OKLAHOMA CITY — The Drovers and the Hillcats battled through nine action-packed innings on Wednesday afternoon, but USAO came out on top in the first game of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament.
No. 25 Drovers (39-14) scored in four separate innings to defeat Rogers State 6-5.
“We came in and did what we needed to do. It was a great game from both sides until the final pitch,” Head Coach Mike Ross said. “Fortunately for us, we held on for the win.”
Despite being a higher seed, the Drovers batted first as the home and away teams were chosen by a coin toss.
The Drovers gave up an early run, forcing themselves to work from behind. With that play, Colton Campbell hit a double out to right field and the ball fell just beyond USAO’s Daniel Edwards’ diving reach. The play scored Hillcat Jose Olazagasti.
It wasn’t until the third that the Drovers tied it up. With USAO’s Jared Coon and Heath Wilda on base, Brian Vigo grounded out to give Coon a chance to score and tie the game.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, the Drovers appeared to be in trouble when a RSU’s Cody Campbell hit deep into left field with Colton Campbell on second, but Coon’s arm sent the ball into catcher Owen Adams’ glove just in time to record an out a home.
In the next inning, Coon and Wilda found themselves on base again, and a two-RBI double by Zach Gonzalez brought both players home to take the lead for the first time in the game.
RSU’s Blake Heston then scored in the bottom of the fifth when a double by Eric Baker went deep in to right field. But the play wasn’t all bad for USAO, who were able to get Baker out trying to steal third on the throw.