Clarksville, Ark.-No. 5 Texas-Tyler pitched fourteen straight shutout innings Saturday to complete a three-game American Southwest Conference sweep and four costly errors overshadowed a solid pitching performance from Ozarks' starter Bobby Osburn.
In game one, a trio of Texas-Tyler (21-0, 6-0 ASC) pitchers picked up a 10-0 shutout behind nine strikeouts while allowing just five hits. The Patriots broke a scoreless game with five singles in the top of the fifth to take a 3-0 lead. Three of their five singles were with two outs. Ozarks (4-18, 1-5 ASC) drew back-to-back walks to open the bottom half of the frame and Nick Brill was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. The Patriots inserted pitcher Parker Sheets and the junior quickly got a strikeout and a fly out. Sheets then got the third out by forcing a groundout. Sheets’ offense then provided him with three runs in the sixth. Ozarks appeared to be on the comeback again in the sixth, putting runners on first and second with one out. But Sheets worked his way out of the jam by fanning a pair of Ozarks’ batters, the second of which came with the bases loaded.
Ozarks’ freshman starter Tyler Erickson got into a pitching duel with Texas A&M transfer and Patriot senior starter Chad Sherman early on. Erickson pitched four and one-third scoreless innings while Sherman tossed three and two-third scoreless innings. Erickson finished with three strikeouts and Sherman fanned five, respectively.
Erickson (1-4) took the loss in five innings of work.
Mitchell Powers had two of Ozarks’ five hits.
In game two, Osburn was sharp in his outing, allowing only two hits through six complete innings. Osburn used a fastball that topped out at 92 mph to fan seven in six and two-third innings of work.
Four costly errors in the fifth inning allowed Texas-Tyler to take a 4-0 lead. Prior to the fifth, Powers led off the bottom of the fourth with a single and later advanced to second on a sacrifice, but that would be as far as he would get. The Eagles established offense in the contest, as they were outhitting the Patriots 5-2 after six. Trailing 7-0, Ozarks eventually got on the board in the eighth with RBI coming from Freddy Prince, Chris Driedric, Ian Bryan and Erickson.
Ozarks out hit Texas-Tyler 13-8, but committed five errors.
Osburn (0-4) took the loss. He gave up four hits and was charged with two earned runs.
Powers, Erickson, Driedric, Bryan and Tony Morales each had two hits.
The Eagles will travel to Longview, Texas, to face LeTourneau University March 25-26.