OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 24, 2013) – Oklahoma Christian took advantage of the warm temperatures to schedule a rare Sunday doubleheader against a pair of top-notch NAIA foes and the Eagles came away with a split.
OC edged York (Neb.) 4-3 in the opener before dropping a 2-1 decision to Oklahoma City University in games played at Putnam City High School, since the fields at both OC and OCU remained too wet from last week’s snow, rain and ice.
In the opener against a York team that was 28th in the balloting for the NAIA preseason poll, Dillon Andrews delivered a two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift OC (4-5) to the win.
York (9-5) scored twice in the third to take a 2-1 lead but left the bases loaded as OC starter Tyler Sturges (1-2) wriggled out of the jam.
Caleb Price’s RBI single in the fourth pulled OC even at 2-2, but the Panthers went back ahead in the fifth, as Trevor Ramos singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Leis.
Caden Cleveland doubled with one out in the sixth off York reliever Matt Blaemire (0-1). With two outs, Blaemire hit Price with a pitch. Andrews followed with his triple, scoring Cleveland and pinch-runner Markus Carr. Andrews finished 2-for-4 in the game.
Sturges allowed six hits and three runs in six innings, walking three and striking out three. Chris Burgess recorded his first save by blanking the Panthers in the seventh inning despite allowing two baserunners.
Against OCU, OC right-hander Cale Coshow (0-2) was the hard-luck loser, allowing only four hits and one earned run in a complete-game outing.
OCU (13-4), ranked No. 4 in the NAIA, took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Jonathan Sigado singled to right field and went to third base on a failed pickoff attempt, as first baseman Heath Steele couldn’t handle the throw from Coshow. Chris Wallis’ single to center field scored Sigado.
The Stars made it 2-0 in the top of the sixth. Walker Davidson doubled to right-center field and one out later, Kale Gaden did the same to bring home Davidson.
OC answered in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitting, Carr doubled to left-center field. Dillon Andrews followed by reaching a fielding error by OCU pitcher Cody Crabaugh. Cody Rosecrans doubled to right field to score Carr and give the Eagles two runners in scoring position, but Jerry Owen and Sean Murphy both struck out swinging and Jordan Lopez grounded out to third base, ending the threat.
Crabaugh (3-1) allowed five hits and struck out six in six innings. Davis Henderson retired the Eagles in order in the seventh to record his first save.
All but one of OC’s games this season have come against teams either ranked or receiving votes in national NCAA Division II or NAIA polls. The Eagles have yet to play at home this season and won’t play Monday at Rogers State because of forecast winter weather. A scheduled home game Tuesday against Oklahoma Baptist also could be a victim of the winter storm.