WOODWARD, Okla. – After Northwestern’s baseball team’s three-game set was moved to Fuller Ballpark in Woodward because of damage to Myers Stadium, the Rangers split a pair of 6-3 games on Saturday, before falling 18-17 in a marathon game on Sunday evening.
J.C. Aguayo advanced to 4-2 on the year, picking up the win in game one. He held Wayland Baptist to just four hits and didn’t allow an earned run, while fanning eight batters in six innings of work. Derek Epps picked up his 12th save of the year, pitching to five batters in the seventh inning, striking out two of them.
After three innings of scoreless baseball, Northwestern got on the board in the fourth inning as they scored a run on an errant throw. Vincent Valdez hit a solo shot, his first of four in the series, starting off the fifth inning. Quinton Haynes drove in two runs with a double to right center, upping the Ranger advantage to 4-0.
Wayland Baptist picked up a pair of runs in the sixth inning, and the Rangers answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. They did so on a double from George Flores and scored its final run of the game as Juan Natal singled to left field.
The Pioneers scored a run in the top of the seventh, but Epps held them scoreless in the seventh for the win while picking up the save.
NWOSU doubled WBU’s output, recording 10 hits. Flores and Valdez combined for half of the team’s hits, as Valdez was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Flores went 3-for-4.
The roles were reversed in game two, as Northwestern was on the losing end of the 6-3 contest.
Northwestern struck first, scoring three runs in the first inning, with two runs coming from a Kyle Weber home run.
Wayland Baptist scored three runs in both the third and sixth innings. Two Pioneer pitchers kept NWOSU in check, holding the Rangers to just three hits.
In addition to Weber’s home run, Wes Brorsen and Haynes singled.
Danny Santiago (1-2) took the loss, pitching 3.1 innings. He was followed by four relievers.
In Sunday’s marathon game, Northwestern dug itself out of a 10-0 hole through two and a half innings of play. The Rangers tacked on four runs in the fourth inning, before WBU added five more in the top of the fourth inning, making it a 15-4 WBU lead.
Northwestern exploded in the sixth inning, scoring eight runs on six hits to knot the game at 15 all. Flores got the Rangers going as he highlighted the inning with a grand slam, depositing it far beyond the right field fence.
After Wayland Baptist added three runs in the seventh inning to take an 18-15 lead, the Rangers wouldn’t go away quiet in the bottom of the ninth inning. Valdez uncorked his fourth home run of the series, a two-run blast with two outs, putting Northwestern just a run down. The Rangers were unable to score the tying run, giving way to the 18-17 loss.
In the nearly three hour game, 43 hits were recorded, 19 coming from Northwestern. Flores had four hits in five at bats and had seven runs batted in. Leadoff batter Michael Ciombor had four hits also, while Valdez and Aguayo each had three.
Josh Swain (2-1) took the loss in 2.1 innings of relief work. Chase Phelps started the game and yielded to four relievers.
Northwestern (24-20, 7-18) will play a makeup game with the University of Science and Arts on Monday, Apr. 18. First pitch for the nine inning game is slated for 3 p.m. in Chickasha.
Sun, April 17, 2011
by Ryan Hintergardt