Clarksville, Ark.-Todd Koch twirled five shutout innings, fanned eight and homered once to push the Eagles past Louisiana College 12-6 Friday in American Southwest Conference play.
Ozarks improves to 13-16 overall and 7-6 in ASC play. Louisiana College falls to 17-14 overall and 4-6 in the ASC. The series will continue tomorrow with a double-header starting at 12:00 p.m. Both games can be heard on KXIO 106.9 FM and on the web at www.kxio.nu. All Ozarks’ seniors and their families will be recognized prior to game one at 11:45 a.m.
Koch, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, tossed six innings to move his record to 2-3. Koch, who has totaled 18 strikeouts in his last thirteen innings of work, went 2-for-3 at the plate. In the first and with one runner on and two outs, Louisiana College third baseman Walt McGee booted the ball on a Koch grounder allowing the Eagles to extend the inning. Jeremy Hogan took advantage of the miscue and cranked out a three-run homer to put Ozarks up 3-0. Rusty Cordell connected on a 3-2 pitch and launched it over the left field wall to put Ozarks ahead 4-0 in the second. Meanwhile with Koch twirling a gem on the mound, he helped himself in the fifth with a solo shot to left center. Jeremy Hogan followed with a double and Logan Kizer and Chris Driedric drew walks to load the bases. Arturo Perez then patiently took four balls to bring in Hogan. Cordell added a pair of RBI when he ripped a two-run single into left field pushing the advantage to 9-0.
Koch’s off-speed pitches and curveballs had the Wildcats swinging away, as he recorded five K’s through four innings. In the fourth, Koch got out of a jam when two runners were in scoring position, but got Ryan Juneau to strike out swinging and then forced a slow groundout to first base to the end inning.
Trailing 11-3 after six, Louisiana College mounted a rally in the top of the seventh. The Wildcats posted three runs off four hits but could have had more if it weren’t for relief pitcher Bobby Osburn closing the door. Osburn came in with no outs and the bases loaded and promptly struck out Cole Bishop. Osburn then got Anthony Benoit to hit into a fielder’s choice. Osburn, who would pitch the final three innings to receive the save, forced a groundout to end the frame.
Ozarks touched up six Louisiana College pitchers for nine hits.
Hogan finished 2-for-3 with four RBI and Cordell went 2-for-4 with four RBI.