Wonder Boys Take Two From Mustangs

Arkansas Tech tuned up for a critical weekend series by sweeping a doubleheader against the Central Baptist College Mustangs at Tech Field in Russellville on Thursday night.

The Wonder Boys (29-16) fought off a comeback bid by the Mustangs to win the opener 8-5. Arkansas Tech had an easier time of it in the nightcap, scoring early and often in a 17-4 victory.

Now Arkansas Tech can turn its full attention to a three-game Gulf South Conference series with Harding to close out the regular season this weekend. The Wonder Boys, the Bisons and the Delta State Statesmen are all tied for first place in the GSC West Division. Delta State will be at Henderson State for a three-game set to close out the conference season.

Tech and Harding will play two games on Saturday and one contest on Sunday. First pitch both days will be at noon. All three games can be heard on KCAB 980 AM.

Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcasts.

Nate Wilder (photographed) went 2-for-3 with a home run and three runs batted in during game one on Thursday. His home run was his 10th of the season, which made him just the 10th Wonder Boy to ever hit 10 or more home runs in a season.

Matt Johnson went 3-for-4 and Madison Beaird had two RBIs in the opener.

Arkansas Tech led 8-1 after five innings, but the Mustangs (23-21) scored four times in the top of the sixth on just one hit.

Tech committed two errors, uncorked two wild pitches, walked two batters, had one passed ball and hit one batter during the frame to help Central Baptist cut its deficit to 8-5.

Arkansas Tech reliever John Michael Moore induced a ground out by Seth Hobbs to end the top of the sixth inning, and then the Wonder Boys called on Aaron Luchterhand to pitch the seventh. He retired Central Baptist in order in the final inning, including striking out the final two hitters of the game for his first save of the season.

Dustin Thomas (2-1), the second of four Tech pitchers to work in Thursday’s first game, was credited with the win. He allowed four runs, one of which was earned, on two hits in three and two-third innings. He struck out three.

Central Baptist starter Blake Mattison (0-2) took the loss in the opener after surrendering three runs in three innings.

Game two was all Arkansas Tech from the word go. The Wonder Boys scored at least three runs in each of the first four innings while building an insurmountable lead.

Johnson went 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored in the nightcap. He extended his hitting streak to 28 consecutive games and broke the school record for runs scored in a season. Johnson has crossed home plate 72 times this year, breaking the school record of 70 runs scored that he set in 2010.

Wilder homered again in game two and drove in four runs. Nick Makris went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Beaird was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Chris Reese had two hits and scored twice.

Arkansas Tech’s Travis Davenport (1-0) pitched the final three innings to earn the win. He struck out seven and allowed one run on one hit.

CBC starter Caleb Schallawitz was the losing pitcher in game two. He allowed seven runs in two innings.