The Central Christian College baseball team picked up an important win on Monday night, their first home win of the season, defeating the Oklahoma City University Stars 6-5. The Tigers and Stars were making up a game that had been rained out a couple of weekends ago.
The Stars took the first two games of the series on their home field in Oklahoma City, winning game 1, 12-3 and then taking game 2, 22-3. Because of those results, the Stars may have come into Monday night's game a little over confident, but the Tigers weren't intimidated. They came out swinging, and out hit the high powerful OCU lineup 12 to 5.
Offensively, two freshmen led the way for the Tigers, combining for 6 of the 12 Central hits. Christopher Sanchez had his best performance of his young career, going 4 for 5 with 3 RBI, and a run scored. He was joined in the multi-hit club by fellow freshman Josh Clyden, who went 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. Six upperclassmen combined for the other 6 Tiger hits, 5 singles by Andru Kemp, Shomari Cann, Laramie Lumley, Brian Marroquin, and JD Noey, and a double by Troy Carrigan.
Defensively, the Tigers were brilliant behind pitchers Corbin Ramos, and Cameron Bonds. They committed zero errors, for just the 4th time this season. With the offense seeing the ball well, and hitting it all over the park, and the defense playing mistake free, the Ramos and Bonds were able to throw with confidence.
Ramos got the start on the mound for the Tigers, going 7 1/3 and giving up 5 runs on 5 hits. He faced 31 OCU hitters, coming away with 4 walks and 6 strikeouts. Bonds then came in with 1 out in the 8th. He pitched another gem coming out of the bull pen. He worked the final inning and two-thirds, holding the Stars scoreless and hitless. The only blemish on his stat line was one walk.
After 2 scoreless innings for both teams, the Tigers got on the board first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the 3rd, on a double by Clyden and a pair of singles by Kemp and Cann. They extended the lead to 3-0 with a solo run in the 4th, when Noey scored on Clyden's second double of the game. The next half inning, one swing of the bat tied the game for the Stars. With runners on 1st and 2nd after a walk and hit batsman, OCU's Jacob Chappell launched a 3 run homerun over the left center field fence.
The Tigers retook the lead, 4-3, in their half of the 5th. Cann started off the inning by being hit by a pitch, a team leading 8th time on the season, and then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. After a strikeout by Lumley, Brian Marroquin stepped to the plate and hit a single to right field to drive in Cann. The lead wouldn't last long. In the top of the 7th, the Stars got a 2 out, 2 RBI single to retake the lead 5-4.
The Tigers went down in order in their half of the 7th. Trailing 5-4, Ramos went back out to the mound in the 8th. He got the first hitter to ground out to Cann at Short Stop, but his night ended when he walked the next OCU hitter. Bonds came in and got the first hitter he faced to pop out to Cann, and then Troy Carrigan gunned down the runner at first trying to steal second, ending the inning and the threat.
A two out rally by the Tigers in the 8th gave them the lead, for the final time. Two walks by the Stars, set the Tigers up to retake the lead. A wild pitch, put the Tiger runners in scoring position on second and third. Sanchez then hit his 4th single of the night bringing in both Nate Patterson and Josh Clyden. The inning and the rally ended when Sanchez was picked off at first base.
Things didn't start out well for Bonds and the Tigers in the top of the 9th. Clinging to a slim one run lead, bonds hit the first batter of the inning and then walked the second. Jacob Chappel, who hit 3 run homerun in the 5th, stepped to the plate. This time he was called on to bunt and mover both runners into scoring position. Fortunately for the Tigers, he wasn't able to execute a very good bunt. Bonds fielded the bunt and fired over to 3rd base to get the lead runner. The next OCU hitter put the ball in play and got thrown out a first. But he did his job, moving the runners over to second and third.
The Stars were down to their final out, but were just a hit away from retaking the lead again. Bonds and the Tigers refused to wilt under the pressure. On a 1-2 count, Bonds got Joe Lytle to hit a ground ball to 3rd base. Brian Marroquin scooped up the ball and fired the ball over the Lumley at 1st base, ending the game.
No rest for the weary. The Tigers will be back on the diamond on Tuesday night against crosstown rival McPherson College in their second game of a 4 game season series. The Bulldogs took the first game of the series a little over a week ago, 10-4. First pitch Tuesday is set for 6:00 pm.