Clarksville, Ark.--Ozarks christened the newly named Lonnie R. Qualls Baseball Field in grand fashion as they defeated Austin College 9-3 in American Southwest Conference play on Friday afternoon.
Qualls, who starred at Ozarks in three sports in the 1950’s, was honored prior to the game and later watched as the Eagles displayed a solid all-around effort on the field to which is now named after him. The Eagles (13-6, 2-2) roughed up Austin College (3-13, 0-4) starter Clint Rushing for eight runs and notched ten hits during his seven innings of work. Ozarks got on the board in the first inning when Anthony Brandon launched a two-run homer and his third of the season to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. The Eagles added another run in the third when Brett Hays crossed the plate after Austin committed an error. Ozarks’ biggest scoring output of the game came in the fourth inning when they scored three runs on three hits. Justin Brown singled through the middle infield to start off the inning. Chris Harrell had a sacrifice bunt to advance Brown to second. Tyler Gideon then doubled in Brown. Caleb Hilton stroked his third home run of the season with a two-run shot to give Ozarks a comfortable 6-1 lead. Ozarks scored two more times in the bottom of the fifth when Brown smashed his fourth home run of the season on a two-RBI blast. The Eagles final score came in the eighth after Hilton singled in Harrell. Ozarks recorded 13 hits, with three of those being home runs, and gave up only seven hits. Hilton, who is a grandson of Qualls, went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI to lead Ozarks. Brandon and Brown each collected 2 RBI. Jedd Kirby improved his record to 4-2 while giving up just one run. Ozarks continues their series with Austin College tomorrow in a double-header beginning at 12:00 p.m.