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Diamond Cats Spilt Doubleheader With Drovers

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CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

No. 13-ranked Rogers State baseball opened a four game, Sooner Athletic Conference series against USAO with a doubleheader split versus the Drovers Friday afternoon at the Diamond Sports Complex.

RSU claimed the first game of the series with a complete game shutout by southpaw Shawn Spainhoward for the 1-0 victory. In the nightcap the Hillcats were never able to overcome a five run top of the first inning by the Drovers, as USAO hung on for the 8-5 win.

GAME ONE

Spainhoward and the Hillcats held the Drovers scoreless through the first six innings of action. The St. Peters, Mo. native faced the minimum in three of the first six innings as he fanned just two batters.

In the bottom of the sixth Eric Baker led the inning by reaching on a misplayed grounder. The Ft. Gibson, Okla. native stole second and moved to third as Hector Rivera reached based on a Drover fielding error. Jose Olazagasti put the only run of the game on the board as he singled to left scoring Baker and putting RSU up 1-0.

The Drovers made a push in the top of the 7th with a pair of singles to lead off the inning to put runners on the corners. Spainhoward fanned the next batter to put one away and bringing Konrad Mueller at the plate with the Drovers looking to tie the game.

The USAO short stop sent a fly ball to right field that was caught by RSU's Keith Poverud and the Hillcat outfielder fired a strike to home catching the coming from third for an unconventional double-play to end the game.

Spainhoward (5-3) totaled 77 pitches in the seven inning victory as the Hillcat starter.

Chris Fischer (2-3) received the loss for the Drovers as he went five innings in the starter. He fanned five Hillcat batters before handing the ball to Josh Goodman for one inning of relief for USAO.

GAME TWO

The Diamond Cats allowed five runs in the top of the first inning on just one hit while not recording an error in the opening half inning of play. A bases loaded walk scored the first run of the game before Brian Vigo blasted a grand slam over the scoreboard in left field putting USAO in the advantage 5-0.

In the home half of the inning RSU posted three runs of its own after back-to-back singles by Baker and Rivera started the bottom of the first. Baker scored on a sacrifice fly by Olazagasti and a Colton Campbell single to right plated Rivera cutting the Drover lead to just 5-2.

Tyler Wheeler registered his first hit of the afternoon with a one RBI double to deep left-center field as the Hillcats trailed 5-3 after one inning of action.

A hit-by-pitch to leadoff the second inning led to a RBI ground out by Heath Wilda to push the USAO advantage back out to three runs at 6-3. RSU answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the second on a two-out, two-on single to left by Olazagasti trimmed the score to 6-4 Drovers.

Both teams were held blank in the third but RSU cut to within one run in the bottom of the fourth. A Rivera walk was followed by a triple by Olazagasti into the right field corner putting RSU behind just 6-5 after four.

In the top of the fifth, a misplayed grounder by the Hillcats with two outs loaded the bases for USAO. The Drovers capitalized with a two-RBI double by Daniel Edwards that just hugged the line to stay fair put the score at its final mark of 8-5 in favor of USAO.

Kyle Duncan (5-1) received the loss, his first of the season, as the Hillcat starter went just 1.1 innings of work. T.J. Law pitched three innings of relief while Law's high school teammate at Broken Arrow, Mason Marquette, closed the game with 2.2 innings of work.

Seth Sturgeon (6-2) earned the complete game victory for USAO as he allowed five runs, all earned, on six hits.

Hillcat second baseman Jose Olazagasti went 3-for-6 on the afternoon with four RBI in the doubleheader split.

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