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Ellis' Homerun Not Quite Enough In 10-Inning Heartbreaker

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ALVA, Oklahoma -

Northwestern Oklahoma State launched an improbable late-inning comeback, then watched as Oklahoma Christian returned the favor in an 8-6 setback Tuesday at Glass Field at Myers Stadium.

The Rangers rallied from a five-run deficit with six-unanswered, but OCU regrouped in the ninth to tie it. The Eagles won it in the 10th on the strength of back-to-back solo homeruns from Caleb Price and Jordan Lopez.

The Rangers used five different pitchers - with the last of them, Nathaneal Hancock (0-2), taking the loss. Chris Burgess (3-0) handled the final two innings for OCU to earn the win.

Ellis went 2 for 4 with a walk. His two-run homerun in the bottom of the seventh gave Northwestern its first lead of the day. Trevor Long and Jonathan Freemyer also had two-hit days.

OCU (18-11) built its initial lead with four runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to go up 5-0.

The Ranger offense awoke in the bottom of the sixth, roughing up OCU starter Cale Coshow for five singles and a walk. Trevor Long's base hit drove in Northwestern's first run and a second scored on a wild pitch. Hancock and George Mendoza each delivered two-out, RBI singles to close the gap to 5-4.

Northwestern pushed in front in the bottom of the seventh, thanks to Ellis' big swing. After Baldelomar was hit by a pitch to start the inning, Ellis delivered his first homerun of the year over the wall in left, making it 6-5 Rangers.

OCU threatened in the eighth against Jason Martyn, who worked three innings in relief. The Eagles loaded the bases with two out, but Martyn kept the lead intact, freezing the cleanup hitter Garrett Guys with a fastball on the outer-half for strike three.

Martyn was in line for the win before OCU finally got to him in the ninth. Blake Stringer beat out a slow roller to third for an infield hit to lead off the OCU ninth. After a sacrifice moved him to second base, Cleveland's one-out double into the left field corner scored pinch runner Evan Draper to tie the game at 6.

OCU continued its late surge in the tenth against Hancock, who took over for Martyn on the mound.

Caleb Price tagged a drive just to the right of the scoreboard in left center to put the Eagle back in front. The next batter, Jordan Lopez, homered to nearly the same spot, sneaking a fly ball just over the glove of a leaping Bata for an 8-6 OCU lead.

George Mendoza drew a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate for the Rangers in the bottom of the 10th, but any hope of a comeback ended there. Burgess retired the final two batters to end the game.

The Rangers continue their homestand with three games against Harding this weekend. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday, March 29 with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. The series wraps up Saturday with a single game beginning at 1 p.m.

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