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Eagles’ Offense Explodes In Season Opening Double-Header Sweep

February 5, 2005
By cnp
Posted in Athletics

Clarksville, Ark.--The University of the Ozarks baseball team started the 2005 season in high-scoring fashion as they swept a double-header from Mid-America Christian University, 12-3 and 17-1, and recorded a combined 35 hits.

In game one, Justin Brown and Caleb Hilton started off with walks in the first inning and Anthony Brandon extended his hit streak to a school record 22 games dating back to last season with a 2 RBI double. In the third inning, Brandon and freshman Robby Finnell singled, followed by a walk from junior Tyler Pickett. Senior Chris Harrell then came to the plate and knocked in both Brandon and Finnell with a single. The Eagles weren’t done yet as freshman shortstop Todd Koch picked up both his first collegiate hit and RBI as he doubled home Harrell and Finnell. The Eagles then sealed the deal in the sixth inning with more offensive power. Brown and Hilton led off with consecutive singles. Brandon then singled again knocking in Brown. Following the second walk by Pickett, Brian Heckmann picked up his first RBI of the season with a single scoring Hilton. Harrell was next to the plate as he knocked in two more of his game-high 5 RBI with another single. Harrell then scored as junior Brett Hays picked up his first hit and RBI of the year. Brandon went 3-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI. Harrell ended the game 3-for-3 from the plate. In their collegiate debuts, Koch went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and Finnell went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Jedd Kirby (1-0) went 5 innings to pick up the win in his first outing for the Eagles. The Carl Albert Junior College transfer recorded 5 strikeouts while surrendering only 2 hits and no earned runs. Pickett pitched the final 2 innings recording 3 strikeouts. In the second game, the Evangels of Mid-America proved to be of little contest as the Eagles tallied 16 runs on 22 hits. After a quiet first inning, Brandon led off the second with a sharp single. After a Pickett walk, sophomore and Clarksville native Kyle Hudson picked up an RBI in his first collegiate at bat as he singled home Brandon. Junior Tyler Gideon followed with a successful suicide squeeze in which Pickett crossed the plate. Koch came to the plate next and picked up his first of a game-high 5 RBI with a double to the fence. Similar to the first game, the third inning was very impressive offensively for Ozarks. Hilton singled and stole second base. After a walk by Finnell, Pickett scored Hilton with a double. Then, Hudson, in only his second collegiate plate appearance after being used strictly as a closer his freshman year, drove a first pitch fastball into the trees over the left field fence for a three-run homerun. The fireworks were far from being over though as Koch and freshman Matt Tito both homered completing the sweep against Mid-America Christian. Koch led the team with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate. Hudson was 3-for-5 with 4 RBI. Gideon was 3-for-4 with 2 RBI. Hays and Brown each went 2-for-4. Hilton went 2-for-5. Brandon extended his hit streak to 23 games with a 2-for-3 performance and one RBI. Heckmann (1-0) received the win after pitching 5 innings while allowing no earned runs. Heckmann gave up just 1 hit and recorded 2 strikeouts. The Eagles host NAIA member Brescia University (Kentucky) in a double-header next Saturday starting at 12:00.