Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks baseball team split in a twinbill with University of Wisconsin-Platteville on Friday afternoon.
A Caleb Hilton RBI double in the bottom of the seventh was the game-winner as Ozarks (4-3, 0-0) defeated the Pioneers 2-1 in the first game. Ozarks’ starting pitcher Brian Heckmann cruised through four and one-third innings before being relieved by D.J. Braswell. Braswell and Kyle Hudson then combined to give up no runs and no hits for the remainder of the seven-inning contest to secure the win. Wisconsin-Platteville’s only run of the game came in the fourth when Nick Aplin crossed the plate. However, the Eagles already had a 1-0 lead after Todd Koch knocked in Brett Hays. The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the seventh when Hilton recorded his game-winning hit. Hudson (1-0) received the win by pitching one and two-third innings and striking out two. Heckmann allowed just three hits and struck out three during his time on the mound. Neither club could muster much offense in the game as the two teams combined for eight hits. Ozarks’ pitchers gave up just three hits. Hilton and Robby Finnell each had two hits. The Pioneers jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings of play in route to a 7-3 victory over the Eagles in the second game. Ozarks managed to cut the deficit to 4-2 after five innings of play, but it wouldn’t be enough as Wisconsin-Platteville answered with two runs in the top of the sixth. The Eagles appeared to be ready to break the game open in the bottom of the seventh, but a questionable runner interference call on Brian Heckmann ended the rally. David Smith and Justin Brown opened the seventh with walks and then promptly advanced a base after a wild pitch. Hilton followed suit with a walk to load the bases. With no outs, Heckmann slapped a single to left field to score Smith, but Justin Brown was thrown out at third. Brett Hays was the final batter of the inning and knocked a sharp ball in the infield, but Heckmann was called for interference at second base that ended the inning. Hilton and Heckmann each collected two hits. Heckmann had a team-best two RBI. The Eagles travel to Alpine, Texas, to face Sul Ross State University on February 24 and February 25. Games against American Southwest Conference West division opponents do not count as a league games this season.