East Central University’s Grant Rainwater collected four hits and Dylon Howard drove in four runs, but it wasn’t enough as Northwestern Oklahoma State knocked off the Tigers 8-6 Wednesday night at David Allen Memorial Park.

Rainwater went 4-for-4 from the plate with a double and scored three runs while Dylon Howard was only 1-for-4, but hit a three-run double in the first inning and added an RBI groundout in the third.

The Tigers fell to 9-28 on the season while the Rangers improved to 23-18.

ECU starting pitcher J.P. O’Leary (0-7) worked the first three innings and surrendered all eight runs. However, only four of those scores were earned as the Tigers committed three errors in the contest.

Four other ECU pitchers saw mound duty while NWOSU used seven pitchers as starter Garry Thomas (4-3) was credited with the win.

The Tigers also received a multiple-hit effort from Chris Montgomery, who was 2-for-3 from the dish. Justin Gibson and Austin Ardery were credited with an RBI apiece.

Howard’s RBI groundout and Ardery’s run-scoring single lifted ECU to a 5-4 advantage in the third, but the Rangers struck back with three four runs in the bottom half of the frame.

The Tigers pulled within 8-6 in the sixth on Gibson’s RBI single through the right side of the infield, but it was too little, too late.

J.C. Aguayo went 3-for-5 with a run scored for the Rangers while teammates Juan Natal (2-for-3 with two runs batted in) and Vincent Valdez (2-for-5 with two RBIs) also notched multiple hits.

 ECU returns to Lone Star Conference play with a weekend series at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

The two teams will play a 1 p.m. single game on Friday before battling in a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.

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