In what has turned into the theme of the Hardin-Simmons baseball season, the Cowboys lost a pair of one-run games 1-0 and 8-7 to the University of the Ozarks on Thursday afternoon in Clarksville.
HSU has now lost seven one-run games in conference play and most likely needs to win its last seven conference games to advance to a 10th straight postseason. HSU is 13-19 overall and 9-17 in conference play. Ozarks improved to 12-21 and 8-18 in league play. The teams will close the series on Friday with a single game at noon.
The Cowboys received six shutout innings from Brandon Bollinger, but the Cowboys could never put a run up against Jeffrey Works. Works went the distance, scattering four hits and striking out 10 to improve to 3-3.
The Eagles scratched a run in the bottom of the seventh for the walkoff win. Andres Acosta led off the seventh with a single. That chased Bollinger and closer Blake Northrop came in. Taylor Parker bunted over pinch runner Al Smith. Peyton Johnigan was then intentionally walked to set up the force. Dean Igert then popped up.
Freddy Prince gave the Eagles the win with a solid single to left field to drive home Smith.
The second game turned into a slugfest after the pitcher’s duel in the first game.
Ozarks scored two runs in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Tony Morales and an RBI single by John Singler.
HSU responded with three runs in the second. Jason Vause had a two-run single and Jon Finney followed with an RBI single. Ozarks retook the lead on a Sam Shook two-run double. Ozarks made it 6-3 in the fourth on a pair of RBI singles by Morales and Singler.
Colson Craddick hit a two-run home run in the fifth to make it 6-5 and Ozarks answered with a Prince RBI double in the fifth and scored on an error by the Cowboys in the eighth to make it 8-5.
HSU scored two runs in the ninth. Zack de Luna singled home Marcus Uechi with a single and moved to third on an error that brought home Colson Craddick with one out, but the Cowboys left him stranded.
Jeremy Hallmark took the loss for the Cowboys. He allowed four runs (two earned) in an inning and one-third. Matt Rhodes, Kyle Barnett and Taylor Peables worked in relief for the Cowboys.
Tyler Erickson earned the win working five innings for the Eagles to improve to 1-5 on the year. Andrew Beck worked the final two innings for his third save.
Zack de Luna and Will Wise each had three hits for the Cowboys. Singler had four hits for Ozarks.
Information for this story provided by HSU Athletics.