Clarksville, Ark.-Cory Briggs' double down the left field line to score Bruce Cameron started a three-run ninth inning rally to push Ozarks past East Texas Baptist University 8-6 in American Southwest Conference play Friday night.
Ozarks (6-9, 1-0) produced three runs off three hits in the top of the ninth to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. John Scheuring, who came in relief in the eighth, gave up a lead-off hit in the bottom of the ninth, but the left-handed senior from Bryan, Texas, battled back and got three outs, including the game-ending double play. Scheuring improved his record to 3-1 with the win.
With one out in the ninth, Cameron drew a walk to set up Briggs’s hit. Todd Koch drew another walk and then Scott Dietz and Jeremy Hogan followed with RBI singles to give Ozark a 8-6 cushion.
Andrew Teaster broke a 4-4 tie with an RBI single in the eighth, but it was short lived as the Tigers (8-7, 0-1) came back in the bottom half of the inning and scored two off a Christian Rivera two-run homer. The Tigers held a 2-0 after two, but the Eagles answered with a run in the fourth and fifth innings. Teaster drove in Koch in the fourth and David Smith recorded a sacrifice fly to score Chris Driedric in the fifth. East Texas Baptist took the lead back, 4-2, in the bottom of the fifth. But Ozarks rallied in the seventh behind a Smith solo home run to cut it to 4-3. Ozarks eventually took the lead in the eighth on Teaster’s hit, only to see East Texas Baptist answer Ozarks’ rally with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Starting pitcher Todd Koch worked seven and two-third innings and fanned seven.
Teaster finished 3-for-5 with two RBI. Briggs and Dietz each had two hits. Smith now has six homers this season, a career best for the senior from Rowlett, Texas.
The series will continue tomorrow with a double-header beginning at 12:00 p.m.