Clarksville, Ark.-The U of O Eagles (12-27, 5-19) baseball team ended the season against LeTourneau University (20-19, 11-13) in American Southwest Conference play over the weekend. The Eagles were defeated 11-4 April 25 and 7-6 and 5-2 April 26.
In Friday’s game, the Eagles were tied 1-1 after two innings of play, but gave up two runs in the third inning and five runs in the sixth to fall behind 8-1. Ozarks would score three more runs in the final three innings of play, but were defeated 11-4. Shortstop Rusty Farrin went 3-for-4 with two runs to lead the team. Dustin Cole (2-4) received the loss. Cole recorded six strikeouts in five and two-third innings. The series second game saw the Eagles jump out to a 3-1 lead after one inning of play, but LeTourneau would storm back to take a 7-6 victory in extra innings. The Yellow Jackets would take a 6-5 lead into the sixth inning before Ozarks put one run on the board in the top of the seventh to tie the contest at 6-6. LeTourneau recorded the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth to gain the win. Outfielder Justin Brown went 2-for-3 and scored one run to lead the team. Farrin had three RBI to lead the squad. Trevor Holbert (4-6) received the loss after striking out six in four innings of work. The Eagles trailed just 3-2 after three innings of play in the final game of the series before LeTourneau added one run in both the fourth and fifth innings. Ozarks tallied nine hits in the contest, but left 11 runners on base in the 5-2 loss. Brett Hays went 2-for-4 and recorded two runs to lead the Eagles. J.C. Spillman (0-1) received the loss. The Eagles will return every starter and numerous lettermen next season and Clark believes his young squad received valuable playing experience this year. "We started a lot of young kids and that will be beneficial for the future of this program," said head coach Jimmy Clark. "Our freshmen did all that could be expected of them. These guys had a chance to see competition against some of the top teams in NCAA III. We played nationally ranked teams early in the season and competed well with them. We should know what it takes to win in this conference. We played hard during the first half of the season, but I felt like some of our losses took a toll. Next season, we will have every returning starter and a couple of our pitchers that did not play due to injuries this year." Defensively, the Eagles ranked near the top of the conference in fielding percentage. "I felt like our defense was as solid as anyone’s in the league," said Clark. "We need to improve on our hitting in clutch situations though. There were times this season that we had chances to drive in runs and were unable to do that."