02 Mar 2022 Baseball drops heartbreaker in series finale for CBC
North Little Rock — Switching fields for the final game of the series, Central Baptist College baseball hosted the #20 Stars of Oklahoma City this week at Burns Park. CBC (5-6) could not hold onto to a 10-6 lead in the eighth inning and fell to the Stars (14-1) 12-11.
Walks were the story of the day for both teams as a combined 24 were issued by both pitching staffs. Nine pitchers were also used, four by OCU and five by CBC.
Oklahoma City struck quickly in the first, scoring twice on a pair of hits to lead 2-0 early. Jay French led off the bottom of the inning with a solo home run, his second of the season, to cut the lead to 2-1 and Wille Baez would single home Steven Stewart later in the inning to tie the game at two. OCU would retake the lead in the second on a three run home run and that spelled the end of the day for starter Fernando Escapita, who went one inning and allowed five runs on four hits with a pair of walks. Gram Middleton would finish the inning and keep OCU off balance for the next six innings. CBC used Middleton’s dominance to grab the lead, scoring four in the third to take their first lead of the series. Baez homered to lead off the inning and then Logan Easterling brought home a pair of runs with a single and a throwing error by the catcher. The final run came in when pinch runner Gage Harris scampered home on a wild pitch. Middleton would hold OCU to just a single tally in the fifth to tie the game at six before CBC would strike again in the bottom half to take a 10-6 lead on a bases clearing double by French, who was 3-5 with four RBIs, and he would later score on another wild pitch. The score remained 10-6 until Middleton ran into trouble in the eighth, walking the first two batters and allowing a single to load ‘em up. After reliever Jose Monegro walked the only man he faced to cut the lead to 10-7, Jackson Lindsey came in and surrendered the lead, allowing all three runners on base to score, tying the game at 10. Middleton finished allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings, walking seven and striking out two. Baez would lead off the bottom of the eighth by reaching on an error and CBC loaded the bases following a double by Ruben Hernandez and a walk to Kyle Bass. Cayden Hunnicut, who had entered at DH earlier in the game, came through, bringing home Baez on a sac fly to right to give CBC an 11-10 lead. Caleb Sollars would relieve Lindsey in the ninth and allow a single and a go-ahead two-run home run to make a 12-11 deficit headed to the bottom half. Baez would reach base again on a two out walk and Hernandez barely missed tying the game when his line drive to centerfield was snared to end it. Lindsey threw an inning and allowed two hits while walking one and striking out one. Sollars earned the loss, surrendering two runs on two hits with a strikeout in the ninth.
A quick turnaround for the Mustangs sees them back at Burns Park at noon on Friday afternoon for a doubleheader against Culver Stockton. Links to coverage can be found online and on social media.