Clutch hits by Cleveland, Price, Lopez lift OC past Northwestern 8-6
ALVA, Okla. (March 26, 2012) – Caleb Price and Jordan Lopez each homered in the 10th inning and Chris Burgess picked up his fourth pitching win of the season in relief, lifting Oklahoma Christian past Northwestern Oklahoma State 8-6 on Tuesday at Myers Stadium.
OC (18-11) completed a two-game season sweep of Northwestern (16-14) thanks also to heroics from Caden Cleveland, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and delivered a run-scoring double in the ninth inning that tied the game at 6-6.
Northwestern had shut out the Eagles in three straight baseball games last season when both schools were members of the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Tuesday’s game was scoreless until the fifth inning, when OC scored four runs, one on a bases-loaded walk to Sean Murphy and two on a single by Cleveland. The Eagles made it 5-0 in the top of the sixth, as Markus Carr singled and later scored on a single by Lopez.
The Rangers had five of their 12 hits in the fifth inning against OC starter Cale Coshow, sending 10 men to the plate and pulling within 5-4. One inning later, Northwestern went up 6-5 on a two-run home run by Calvin Ellis off OC reliever Ryan Nash.
Blake Stringer opened the top half of the ninth inning for OC with an infield single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Murphy. Evan Draper pinch-ran for Stringer and scored when Cleveland doubled to left field off Northwestern reliever Jason Martyn.
Burgess (4-0) came on in the bottom of the ninth for OC and ran into a bit of trouble initially, but struck out Nick Bata with two runners on base and two outs.
Nathaneal Hancock (0-2) came on to pitch in the 10th for the Rangers. He quickly recorded one out before Price homered to left-center field and Lopez followed with another homer, also to left-center field.
Northwestern had one baserunner in the 10th against Burgess, but he struck out Colton Dickerman and coaxed a groundout from Jarad Moore to end the game. Burgess struck out three batters in two innings and became the third OC pitcher this season to record four wins, joining Luke Sandoval and Tyler Sturges, and lowered his ERA to 0.98.
Carr finished 3-for-5 and scored twice for OC, while Garrett Guys went 3-for-6. The top four batters in the Eagles’ lineup – Carr, Price, Lopez and Guys – went a combined 10-for-21 with four RBIs and six runs scored.