Clarksville, Ark.--Jedd Kirby scattered eight hits in nine innings of work as the Eagles won a 1-0 pitching dual Friday afternoon in a thrilling American Southwest Conference battle over UT-Tyler.
Kirby had the defense working behind him as he conduced two double plays in the first three innings. UT-Tyler’s (20-7, 8-5) biggest scoring threat came in the top of the ninth when they had runners at first and third with two outs. Kirby promptly struck the next hitter out on three pitches. The bottom of the ninth proved to be the difference maker for Ozarks (17-12, 6-7). The Eagles, who were coming off a big win versus Arkansas Tech earlier in the week, would load the bases on a Justin Brown single, an intentional walk to Anthony Brandon and a Todd Koch hit by pitch. All of this brought freshman Robby Finnell to the plate. On the very first pitch, Finnell smashed a hanging curve ball off of UT-Tyler’s short stop for the game-winning hit and RBI. Finnell finished the game 2-for-4. Kirby (6-3) had seven strikeouts and gave up only two walks. The two teams square off in a crucial double-header Saturday at Lonnie R. Qualls Field. First pitch is set for 12:00 p.m.