The Central Christian College bench knew the ball was gone as soon as Tiger right fielder Mitch Davidoff connected in the bottom of the ninth.
They exploded as Davidoff hit his second home run in the first game of Friday night’s MCAC opening doubleheader with Oklahoma Wesleyan University at a clutch time, snapping a tie and winning the game 9-8 in walk-off fashion at Light Capital Diamond.
“It was a good first game,” Central coach Justin Cunningham said. “We were able to bounce back after they came back in the top of the ninth and senior Andrew Kroeker threw well and gave us a chance to win.”
Central held an 8-1 lead after six innings and looked well on their way to the blow-out win, but the Eagles woke up the bats in the latter three innings.
A two-run seventh and a one-run eighth put Oklahoma Wesleyan within striking distance in the ninth, 8-4.
The Eagles scored a pair of runs before catcher Josh Davis stepped up to the plate and belted a two-run homer to center that knotted the game up at 8-8.
That set the stage for Davidoff’s heroics, as he took a swing at the first pitch given to him by OWU’s CJ Gregory, driving the ball over the fence in left center for the win.
The Tigers (9-12, 1-1 MCAC) had 9 runs on 13 hits. Davidoff finished 2-for-4 on the day with two RBIs. Left fielder Drew Schiesser had three RBIs off a three-run home run. Austin Penn picked up the win in game one after he came in during the ninth inning. Kroeker worked 6 1/2 innings, giving up three runs off seven hits, two of which were earned. He struck out three of the 27 batters he faced.
Game two saw Oklahoma Wesleyan open with a six-run first inning on their way to a 12-4 rout of the Tigers.
Central could only manage one run in the first, a pair in the fourth and one in the seventh. The Tigers had four runs off four hits in 23 at-bats.
Scheisser once again was the big offensive producer for Central, driving in two RBIs off one hit.
Avery Miller took the loss for Central, as he worked a half an inning, facing eight batters and giving up six runs on six hits. He struck out two.
The two teams start another doubleheader this afternoon at 1 p.m. in Moundridge.