Arkansas Tech took two very different paths to two wins over the Christian Brothers Buccaneers in Gulf South Conference baseball at Tech Field in Russellville on Saturday.
Game one saw the Wonder Boys hit six home runs --- three by Colt Loehrs alone --- while smashing their way to a 27-6 victory over the Buccaneers.
In game two, Arkansas Tech (24-11 overall, 6-1 GSC) applied some small ball and good relief pitching to grind out a 6-5 win over Christian Brothers (4-24, 0-7).
The wins keep the Wonder Boys just one game behind first-place Southern Arkansas and in sole possession of second place in the GSC West Division standings.
The two sides will play their weekend series finale at 2 p.m. Sunday. Russellville radio station KCAB 980 AM and www.athletics.atu.edu will have live play-by-play coverage.
Loehrs was 4-for-5 with three home runs and nine RBIs to lead a 20-hit onslaught by the Wonder Boys in game one.
Chad Wynn, Joe Walton and Josh Riley also went deep for Tech. Riley was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and four runs scored in the opener. Wynn and Walton were both 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Nick Makris, Clint Stroud and Madison Beaird added two hits apiece in game one. Beaird had four RBIs.
Tech starting pitcher Caleb Powers (6-0) went the distance on the mound to earn the victory.
Game two was a much different story. The Wonder Boys had to come from behind on two occasions to take a 5-4 lead after five innings.
Christian Brothers tied it at 5-5 on a Caleb Burrow sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth.
Tech's Walton led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. He went to second base on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Beaird.
That set the stage for Wynn, who lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that brought Walton home with the go-ahead run.
From there, the Wonder Boys turned it over to ace pitcher Josh Floriani. He came out of the bullpen and got the final four outs of the game --- three on strikes --- to improve to 9-0 on the season.
Makris was 3-for-3 in the nightcap. Stroud was 1-for-3 with two RBIs.