Clarksville, Ark.--Todd Koch's two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the game-winner lifting the Eagles to a 4-3 win while moving them one game ahead of UT-Dallas in the American Southwest Conference East division race.
With the score tied at 1-1 through five innings, a pair of freshmen helped the Eagles (16-10, 5-5) score a decisive three runs in the sixth. Brett Hays and Anthony Brandon hit back-to-back singles in the inning to jumpstart the offense. Hays, who is hitting .421, advanced to third base on Brandon’s hit. From there, freshman Robby Finnell recorded a sacrifice fly to score Hays and put Ozarks up 2-1. Koch, who is one the league’s leading hitters with a .439 average as a true freshman, then roped a shot over the left field fence for what turned out to be the game-winner. It was Koch’s fifth homer of the season and gave him a team-best 27th RBI. With the win, Ozarks remains in contention for one of four post-season spots. Ozarks run in the first inning came when Hays notched a sacrifice fly to knock in Brian Heckmann. Starting pitcher Jedd Kirby gave UT-Dallas (11-14, 4-6) little room to operate, forcing numerous fly balls to keep the Comets from a comeback. Kirby kept the Comets’ offense in check during his six innings of work and improved his record to 5-3. He had two strikeouts. Kyle Hudson came in the eighth and did not allow a hit to pick up his second save of the year. Ozarks out hit their opponent, 12-8, and had eight different players record at least one hit. Brandon, Koch, Caleb Hilton and Justin Brown each collected two hits. Koch finished with a team-best 2 RBI. The Eagles continue their series with UT-Dallas tomorrow in a double-header beginning at 12:00 p.m.