Clarksville, Ark.-The Eagles opened up American Southwest Conference East Division play in Pineville, Louisiana, against Louisiana College over the weekend and came away winning one of three games.
The Eagles (10-7, 1-2) dropped their first two games on Friday, 12-9 and 10-0, but came back on Saturday to pick up a 5-2 victory. Ozarks looked to start the three-game series strong as they held a 7-4 lead after three innings of play, but a wild seven-run fourth for the Wildcats (12-7, 2-1) proved to be the difference in the contest. The Eagles scored three runs in the second and four runs in the third to have the momentum of the game. In the second, Clint Phifer knocked in two runs after hitting his first triple of the season. Chris Harrell then knocked in Phifer to give Ozarks a 3-0 advantage after two. Brett Hays was the first to cross the plate in the third and Justin Brown’s first home run of the season put three more runs on the board to give the Eagles a comfortable 7-0 advantage going into the bottom half of the inning. Louisiana College answered with three runs of their own in the third to cut the deficit to 7-4. After Ozarks was unable to reach base in the top of the fourth, Louisiana scored seven runs on just four hits to take a 10-7 advantage. Ozarks would score two in the sixth but it wouldn’t be enough as Louisiana College held on for the 12-9 victory. Each team recorded 10 hits in the contest, with Caleb Hilton and Brown each pacing Ozarks with three hits. Brown had a team-best 3 RBI. T.J. Eason (1-1) received the loss after pitching three and two-third innings. Ozarks struggled in the second game as they were no-hit by Louisiana College’s James Halle while giving up 10 runs to the home squad. Halle pitched six innings of no-hit ball and only walked one batter while striking out 10. After three scoreless innings, the Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when they scored seven runs. Louisiana College would add two in the fifth and one in the sixth in the win. Justin Jennings (1-2) received the loss after pitching three and one-third innings. Jennings had three strikeouts. The Eagles turned things around in the final game of the series on Saturday when Ozarks took a 5-2 victory behind an offense led by Phifer. Phifer went 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored one run in the game. After trailing 2-1 through six innings of play, the Eagles scored four runs in the seventh as Phifer knocked in Hilton for their first score of the inning. Sean Pratt singled in two runs and Harrell finished the scoring when he knocked in Rusty Farrin. Ozarks had nine hits in the contest, with Phifer and Anthony Brandon each tallying two hits apiece. Brian Heckmann (2-2) picked up the win after pitching seven innings and striking out five. Ace reliever Kyle Hudson gained his fourth save of the season after pitching the final two innings and striking out three. The Eagles host College of the Ozarks today at 12:00 p.m. and then continue ASC action when they host Mississippi College in a three-game series beginning on Friday at 2 p.m. Saturday’s double-header begins at 1:00 p.m.