Clarskville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks baseball team won their series against Louisiana College over the weekend and inched closer to securing a spot in the American Southwest Conference playoffs.
The Eagles are in fifth place in ASC East division at 9-9. With two wins over Mississippi College in their three-game home weekend series, the Eagles can guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs. Only the top four teams in each division advance to the post-season. UT-Tyler is ahead of Ozarks in the standings, but the Patriots are not eligible for post-season play. Friday’s home game against Mississippi College begins at 2:00 p.m. Saturday’s double-header will begin at 1:00 p.m. “Senior Day” will be held on Saturday, April 22 at 12:45 p.m. for nine Ozarks’ seniors. Anthony Brandon, Justin Brown, Dustin Cole, Tyler Gideon, Chase Hale, Brett Hays, Brian Heckmann, Caleb Hilton and Mark Jelks will be recognized. The Eagles (19-18, 9-9) came out on top 11-3 on Thursday against Louisiana College (18-18, 10-8) in Pineville, Louisiana. In Friday’s double-header, the Eagles dropped the first game 13-5, but came back in the second game to earn a 10-9 win. On Thursday, Ozarks used a seven-run eighth inning to break open a close game. Leading 3-2 going into the top of the eighth, the Eagles scored seven on six hits, including a Brett Hays two-run homer to wrap up the scoring. It was Hays’ sixth home run of the season. In the top of the second, Logan Kizer, Tyler Gideon and Caleb Hilton each had RBI singles to put Ozarks up 3-0. Louisiana College made it close in the bottom of the seventh when they scored two runs. Ozarks’ starting pitcher Brian Heckmann held the Wildcat bats in check through the six and two-third innings. Heckmann (3-4) gave up two earned runs and stuck out two to garner the victory. Kizer went 3-for-5 and Tim Renshaw had a team-best 3 RBI. Louisiana College jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first inning and went on to a 13-5 win in Friday’s first game. Ozarks scored four times in the top of the seventh on four hits. Ozarks had just seven hits in the game. Curt Dixon (4-7) took the loss. The Eagles needed a five-run eighth to upend the Wildcats 10-9 in game two on Friday. Trailing 7-5 after seven innings of play, Ozarks loaded the bases with two outs and scored two runs off a wild pitch and another on an error. Renshaw then came through in the clutch when he singled in two runs. Tyler Gideon (1-0) gained his first win of the season after pitching five and two-third innings in relief. He finished with two strikeouts. Robby Finnell had one RBI and Kizer had two RBI in the third to give Ozarks a 4-1 lead after three. Louisiana College scored six in the fourth to push their advantage to 7-5, but it wouldn’t be a safe lead. Hilton, Renshaw, Kizer and Anthony Brandon each had two hits. Finnell, Renshaw and Kizer had 2 RBI apiece.