UAFS Takes Two From OBU
Charleston’s Tyler Davis Gets Win In 15 Inning Game
By Scott Faldon Times Record • firstname.lastname@example.org
UAFS and Ouachita Baptist were scheduled to play 16 innings over two games on Sunday.
Instead they played nearly that many in the first game alone as the Lions beat the Tigers, 3-2, in 15 innings at Crowder Field.
In the second game, UAFS won 11-5 in seven scheduled innings to split the four-game nonconference weekend series.
In the first game, Tyler Lein singled to open the bottom of the 15th for UAFS. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Gros, then Justin Shealy drew a walk. After an out, Brennan Rogers singled left-center field. Running from second, Lein beat the throw home by a couple of feet for the win. When Lein touched home, it ended a game that had lasted three hours and 48 minutes.
“I thought we showed a lot of character today,” UAFS head coach Dale Harpenau said. “We talk about grinding out wins and that’s what they did today.”
Rogers accounted for all three runs for UAFS. In the sixth, Shealy walked with one out. Rogers followed with home run over the left-field fence that tied the game at 2-2. He almost ended the game in the 13th as well. But Mitch Huckabay was thrown out at home when Rogers singled.
“Brennan had a chance there to end it and they threw the guy out at the plate on a bang-bang play, then he comes up in the 15th and he gets a hit,” I was proud of Brennan for stepping up in those spots and getting hits.”
A pair of double plays by UAFS kept OBU from breaking that 2-2 tie. In the seventh, Gros snowconed a line drive then doubled a Tiger off second base to end the top of the inning.
In the top of the 15th, Ouachita opened the inning with a strike out but three consecutive walks loaded the bases, which prompted a UAFS pitching change to Tyler Davis — who had not appeared in a game this season. But he got OBU’s Seth Childers to ground to third baseman Matt Turner who threw to Shealy at home for the second out. Shealy relayed the ball to Rogers at first to complete the double play.
“We executed like we needed to and, after that, I thought we’ve got a chance to win this thing after all. Then, sure enough, we scored right after that.” Harpenau said. “Tyler Davis hasn’t thrown an inning for us. He comes in and throws one pitch and gets the win and TD deserves that. I’m extremely happy about that. He’s been a program guy who never complains and just does what we ask of him without complaint.”
UAFS had to rally in the second game from a 5-0 deficit. In the bottom of the second, the Lions got one run back. Then in the fourth, UAFS sent 12 batters to the plate and scored seven runs. In the fifth, the Lions tacked on another three insurance runs.
“After a 15-inning win, we could have mailed it in after being down 5-0 after two innings,” Harpenau said. “They refused to lose today. They found ways to win. I’m really pleased with them.”
Curtis Clark provided the biggest hit of the nightcap with a three RBI triple in the fourth-inning outburst. Gros and Blaise Warrick each drove in a pair of runs in the second game, while Ryan Justus was a perfect 4-for-4.
Harpenau hopes the doubleheader sweep can spark the Lions (15-15) as they head back into Heartland Conference play on Friday.
“Sometimes there’s a game that kickstarts you for the rest of the season and I hope that winning one 3-2 in 15 innings can do that,” Harpenau said. “It was a good day for us that, hopefully, sets us up for a good weekend series against St. Edward’s University.”