USAO had a comfortable lead up to inning number seven. SCU was able to make a comeback where they got two runs and if it wasn’t for some good fielding from the Drover players their hot streak could have continued.

From this point on, the game was controlled by pitching. SCU knocked down three consecutive batters for USAO in the seventh.

The eighth inning was similar to the end of seven, with both USAO and SCU going three up, three down at the plate.

The Drovers finished the game in dramatic fashion. With three outs needed to win the game, junior closing pitcher Ryan Cullinane stepped up and got the first out of the inning. Cullinane hit a SCU player with a pitch but that didn’t stop him from finishing out the game. Cullinane then struck out the next batter and finished off the game with a pop fly to second base. The final score was 7-6, for another USAO victory.

McDowall led the way for the Drovers going 1-2 in his at-bats, walking twice, and finishing with a home run and two RBI’s. Martinez finished going 2-4 in his at-bats, with one run and one RBI.

Starting pitcher Ereu finished the game with four strikeouts and 63 strikes out of his 101 pitches total.

USAO will be play SCU again Saturday, Mar. 30 in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. The win today places USAO one game in front of SCU in conference standings.


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
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
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