Clarksville, Ark. ? The Eagles came back from a 11-3 fifth-inning deficit to pull out a 16-14 upset over No. 5 Mississippi College in American Southwest Conference play Friday.
Jeremy Hogan’s two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth broke a 14-14 tie and proved to be the difference in the high-scoring affair. Hogan also hit a solo shot in the second to finish 4-for-6 with 3 RBI.
Each player in Ozarks (11-18, 6-6 ASC) lineup got a hit and the Eagles’ offense roughed up ace Mississippi College (24-6, 7-2 ASC) starter Tyler Seaman for 12 hits in five innings. The Eagles’ offensive attack started slow, but built momentum as the game grew tighter got closer. Mississippi, ranked No. 5 in NCAA III, opened the contest with a 2-0 lead in the first while Ozarks collected six hits and scored three runs through four frames. But the Eagles’ bats came alive in the bottom of the fifth and helped switch the game’s momentum to the home team. With the Choctaws holding a sizable 11-3 advantage in the top of the fifth, the Eagles exploded for five runs on six hits to chisel the deficit to 11-8. Jacob West, Chris Driedric, Mitchell Powers and Cory Briggs all had RBI in the inning. The Choctaws answered with three runs in the top of the sixth, but Ozarks bettered the visitors with a six-run bottom of the sixth rally. The Eagles totaled six hits in the frame, with Tad Turner recording a two-run double and Driedric lacing a single through the middle for a run. Ozarks also displayed power in the inning as Powers hammered out a two-run shot and Scott Dietz later brought the score to 14-14 with his seventh homer of the season. Meanwhile, freshman pitcher Logan Parsons provided Ozarks with his biggest performance of the season out of the bullpen. Parsons, who has posted back-to-back solid outings in relief, was just what the Eagles needed to slow down the Choctaw bats. Parsons was inserted in the sixth and gave up a single to the first batter he faced. But Parsons settled in and forced a groundout and then recorded a huge strikeout to strand a pair of runners in scoring position. Parsons did not allow another hit and fanned four in two and two-third innings to keep the Choctaws off the board during a crucial stretch of the game. The eighth inning was favorable to the Eagles as Powers led off with a single up the middle. After Cory Briggs bunted Powers over to second base, Dietz grounded out to put Powers at third with two outs. But Hogan delivered his clutch two-run homer to push across the go-ahead runs needed. It was then up to ace closer Bill Smith to preserve the win. After allowing a hit, Smith forced the Choctaws to ground into a double play. Smith then got Brannon Walls to strikeout swinging to end the game.
The two teams combined for 37 hits and seven home runs in the game.
Powers was 4-for-6 with 5 RBI and West ended 3-for-5 with an RBI. Hogan complimented his four-hit effort by scoring three runs.
Parsons (1-0) received his first collegiate win and Smith recorded his fifth save of the season. Starter Brett Wood tossed five and one-third innings and was touched up for ten earned runs.
The series continues tomorrow with a double-header starting at 12:00 p.m. Both games can be heard on KXIO 106.9 FM and on the internet at www.kxio.nu.