By BRIAN JOHNSON
ECU Sports Information
ADA — It was only fitting that a senior provided dramatics on Senior Day.
Pinch-hitter and senior Chad Workman hit a pulsating two-out, two-run single to right-center in the bottom of the seventh inning as the East Central University Tigers edged the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Savages 6-5 Wednesday in the second game of a Lone Star Conference North baseball doubleheader at Tiger Field.
SOSU, sparked by a 17-hit attack and the pitching of starter Adam Bennett, downed ECU 11-1 in the first game.
The split moved ECU to 15-34 overall and 8-14 in the LSC North, while the Savages, who have already clinched a berth in the six-team LSC Postseason Tournament, went to 24-25 and 13-9. SOSU will finish third in the LSC North. The Tigers are out of the playoff picture.
ECU 6, SOSU 5 (Game 2)
The Tigers did all of their scoring in the seventh with two outs.
Tyler Pybas’ bases-loaded single to right scored Matt Stout and Jason Wellington was hit by a pitch to bring home Brett Musgrove. Musgrove was pinch-running for Cody Carrier who reached on a fielder’s choice.
That’s when ECU head coach Ron Hill inserted Workman who worked the count to full before slicing an outside corner pitch to right-center, scoring Jay Neal for the tying run and Pybas for the winner.
The Tigers had five of their 11 hits in the seventh.
Stout, another ECU senior, wrapped up his home career with a 3-for-3 performance with a pair of runs scored. He had a single up the middle in the first, a single to short in the fourth and a nifty bunt-single in the seventh to help fuel the Tigers’ come-from-behind victory.
Greg Minter and Neal also collected two hits each for ECU as Minter went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored while Neal was also 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Senior Matt Kennell (6-4) picked up the win in relief of starter Logan Davis. Kennell faced three batters, walked one and struck out one. SOSU baserunner David Newell was gunned down by the catcher Neal on a steal attempt in the inning. Neal was catching in place of Carrier, who was injured in last weekend’s doubleheader at Northeastern State. Carrier did manage to serve as a designated hitter in both games Wednesday.
Davis worked the first six innings in getting the no-decision. He allowed just three earned runs (two were unearned) off six hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Reliever Jordan Semore (7-5) took the loss for the Savages after going 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four earned runs off seven hits with just one walk and six strikeouts.
Chase Langley went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for SOSU.
After the Savages struck for two runs in the second, the Tigers countered with two of their own in the third as Carrier’s single to left-center scored Minter. That hit chased away SOSU starter Justin Pitrucha, who gave way to Semore.
One out later, Clay Mack singled through the left side of the infield and scored Stout to make the score 2-2.
SOSU 11, ECU 1 (Game 1)
Kolby Williams, Riley Ridling and Erik Hughes collected three hits each for the Savages, who broke the game open with a six-run fifth after leading 2-0 through four innings.
No Tiger had more than one hit. In fact, ECU didn’t pick up its lone run until the seventh when Pybas scored from second base off Wes Wainscott’s RBI single to right. Pybas hit a two-out single up the middle and advanced to second on Wellington’s single to set the stage for that run.
Bennett (7-5) struck out four and walked only two while allowing the three hits through the first five innings. Travis Bell allowed the one earned run off four hits with one walk and a strikeout.
Starter Aaron Iker (2-9) was tagged with the loss after surrendering eight earned runs off 12 hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Zak Wallis and Eric Martray also saw mound duty for the Tigers.
ECU closes out the season with a three-game series at Southwestern Oklahoma State University on Friday and Saturday. The two teams will play a 2 p.m. nine-inning single game on Friday before squaring off in a 1 p.m. doubleheader (both games scheduled for seven innings) on Saturday.
By BRIAN JOHNSON