Clarksville, Ark.-Three Ozarks pitchers allowed only five hits and the offense backed the trio up with a four-run seventh to lead the way in a 5-2 win over #28 Rhodes College in Jackson, Miss., on Friday afternoon.
It is the first time the Eagles (2-0, 0-0) have beat a ranked opponent in Ozarks’ modern baseball era. Rhodes, which finished 36-10 a year ago, was ranked #28 by NCBWA-D3baseball.com in the preseason.
Curt Dixon started and went four innings and stuck out five in his 2008 debut. The right-hander gave up just one run, which came in the third. Robby Finnell followed Dixon on the mound, pitching three innings to receive the win. Finnell (1-0) gave up just one hit and fanned three. Kyle Hudson then picked up his 10th career save as he pitched the final two innings. Hudson did not allow a hit and recorded a pair of strikeouts.
John Glenn opened the game with a double, and would advance to third on a throwing error. The speedy David Smith then flied out to right field to bring Glenn across the plate. With the score tied 1-1, Ozarks scored four in the top of the seventh after collecting four hits and taking advantage of two Rhodes’ errors. Cory Briggs singled in Todd Koch to open the seventh, and Logan Kizer received a pair of RBI later in the inning to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead. Glenn singled in Scott Dietz for the final score. With Ozarks clinging to a 5-1 lead, Rhodes (0-1, 0-0) got one run back in the bottom half of the inning. Neither team collected a hit in the final two frames.
Glenn finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and Brad Broussard also went 2-for-4.
Ozarks will play Millsaps College on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. The game can be heard on ESPN radio - www.espnradio1240.com