PLAINVIEW, Tex. – In its first Sooner Athletic Conference meeting of the season, the Northwestern Ranger baseball team won two games out of the three-game weekend series with No. 14 Wayland Baptist. On Friday, Northwestern won the opener 6-3 and dropped the second game by a heartbreaking 13-12 margin. The Rangers capped the series off with a 14-5 pounding of the Pioneers on Saturday.
In the series opener, Danny Santiago pitched a complete-game to advance to 3-1 on the season. Santiago gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out one, while facing 26 batters.
The Rangers went ahead 2-0 in the second inning as Wade Schwerdtfeger drove in Vincent Valdez, who singled to left to start the inning. Tom Huddleston doubled, advancing courtesy runner Quinton Haynes to third. An error in the outfield allowed Haynes to reach home for a 2-0 Ranger lead.
Neither team would score again until the game reached its final inning. The Rangers tacked on four more runs, all unearned, in their last at bat. Huddleston scored the first run of the inning as Chris Williams reached on an error. Tom O’Gorman provided the big blast, hitting his sixth home run of the season, a three-run home run to left field, giving NWOSU a 6-0 lead.
Wayland Baptist countered with three runs on three hits in the bottom half of the seventh, but Santiago held strong to get the Rangers out of the inning and pick up the first conference win.
Leadoff hitter Zach Theademan and Huddleston combined for five of the Rangers nine hits. Theademan led the Rangers with a 3-for-4 outing, while Huddleston was 2-for-4.
In Friday’s nightcap, the Rangers dropped a one-run lead in the seventh, as Wayland Baptist pushed across two runs in the seventh inning for the win.
Northwestern used six runs in the third inning to take an early 7-3 lead over the Pioneers. Wayland Baptist turned around to score six runs of its own in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving them their first lead of the game, up 11-10.
Dustin Williams doubled to right center to score Theademan to tie the game at 11-11 in the top of the seventh. O’Gorman supplied a sacrifice fly to plate Williams for the go-ahead run and give Northwestern a 12-11 advantage.
With no outs in the bottom half of the seventh, Wayland Baptist loaded the bases after an intentional walk by the Rangers, but a walk-off single to right center field provided the big blow to the Rangers, giving them the 13-12 loss.
Northwestern pounded out 17 hits, with Schwerdtfeger, Dustin Williams and Jacob Walsh all having 3-for-4 performances at the plate. Valdez, Walsh and Dustin Williams all had two doubles in the game, as Walsh was the only Ranger to go deep.
Garry Thomas started the game on the mound, going 1.1 innings before giving way to Josh Swain, who pitched three innings. Cameron Taylor threw an out and Mike Pratali (2-1) pitched the final 1.2 innings and was pinned with the loss.
The Rangers came away with the second win of the series on Saturday, as they again ripped 17 hits off of Pioneer pitching. Vincent Valdez tied the Rangers single-game record for most hits in a game, as he was 5-for-6.
Northwestern scored half of its runs in the fourth inning, using six hits and two WBU errors to score seven runs.
Jeremy Lawson advanced to 2-0 on the season, picking up the win in relief of starter James Hamilton. Lawson pitched 4.2 innings, striking out eight batters. Jarad Moore closed the final two innings out, allowing no runs on only one hit.
The Rangers, now 11-3 overall and 2-1 in the Sooner Athletic Conference, will take on the NAIA’s No. 1 ranked Lubbock Christian (Tex.) Chapparals in a three-game series this weekend. The Rangers and Chaps will meet for a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, followed by a single nine-inning game on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sun, February 28, 2010
by Ryan Hintergardt