Despite three solo homeruns by No. 5-ranked Rogers State, the Hillcats couldn't capitalize with bases loaded resulting in a 6-5 loss to Bacone College at Warrior Field Wednesday afternoon.
Leading 4-2 in the top of the fifth RSU led off with the top of the lineup. The Hillcats were able to load the bases with just one out and Cody Campbell at the plate. Campbell, who hit a solo shot over the left field fence in the second inning, hit into a double play as the first batter faced by Bacone's Aberto Pena.
In the bottom half of the inning the host Warriors scored Anthony Seabolt on a RBI double by Kyle Pietryga to cut the Hillcat lead to 4-3.
In the top of the sixth Ramcy Lora blasted a solo shot to left-center, the second homerun of the season for the Hillcat transfer, pushing the RSU lead back to two runs at 5-3.
Mason Marquette went to the mound for RSU in the sixth and led off with a strikeout of Antonio Horn. Steven Smith doubled to right and scored on a single by Enrique Meza to cut the deficit back to 5-4 advantage RSU.
A three up, three down top of the seventh inning by RSU led to the Warriors tying the game in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff homerun by Eric Folkers, in his second at-bat of the game, tied the contest at 5-5.
In the top of the eighth inning Bacone went to the bullpen bringing in Kydani Ortiz and RSU took advantage of the new pitcher. A leadoff walk followed by a hit-by-pitch led to a single by Jose Olazagasti and loading the bases for the Hillcats. Lora connected on a 1-1 pitch but the ground ball was snagged by the first baseman who fired home for the force out. A fly ball to second base followed by a strikeout retired the side as Bacone avoided another shot by the Hillcats.
Bacone capitalized in the bottom of the eighth facing Jesus Del Rosario out of the bullpen. The HIllcat pitcher issued back-to-back walks before striking out the pinch hitting Ricardo Barbosa. Del Rosario allowed another walk before striking out Foklers for the second out. Then on the first pitch to Pietryga a wild pitch by Del Rosario sent the go-ahead run home from third. The Hillcat transfer pitcher walked Pietryga but followed with a four pitch strike out to end the inning.
Trailing 6-5 in the top of the ninth the Hillcats were at the top of the line-up. Eric Baker reached on a base on balls to lead off the inning but was followed by back-to-back line outs to centerfield. Then on a 1-1 count Baker was caught stealing second to end the game.
Colton Campbell hit his first homerun of the season to lead off the fourth inning as RSU tallied three runs in the inning.
The victory by Bacone is just the third in series history between the two teams.
Cody McBride earned the victory for Bacone (5-3) as he pitched the final two innings allowing no hits and no runs. McBride issued one walk and fanned one batter.
Jesus Del Rosario received the loss for the Hillcats after pitching one inning with one earned run on no hits. He fanned three batters but allowed four walks.
T.J. Law started the game for RSU going four innings as he allowed two runs on three hits. The Broken Arrow, Okla. native walked three and struck three others. In one inning of relief Kyle Deaton allowed one run on one hit with one strikeout. Mason Marquette pitched two complete innings allowing two runs on four hits as he fanned two batters.
Colton Campbell went 3-of-5 from the plate while shortstop Jose Olazagasti went 2-of-4 as both players had a RBI.
Rogers State (6-3) returns to action this Saturday, Feb. 16 for the first of two doubleheaders this weekend versus Baker University. During Sunday's doubleheader versus Baker, the Hillcats will celebrate the 2012 NAIA World Series Runner-Up squad with a ceremony between games. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. on both dates.