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Pierce shines again as Eagles split doubleheader with Newman

Markus Carr tripled and scored two of OC's four runs as the Eagles beat Newman 4-2 in the opening game of Friday's doubleheader.
Markus Carr tripled and scored two of OC's four runs as the Eagles beat Newman 4-2 in the opening game of Friday's doubleheader.

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 4, 2014) – Oklahoma Christian baseball coach Lonny Cobble surely doesn’t take it for granted, but he feels rather confident that whenever Brandon Pierce is the Eagles’ starting pitcher, they’re going to win.

Pierce’s dominance continued Friday at Dobson Field. The senior righ-hander threw his fourth complete game of the baseball season, striking out seven, to lead OC past Newman (Kan.) 4-2 in the opener of a three-game Heartland Conference series.

Newman rebounded to beat the Eagles 13-4 in the second game, meaning Saturday’s noon matchup between OC and the Jets will decide the series winner.

OC (20-11, 13-7 Heartland), ranked seventh in the NCAA Division II South Central Region, scored once in each of the first three innings of the first game. Blake Stringer’s infield single – off the glove of Newman second baseman Alex Lator – brought home A.J. Florence in the first. Florence added an RBI single in the second and Stringer’s groundout scored Markus Carr – who had tripled – in the third.

Newman (15-16, 8-9) got to Pierce only once, scoring both its runs in the second inning, one on a single by Garrett Thomas. The Jets had three of their six hits off Pierce (6-2) in the second and never advanced a baserunner past second base except during that inning.

Carr singled and scored an insurance run for the Eagles in the fifth off Newman starter John Branum (3-5).

The Jets’ offense began rolling in the second game, scoring seven runs in the third inning and forcing OC starter Luke Sandoval (1-1) to take an early exit. Newman scored its 13 runs on just nine hits, taking advantage of seven walks issued by OC pitchers along with four hit batsmen.

Cody Frederickson (3-2) allowed six hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings for Newman. OC’s only offensive standout was Cory Eastwood, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs. The rest of the Eagles combined to record only four basehits.