Rogers Three Homeruns Lift Owls to Split with T-birds
Oregon Tech Seniors (L-R) Dustin Norman, Tyler Conklin, Alex Reynolds, Jared Nelson, Chase Meister and Kevin Shulemson (Photo by Kelly Caleb)
Tech's Rodgers Hits 1 of 3 Homeruns on the Day (Photo by Kelly Caleb)
(KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.) – Oregon Tech’s Dylan Rogers hit a 3-run and a 2-run homerun in game 1 and senior Dustin Norman doubled and scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Hustlin’ Owls won the front end of the double-header 12-11. The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds bounced back to win 13-3 in the nightcap on Sunday to win the series three games to four at Kiger Stadium.
Oregon Tech moves to 17-32 on the year and 8-16 in NAIA West action with the split. UBC improves to 17-7 in NAIA West play and 23-14 on the season.
In game 1, Oregon Tech went up 3-1 after a three-run homerun from Dylan Rogers in the first inning, but UBC starter Jeremy Netwon managed to settle in and hold the Owls scoreless over the next four innings while his team built a lead.
The Thunderbirds tied it up in the third on sac flies from Kevin Biro and Andrew Firth, and Jeremy Kral hit his own three-run homerun in the fifth to put UBC up 6-3. RBI singles from Tyson Popoff and Jerod Bartnik in the sixth gave UBC a 8-3 lead.
The Hustlin’ Owls got their offence going again in the sixth, when Tyler Conklin's two-run single scored Ryan Hayden and Aaron Bocchi to make it an 8-5 game.
UBC scratched across a run in the top of the 7th on a walk, a single, and an error to take a 9-5 lead.
Oregon Tech would answer as Bocchi in a 2-run double scoring Tyson Dahl and Alex Reynolds to cut the lead to 9-7 after 7 full innings.
After UBC went quietly in the top of the 8th inning, the Owls erupted for 4-runs capped off by another Rogers homerun to give the home team the 11-9 lead.
In the top of the ninth with 2-outs, Aaron Horanski came up with a clutch two-run single to tie the game at 11.
Oregon Tech's Dustin Norman Slides Home with Game Winner (Photo by Kelly Caleb)
On senior day, Oregon Tech would turn to senior Dustin Norman who led off the ninth with a double, moved over to third on a groundout, and then scored the walk-off winning run on a wild pitch, as Norman out-raced UBC Pitcher Miles Verweer to home plate after Verweer scooped up the loose ball that was blocked by catcher Greg Densem, Norman’s head first slid at home just edged out Verweer for the 12-11 Oregon Tech win.
Oregon Tech’s BJ Wilson picked up the win to improve to 4-4 on the season after blowing the save in the top of the ninth. Verweel picked up the loss for UBC falling to 3-3 on the season as he gave up 5-runs on 7-hits in just 2.1 innings.
Tech’s offense was led by Rogers 2-homeruns and 4-5 effort with Bocchi, Conklin and Ethan Schlecht adding 2-hits each in the win.
In game 2, UBC’s Jeremy Kral hit a three-run homerun in the first inning to get the Thunderbirds offence out of the gate quickly.
UBC added another five runs in the second inning and one more run in the third to lead 9-0 behind Bryan Pawlina on the mound, who improved to 8-0 on the season going seven innings and allowing two runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts.
Oregon Tech managed just a single run in each 6th, 7th and 9th innings, losing 13-3. UBC out-hit Oregon Tech 19-12 in the game.
Oregon Tech’s Alex Reynolds was 5-5 in game 2 to lead the offense with Bocchi picking up two more hits and Rodgers hitting his third homerun of the day, a solo shot to lead off the 6th inning it was his 5th of the season.
Mike Hole had four hits in game two to finish 6-10 on the day. Brody Hawkins was 4-5 in game two with his first home run of the season. Popoff had three hits in each game to go 6-10. Firth was 5-10 with five RBIs and Kral was 4-6 with eight RBI to lead the Thunderbirds.
Oregon Tech will travel to Redding, Calif. next weekend to wrap up NAIA West play against Simpson University. UBC will wrap up the regular season with a four-game series on the road against Lewis Clark State in Idaho.
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