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Lions Roar Past Hillcats, 5-4

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CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

The Rogers State baseball team's late-inning heroics fell short on Tuesday night as the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith clawed to a 5-4 victory in extra innings at the Diamond Sports Complex.

RSU never led in the contest, coming from behind to tie the game twice. The Hillcats tallied 10 hits on the day but left nine runners stranded in the contest and committed three errors.

The Hillcats fell behind early as the Lions took a 2-0 lead in the first frame. With one out, UAFS loaded the bases. Freshman Zach Tyson struck out the next batter before issuing a full-count walk to bring a run in to score. Ryan Gros followed with a laser hit straight to the pitcher's mound, hitting Tyson in the knee, allowing a run to score. The right-handed pitcher left the game and Jesus Del Rosario took over for the Cats, forcing Adam Baker to ground out and end the inning.

Senior Colton Campbell started the Hillcats' rally in the bottom of the second with a leadoff home run blasted over the right field fence. Tyler Wheeler followed with a walk and Ramcy Lora hit a two-out double to put runners on the corners. Blake Heston singled to shallow left field to bring Wheeler home and knot the game, 2-2.

Colton Campbell robbed Ben Smith of a leadoff home run in the top of the third as he leaned over the left field fence to catch the fly ball and keep the Lions from regaining the lead.

In the top of the fourth, Gros led off with a triple and stole third base, eventually scoring on a ground out by Ozzie Hurt to give UAFS the one-run advantage. In the eighth, the Lions doubled their lead as Christian Allan tripled to start the inning and scored on a sacrifice bunt Gordon Miller.

The Hillcats rallied to knot the score in the bottom of the eighth with a sacrifice fly to right field by Colton Campbell to score Nick Malter who started the inning with a single. Olazagasti doubled and scored on a groundout by Brandon Bargas.

Both teams faced the minimum in the ninth frame, forcing extra innings. However, the Lions managed a run in the top of the 10th thanks to a RBI single by Gibson.

The Hillcat put runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the inning but UAFA relief pitcher Jordan Hammer fanned the next three batters to seal the win for the Lions.

TJ Law suffered the loss on the mound for the Hillcats. The sophomore right-handed pitcher tossed three innings and allowed two runs on two hits with two strike outs in three innings pitched.

Colton Campbell and Heston led the Cats with three hits apiece.

Rogers State (19-4, 4-0) returns to action on Friday evening as the Hillcats take on Oklahoma Christian in Oklahoma City. The non-conference, nine inning affair is set for 6 p.m.

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