Hardin-Simmons’ baseball team split an American Southwest Crossover doubleheader with the University of the Ozarks on Friday afternoon, losing 2-0 in the first game and rebounding for a 15-1 win in the nightcap.
In the first game, Ozarks scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and both pitchers took advantage of a liberal strike zone on a 32-degree day. Zach Erickson and James Simmons combined for 20 strikeouts in the seven-inning game.
Ozarks strung together three hits to plate two runs in the first. Sam Shook and Mitchell Powers had back-to-back singles up the middle with one out and Tony Morales doubled to left with two outs to score Shook. Powers then scored on a balk on the next pitch and that was all of the scoring in the game.
Simmons allowed five hits and struck out 11 in six innings of work. He did not walk a batter and fell to 2-2 on the year. Tyler Erickson scattered three hits and struck out nine to improve to 3-0 on the year for Ozarks.
The Cowboy bats came alive early in the second game with seven runs in the first two innings. Jon Finney led off the first inning with a single moved to second when Marcus Uechi was hit by a pitch and both moved up a base on a wild pitch. With one out, Troy Nicholson reached on an error that drove home Finney and Colson Craddick followed with an RBI double. Trey Thompson then had a two-run single through the right side.
Nicholson had an RBI double in the second inning and Zack Patino added an RBI single. Caleb Jacques had an RBI fielder’s choice. Uechi made it 8-0 in the fifth with an RBI single.
Ozarks scored on a failed relay throw by the Cowboys in the sixth for their only run of the game.
HSU added four runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Finney, an Andrew Bell RBI single and Patino had an RBI fielder’s choice.
J.T. Thornton and Brandon Walker each delivered their first hits as Cowboys and both were run-scoring singles in the eighth.
Finney and Jason Vause each had four hits as the Cowboys pounded out 20 hits in the game.
The Cowboys received a stellar pitching performance. Jordan Dotson (3-0) went six innings and scattered six hits and allowed just one unearned run. Parker Robinson, Brandon Bollinger and Ryan Reagor each worked a scoreless inning of relief.
Freddy Prince took the loss allowing seven runs (four earned) in just one and one-third innings of work.
Both teams are now 8-5 on the year. The teams will play a single game at noon on Saturday to decide the series.
Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.