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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 Return Home and Make a Statement

USAO won their first series back at home after playing games on the road for the last month
Laura Barrios Bardi
Junior pitcher Rob Schmidt closed out both games against SCU over the weekend.

USAO’s baseball team (21-11, 7-5 SAC) faced the Eagles of Southwestern Christian University (SCU) (22-12, 6-6 SAC) in a doubleheader to finish off the series against the conference foe. The Drovers won the first game of the series 7-6 in nine innings and looked to do the same in the two seven inning games ahead of them Saturday, Mar. 30.  


Game 1:

To start the doubleheader, both sides looked confident in their pitching. The starting pitcher for the Drovers, sophomore Jared Adams, started the showcase with three quick outs. SCU’s pitching also joined in on the effort, getting USAO’s first three players out consecutively.  

Adams got two quick outs to start the second inning. However, the next two batters for SCU hit home runs to put the Eagles in the lead 2-0. For the Drover offense, junior Christopher Martinez hit a double out to left field. Shortly after, junior Gunnar Hansen got a double himself, helping Martinez run home. An error on that play also allowed Hansen to reach third base. Although USAO had momentum, SCU was able to end the inning 2-1, with two Drovers on base after Ben Lawson walked to first. 

The third inning was also unfavorable for the Drovers.  The inning started with a double from SCU followed by a single and a pop fly that allowed the runner on third to score. The Eagles then stole second base and hit a single to score another run making the score 4-1. On offense senior Gabriel Arroyo hit a single and stole second base, but the Drovers couldn’t produce off his efforts, ending the inning with Arroyo still at second.  

Inning four saw USAO get three straight outs thanks to junior pitcher Sam Replogle, who came in for Adams halfway through the third inning. The offense for the Drovers also began to brighten up. Junior Ian Ortiz hit a single up the middle which moved junior Ben Bach to second after being walked prior to Ortiz. With runners on second and third base, junior Devin Alvarez hit a single that allowed Bach to reach home to bring the score closer at 4-2.  

As the Drovers were still trying to come back, the fifth inning was a quick one with the Drovers getting three Eagles out consecutively again. USAO didn’t carry this success to their batting for the inning. Although Martinez got walked, SCU was able to get three outs before anything could be produced.  

The sixth inning was where the comeback started to look possible for the Drovers. The inning started with a simple groundout to Replogle. SCU got a player on first after he was walked, but USAO was able to make a double play on the next play. 

On offense, Ortiz got hit by a pitch to put a runner on first, and then Lawson hit a home run out to right field to tie the game up. The Drovers couldn’t produce any more runs this inning but those runs made it anybody’s game going into the final inning.  

In the final inning, USAO got an out to start the inning, but was followed by players for SCU reaching base off a single and a walk. This saw sophomore Tristan Perry come in for Replogle.  A wild pitch from Perry allowed those players to reach second and third respectively where the runner on third would score from a sacrifice fly. Afterwards, USAO made a pitching change subbing in junior Rob Schmidt where he got a quick out to end the inning.  

Unfortunately, USAO had no luck on offense. SCU got two quick outs and although Martinez hit a double to try and keep the team in the game, it wasn’t enough, with the game ending at 5-4 in favor of SCU.  

In review, Lawson put the ball over the wall and picked up two RBIs. Martinez had two doubles while Hansen had one. Alvarez and Hansen had one RBI each. Arroyo recorded the lone stolen base for USAO.  

Looking at the four-man pitching squad for the Drovers. Adams was on the mound for 2.2 innings where he allowed four runs off six hits; He faced 14 batters and threw almost 60% strikes. Replogle pitched for 3.2 innings where he allowed one run off one hit. He struck out two and walked one while throwing 57% strikes. Perry and Schmidt threw 0.1 innings each to finish out the game.  


Game 2: 

Junior pitcher Kyler Denton got the game started for the Drovers and helped USAO get three outs in a row. On offense, junior Gage Ninness hit a double for the first at bat. Sadly, the inning ended with Ninness in scoring position on third.  

The second inning saw USAO give up two hits to the Eagles but was able to end their scoring chances for the inning. Bach was walked followed by junior Gavin Machado hitting a fly ball to the outfield. Afterwards, SCU made an incredible effort to turn a double play from a groundout from Ortiz to end the inning.  

Inning three was a short one, with USAO only giving up one single before the top of the inning was over, which was followed by SCU getting three consecutive outs to finish the inning. The fourth inning was more of the same. USAO only gave up one hit and SCU did the same, as well as hitting senior Peyton McDowall with a pitch.  

As the fifth inning approached, defense continued as the name of the game for USAO, only giving up one hit and making a double play to end any of SCU’s chances in the inning.  

Offensively USAO knew they could produce some action after Ortiz reached first by getting hit by a pitch. USAO’s next two batters got out, but an error by the pitcher put Ortiz in scoring position at second base. The next at bat was Ninness who hit a single up the middle to help Ortiz reach home. Ninness was caught stealing second on the next play and was called out to end the inning, but the score now stood at 1-0 in favor of USAO.  

The top of the sixth inning ended with no hits allowed by USAO’s pitcher Schimdt who came in as a relief pitcher for this game. SCU also ended the inning with no hits allowed and three straight outs to send the game to the final inning.  

As the game came to the final inning, USAO needed to play good defense to defend their lead and win the game. Luckily for Drover fans, the home squad got three consecutive outs to secure the win.  

Ninness had a standout performance this game as he recorded a double and an RBI. Looking to the pitchers, Denton pitched 4.1 innings. In his time, he allowed zero runs on five hits, walked one, and struck out five. He faced 19 batters and threw almost 69% strikes. Schmidt pitched the final 2.2 innings where he had a 57.5% strike percentage.  

After this series, USAO is now tied for fourth place with Wayland Baptist University (WBU) in conference rankings with a 7-5 record against conference teams. USAO’s next game is at Bill Smith Ballpark Tuesday, Apr. 2 at 4 p.m. against Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU).  


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