On a Roll: Wonder Boys Sweep ECU

Arkansas Tech extended its Great American Conference baseball winning streak to eight consecutive games by sweeping a doubleheader from the East Central University Tigers at Tech Field in Russellville on Sunday.

The Wonder Boys (24-22 overall, 13-8 GAC) won 6-4 and 1-0 as they completed a three-game sweep of the Tigers (24-21, 8-12). Tech won the series opener 14-4 on Friday.

It was the second consecutive GAC series sweep for Arkansas Tech, which was in eighth place in the GAC standings on April 6.

Now the Wonder Boys are in sole possession of third place, just one game behind second-place Southern Arkansas (28-14, 14-7) and just two games behind first-place Southeastern Oklahoma State (31-13, 15-6) with one weekend of regular season action remaining.

Arkansas Tech broke open a 2-2 tie in Sunday’s first game by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

An RBI single by Thomas Biocic and a two-run double by Nate Wilder put the Wonder Boys in front 5-2.

Wilder added a run-scoring single in the seventh inning to make it 6-2.

East Central made things interesting with three straight singles to start the top of the ninth inning. Yasmani Mosquera drove in two runs with a one-out single to pull the Tigers within 6-4.

Tech relief pitcher Stephen Thompson induced a pop out to second base by Jeremy Stein and a fly out to center field by Greg Hamrock to strand the tying run at first base. Thompson earned his third save of the season.

Caleb Powers (5-4) collected the game one win after he pitched eight-plus innings. Powers allowed four runs on six hits while striking out six.

ECU’s Gabriel Martinez (1-5) took the loss in Sunday’s opener. He surrendered three runs on three hits in one inning of relief.

Game two of the twin bill was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning.

Landon Sullins led off with a triple to center field. Biocic followed with an RBI single to center field that brought Sullins in with the game’s only run.

That was all the run support that Arkansas Tech starting pitcher Zak Anstine (6-0) needed.

Anstine held the Tigers scoreless on two hits over seven innings. It was his third consecutive complete-game victory. He struck out three.

A lead-off walk in the top of the seventh and final inning put the tying run on base for East Central, but Mosquera hit into a fielder’s choice and Gilbert Guardado lined into a game-ending double play to squash the threat.

Guardado hit a shot to third base, which Wilder snagged and threw to first base to double off Mosquera.

ECU starting pitcher Jeremy Custer (3-4) was saddled with the game two loss. He allowed one run on five hits over six innings.

Arkansas Tech will play its final home game of the 2012 baseball season when it hosts Harding University for a non-conference game on Tuesday, April 24. First pitch at Tech Field in Russellville is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Wonder Boys will conclude the regular season by visiting Southern Arkansas for a three-game GAC series in Magnolia on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28.

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