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RANGERS EDGED BY EAST CENTRAL IN ENIDENID, Okla. – The Ranger baseball team was edged out 12-11 by East Central University on Tuesday night at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in the Rangers Annual “Baseball, Hot Dogs and Apple Pie” event.

Northwestern fell behind 5-0 after the opening inning. The Rangers and Tigers each scored single runs in the second and third innings, with Zach Theademan scoring the first run for NWOSU and Vincent Valdez hitting a solo shot in the third inning.

The Rangers tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning after Wade Schwerdtfeger started off the inning with a single and courtesy runner Quinton Haynes scored on Juan Natal’s RBI double to left center. Natal was driven in as Dustin Williams reached on an error.

Northwestern tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Back-to-back singles by Schwerdtfeger and Zach Theademan, and a Natal walk got the inning going. Haynes, running for Schwerdtfeger, scored on a passed ball and a two-RBI double from Jacob Walsh followed, scoring both Theademan and Natal to tie the game.

ECU took a 9-7 lead after pushing across two runs in the sixth inning and extended it to 11-8 through seven innings.

The Tigers scored a run in the top of the ninth inning to go up 12-8, but the Rangers’ fight wasn’t over. Dustin Williams singled to drive in Juan Natal, who reached base on a single. Tom Huddleston scored on a sacrifice fly by Lester Gonzalez. The Rangers got within a run after Wade Schwerdtfeger was credited with an RBI after being hit by a pitch and left the bases loaded. East Central got out of the bases loaded jam with a strikeout and escaped with the 12-11 win.

James McMurphy got the start and pitched an inning before Chase Phelps threw 7.2 innings of relief. Phelps fanned nine batters and allowed three earned runs. Jeremy Lawson pitched an out to finish out the top of the seventh.

The Rangers picked up 15 hits, as ECU posted 17 hits. Huddleston and Schwerdtfeger had three hits each, while Valdez, Theademan and Natal each had two in the game.

Northwestern (19-13, 6-9) begins a three-game series with Oklahoma Christian at Myers Field on Thursday, April 8. The Ranger and Eagles will play a single nine-inning game in Alva with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.