ALVA, Okla. – Northwestern Oklahoma State banged out 24 hits in a doubleheader loss during its season opening loss to Bethany College on Saturday at Ranger Field. The Rangers fell 7-5 in the opener and were downed 19-15 in a slugfest in the nightcap.
The Rangers had to play catch up in both games as the first inning plagued problems. Northwestern was down 4-0 during the top part of the first inning in game one and trailed 5-0 after Bethany’s first at bat in game two.
Northwestern fought back in the first game, scoring a run in the first, but the Swedes scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning to pull away to a 6-1 lead. The Rangers added three runs in the fifth and a run in the sixth, before Bethany scored its final run in the seventh.
Nathan Clover went four innings in the opener, giving way to Matt Stratton for two innings and Jeremy Lawson threw the final three outs. Clover was tagged for six runs and 10 hits in his first start as a Ranger. Stratton gave up a run, before Lawson faced three batters and was unscathed in the final three outs.
Northwestern was flawless in the field and picked up nine hits. All but one starter had a hit in the game, as Chad Anglin had a triple and Cody Keiffer and Vincent Valdez followed with a double each.
After first inning troubles hit again in game two, Northwestern tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom half of the frame, thanks to a Kellan Scott grand slam and an RBI single from Anthony Cros.
Bethany struck in the fourth with 10 runs on five hits, with the Rangers helping the cause with three miscues.
The Rangers didn’t lie down quietly, after being down 16-6, Northwestern stayed in the game with two runs off an Anglin two-RBI double in the fifth inning.
Northwestern staged a comeback in the sixth inning, scoring seven runs on six hits, including Tom Huddleston’s first home run of his collegiate career, a two-run blast to left center and four batters later, Chris Williams followed with a two-run blast.
Trailing by one, 16-15, with an inning to play, the Rangers gave up three runs in the top of the seventh and could get anything going in the bottom half to end the game.
Chase Phelps took the loss in his first outing of the season, throwing three innings. Jarad Moore followed without recording an out and Keiffer pitched two thirds of an inning. Cameron Taylor pitched three innings and Lawson threw the final out.
Cros led the Rangers with a 3-for-4 outing with two runs batted in. Joseph Gwin, Huddleston, Williams and Scott all had two hits in the game.
Northwestern (0-2) hosts Mount Marty (S.D.) on Saturday and Sunday in doubleheaders both starting at 1 p.m. at Ranger Field.
Posted on Sun, February 8, 2009
by Ryan Hintergardt