Owls Hang on to Sweep Simpson in NAIA West Region Doubleheader
Tech's Josh Strom Struck out 5 hitters in picking up a complete game win (Photo
by Kelly Caleb)
The Oregon Tech baseball team erupted for five runs in the fifth inning of game #1 and withstood a Red Hawk ninth inning rally in game #2 to pick up a sweep over Simpson University by scores of 8-4 and 9-8 today at Kiger Stadium in NAIA West Region action. Oregon Tech improves to 24-19 on the season and 16-6 in the NAIA West.
The Owls struggled to find their offense early, but eventually put a single run across in the fourth inning on back-to-back doubles by Kevin Conway and Travis Olson, to trail 2-1.
Tech exploded for five runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run homerun by Cory Spires and a solo shot by Olson, as the Owls plated five runs in the inning to take a 6-2 lead.
A Simpson run in the sixth cut the Red Hawk deficit to 6-3.
In the Owls sixth, Cory Spires connected for his second long ball of the game to give the Owls a 7-3 advantage. Trent Smith walked and would come around to score on an RBI single by Conway to push the Owl lead to 8-3.
Simpson added one run in the seventh, but the Owls would end the game on a double play to shortstop and win 8-4.
A RBI double by Ryson Mauricio and RBI fielder's choice by Trent Smith, plating Spires who earlier doubled, gave the Owls a 2-0 advantage to start game #2.
Simpson got on the board with a two-run homerun by Matt Alton to tie the game in the third inning at two apiece.
A bases loaded infield single by Zach Earle gave Tech a 3-2 lead. Mauricio then followed with single up the middle that pushed two runs across to give Tech a 5-2 advantage. A three-run blast to right field, off the bat of Quinn Hummel, broke the game open to give the Owls an 8-2 lead.
Simpson plated an unearned run in the seventh, and a solo shot by designated hitter James Parker cut the Owl lead in half, 8-4.
The Owls' Nick Staller returned the favor, with a solo homerun of his own, giving the Owls another five run lead, 9-4, in the eighth.
A Simpson ninth inning rally would load the bases and with two outs Parker hit his second homerun of the game, a grand slam, to close the gap to 9-8. Relief pitcher Kevin Huntley was then able to get the last Simpson batter to ground out, giving the Owls the sweep and game two by the final of 9-8.
Spires ended the day with four hits, including two homeruns in game one, a double and four RBI, before leaving the game with an injury. Kevin Conway and Travis Olson came away with two hits each in the first game with Olson driving in two runs, including a double and his first homerun of the season, while Conway added two RBI. Nick Staller was 3-4 in the nightcap, including a solo homerun and double. Hummel drove in three runs on his homerun in game two. Mauricio was 2-3 in the nightcap with two RBI.
Josh Strom, in his second straight complete game, gave up eight hits and struck out five Red Hawk batter to improve to 6-4 on the season. Neil Emerson, starting pitcher in game two, went 8.2 innings and moved to 4-3 with the win.
The Owls and Red Hawks will conclude their four-game series tomorrow at Kiger Stadium in Klamath Falls with a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 pm.
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