The Central Christian College baseball team went toe to toe with the NAIA's 18-ranked team on Friday, the Texas Wesleyan University Rams, put up a valiant effort, but came out on the short end of the stick in both games of the doubleheader.
The two games were polar opposites of each other. Game one was a slug fest with 24 runs scored on 24 hits, while game two was a pitchers' duel, with only eight runs scored.
The Rams looked like they were going to run away with game one. They started off the game by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, but the Tigers came back with five runs in the bottom of the first to keep pace.
In the second inning, the Rams kept the scoring barrage going, adding seven more runs to the scoreboard and retook the lead 11-5. Central kept themselves in the game with two runs in their half of the second.
Both defenses finally took a stand in the third and fourth innings each of them holding the other scoreless for the first time in the game. The scoring resumed in the fifth inning with the Rams tallying two and the Tigers one, giving Wesleyan a 13-8 lead.
The Tiger defense came up big again in the sixth inning, putting up another zero on the board, and then the offense came through with three runs in the bottom of the inning to get to within two of the Rams heading into the final inning. Once again, the defense held firm, keeping the Rams off the board, giving the offense a chance. In the final half inning, the Tigers got two runners on base with just one out. Twice they brought the winning run to the plate, but failed to get any more hits, and the Rams escaped with a 13-11 victory.
Corbin Ramos got the start for the Tigers on the bump in game one, but it was a rough day for the freshman, who was coming off his first collegiate win on Tuesday against Friends. He made it through the first inning, but failed to get an out in the second before the Rams scored seven runs on seven hits. The Tigers went to the bullpen and brought in Cameron Bonds. Bonds went the rest of the way, giving up two runs on three hits.
Six Tigers got into the hits column in game two, led by four guys with multiple hits. JD Noey, as the DH, saw the ball well, going 3-for-5 with three singles and a run scored.
Troy Carrigan, Chance Carney, and Shomari Cann each recorded two hits for the club. Two of the 11 Tiger hits went for extra bases, a triple by Josh Clyden, and a home run by Shomari Cann, his team leading seventh of the season.
Game two was a completely different animal. Game one took nearly three hours to complete while game two was finished in almost half the time. This was largely due to the strong performances of both starting pitchers.
Most of the offense of the game came in the final inning of the game. The Rams held a 1-0 lead after a solo home run in the top of the second. The Rams' starting pitcher had the Tigers completely off balance for most of the game. He took a perfect game into the bottom of the fifth before Troy Carrigan spoiled the party with a single.
The Rams got things going again in the top of the 7th, breaking the game open with four runs, and taking a 5-0 lead into the final half inning. After generating just one hit in six innings, the Tigers finally got their offense moving in their final at bat. They scored three runs in the inning on two hits, but again they came up two runs short and the Rams escaped with another win, 5-3.
Jared Jones was on the mound for the Tigers, going the distance, and allowing five runs on 10 hits. He had great control the entire game, finishing with a 3-to-1 strike to walk ratio.
Offensively, the Tigers were on their heels for the majority of the game. The Rams' starting pitcher threw a gem, and had the Tigers guessing in most of their at-bats. They ended up finishing with three runs on three hits, coming away with a single from Carrigan and doubles by Cann and Noey.
The Tigers and Rams will be back at it again on Saturday. They will finish their three game series with a single 9 inning game starting at noon.