ALVA, Okla. – Northwestern and USAO split in the final regular season conference games, with USAO taking game one 4-3 and the Rangers taking game two 4-3. The split put the Rangers at 33-20 overall and at 16-14 in the conference.
Northwestern took a 3-0 lead after three and a half innings, with Vincent Valdez’s third inning two-RBI single and Quinton Haynes drove in an unearned run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth.
USAO added a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to pull within a run. The Drovers shut out the Rangers for the final three innings and scored a pair of runs with one hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to yield to the 4-3 win.
Garry Thomas (7-2) struck out two batters and allowed just four hits in six innings of work as he received the loss, just his second of the season.
Both teams had four hits, as Valdez led NWOSU with a 2-for-3 outing, including a double. Tom Huddleston and Haynes were the only other Rangers with hits.
Northwestern picked up 13 hits in game two and broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh to lead to the 4-3 win.
Natal had an RBI single in the first inning to open the scoring. The Rangers pushed another solo run across in the fourth inning as Huddleston doubled in Haynes.
USAO knotted the game at 2-2 with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
In the Ranger seventh, Haynes doubled in Tom O’Gorman and Richard Burdick singled in Haynes to score the eventual game-winning run.
The Drovers led off the seventh inning with a solo home run to pull within a run. With two outs, the Rangers appealed a runner leaving early from second base and the appeal held up as the game ended with the Rangers taking the 4-3 victory.
Four Rangers pitched in the game, as Josh Swain started and pitched the first two innings. Jarad Moore relieved for two innings, as well as Kevin Hajny for two innings. Mike Pratali pitched the final inning getting his third save of the season, as Hajny (2-0) was credited with the win.
Haynes led the Rangers offensively with three hits, including two doubles. Huddleston, Burdick and Wade Schwerdtfeger all had two hits in the nightcap.
Northwestern (33-20, 16-14) will enter the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament which begins Monday, May 10 at Jim Wade Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma City University.
Sun, May 9, 2010
by Ryan Hintergardt