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NORTHWESTERN SPLITS IN GOODWELLGOODWELL, Okla. – After playing in more than 40 MPH winds in Goodwell on Tuesday, the Ranger baseball team came away with a split against Oklahoma Panhandle State University. The Rangers fell 7-6 in the opener and won the second game 11-9.

OPSU did all its scoring in the first two innings. Northwestern scored a run in the first inning before falling victim to a six-run first inning. The Aggies added a solo run in the second inning to hold a 7-1 advantage.

The Rangers chipped away at the Aggie lead with three runs in the third inning and a run in the fifth inning to get within a 7-5 margin. In its last at bat, Northwestern pushed across a run, but stranded runners on first and second.

Northwestern had two more hits than the Aggies, recording eight hits. Chris Williams paced NWOSU with a 3-for-4 outing, a run scored and two runs batted in. Tom O’Gorman had two hits in four trips to the plate and had the only other RBI.

James McMurphy started on the hill, pitching two thirds of an inning, allowing two earned runs. Chase Kokojan faced three batters, before Kevin Hajny threw the final 5.1 innings. Hajny allowed just one run on four hits and struck out four batters in 23 batters faced.

The Rangers fell behind again in the second game, trailing 5-2 after three innings. NWOSU scored three runs in the fourth inning, while OPSU added two more runs to push the score to 7-5. Northwestern picked up four hits in the sixth inning to lead to a five-run sixth inning. After OPSU scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth, Northwestern added a single run in the top of the seventh for the 11-9 victory.

Northwestern picked up 14 hits, as both teams combined to leave 20 men on base.

Zach Theademan and Lester Gonzalez had three hits in the game, while Gonzalez batted in three runs. Vincent Valdez, Jacob Walsh, Williams, and Gonzalez all had doubles.

Josh Swain (3-2), pitching 2.2 innings of relief of starter Chase Phelps, who threw 3.1 innings, was credited with the win. Swain struck out three batters and allowed two runs on four hits. Mike Pratali pitched the final inning for NWOSU, striking out a batter in four batters faced.

The Rangers (22-15, 8-10) begin a three-game home series with Rogers State University, who comes in with the same 22-15 overall record and is a half game behind the Rangers in the conference standings at 9-12. The two teams will meet at Myers Stadium for a single nine-inning game at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 16 and finish the series with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday.