Clarksville, Ark.-The University of the Ozarks baseball team opened up on the road with an 11-7 loss to Harding University on Friday.
The Eagles (0-1, 0-0) committed five errors defensively and the pitchers allowed five bases on balls while hitting three Bison (1-0, 0-0) batters. Ozarks averted major disaster early when starting pitcher Curt Dixon gave up a double and two hit batsmen to load the bases with no outs in the first inning. Dixon then forced Harding’s Clint Williams to hit into a fielder’s choice forcing the runner out at the plate and getting J.D. Glenn to hit into an inning ending double play. Disaster did strike in the third inning as the Eagles defense committed four errors and allowed four unearned runs to give Harding a 4-0 advantage. The Bison had only one hit the entire inning and took advantage of three walks as they sent ten hitters to the plate. The Eagles offense finally showed signs of life in the seventh inning. Trailing 11-0, Ozarks sent 11 men to the plate scoring six runs. After a Justin Brown double and a Brian Heckmann walk, Tyler Gideon picked up the Eagles first RBI of the season with a single to the outfield. Freshman David Smith then picked up his first collegiate hit and RBI with a sharp single to center knocking in Heckmann. Following a bases loaded RBI walk by Caleb Hilton, Brett Hays singled to right picking up an RBI and another run was allowed to score as the right fielder misplayed the hop allowing Smith to motor around third for the fourth Eagles run of the inning. Todd Koch and Anthony Brandon also picked up an RBI apiece to cut the deficit to five. The Eagles would manage to scratch across another run in the eighth after a Heckmann single and a Hilton triple but would fall short in their attempt to come back. Dixon (0-1) took the loss despite not allowing an earned run in two and two-thirds innings of work. John Scheuring, Kyle Hudson, and Brian Heckmann also saw time on the mound for the Eagles. Hudson worked two innings striking out five while allowing three earned runs and Heckmann worked two innings striking three, allowing two hits and zero earned runs. The Eagles travel to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for a double-header against Mid-America Christian University Tuesday starting at 1:00 p.m.The junior varsity team hosts North Arkansas College for a double-header Wednesday also starting at 1:00 p.m. Article Written By Chad Harris, Assistant Baseball Coach.