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Chase PhelpsALVA, Okla. – The Northwestern baseball team dropped its final pair of games on Thursday, falling 5-2 and 4-1 to USAO at Ranger Field. The losses dipped the Rangers a game under .500, with a 26-27 overall record with a game to go.


Northwestern out-slugged USAO in the opener, 9-4, but three USAO runs in the top of the eighth inning proved to be the deciding factor.


Starter Chase Phelps gave up a solo home run followed by a single in the first inning and held the Drovers hitless until he was lifted for Cameron Taylor with an out in the seventh inning. Phelps allowed just two hits in 27 batters faced and struck out a season-high eight batters. Taylor pitched an inning and two-thirds, striking out four Drovers and allowing two hits. He dropped to 2-4 on the season as he was pinned with the loss.


USAO’s home run in the first inning started them out to a 1-0 lead, but the Rangers tied the game in the second inning, as Chad Anglin singled in Chris Williams, who hit his 19th double of the season.


The Drovers scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh to take a 2-1 lead.


Northwestern countered when it mattered, in the bottom of the seventh. Brandon Alvarez reached base on a bunt single with one out and advanced to second on a stolen base. Anthony Cros came through in the clutch, with a two out single that dropped into shallow center field, scoring Alvarez for the tying run.


USAO struck for three runs in the top of the eighth to seal the game, as they held the Rangers silent in the bottom of the eighth after a Dan Coury leadoff single.


Coury led the Rangers offensively with a 3-for-4 outing, along with his 15th double of the year. Cros sewed up two hits in four trips to the plate and had one RBI.


Game two’s first and second inning started out much the same, as USAO scored a run in the first inning and NWOSU tied it up in the second with Chris Williams 17th home run of the season.


USAO held the Rangers scoreless over the last five innings, as they added two runs in the fifth and a run in the top of the seventh to clinch the win.


Jeremy Lawson (5-7) pitched five innings and held the Drovers to five hits and just one earned run. Matt Stratton finished the final two innings, fanning one batter.


Williams had two of the Rangers six hits, while Clint Dodds added a double.

The Rangers (26-27, 10-19) play their final game of the season against USAO in Chickasha during a single nine-inning game on Saturday, May 2. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.