The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma baseball team fought hard.
The Drovers — ranked ninth in the NAIA — entered the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round as a No. 1 seed last week and competed in Bellevue, Nebraska. The Drovers saw their season end with two losses in two games.
Science & Arts' two losses each came by two runs. The Drovers suffered a 4-2 loss to the Bruins of Bellevue University (No. 4 seed) on Monday and suffered a 6-4 loss to the 21st-ranked Pioneers of MidAmerica Nazarene University (No. 2 seed) on Tuesday.
The Drovers fell behind the Bruins 1-0 in the first inning. The Bruins also scored a run in the top of the sixth inning and went up 4-0 with two runs in the eighth inning.
Science & Arts' two runs came in the bottom half of the eighth inning.
With one out in the eighth inning, Ian Laureano reached base on a walk. Cristian Laboy doubled with one out, and Jake Womack hit a two-run single with two outs in the inning to get the Drovers on the board.
The Drovers continued their threat after Womack's run-scoring hit, but they were unable to score again. Brennan Brister singled in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Bellevue pitcher Corey Jackson retired the next three batters to end the game.
Science & Arts held a lead in its elimination game against MNU on Tuesday. The Drovers held a 2-0 lead after the top half of the second inning.
The Drovers scored their first run of the game on a balk, and Isaac Raab delivered at the plate. Raab recorded an RBI single to give the Drovers their 2-0 lead.
But the Pioneers did not trail for long and scored four of their six runs in the bottom half of the second inning. A two-run home run gave the Pioneers a 4-2 lead, and they extended that lead with a two-run home run in the fourth inning.
In their attempt to climb back, the Drovers scored a run in the seventh inning and a run in the eighth inning to get within two runs of their opponent.
Joey Pena hit an RBI single in the seventh inning, and Laureano walked with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to complete the scoring.
Laboy and Brandon Shumway each had three hits for the Drovers in their loss to the Pioneers.
Science & Arts finished its 2021 season with a record of 34-12. The Drovers completed a sweep in the Sooner Athletic Conference, finishing first during the regular season and winning the conference tournament.
The SAC honored several Science & Arts players and head coach Mike Ross.