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Moving On Up: Wonder Boys Continue Climb

Arkansas Tech continued its late-season surge by sweeping a Great American Conference baseball doubleheader from the Harding Bisons at Jerry Moore Field in Searcy on Saturday afternoon.

The Wonder Boys (21-21 overall, 10-8 GAC) defeated the Bisons 8-6 and 3-1 as they completed a three-game series sweep. Arkansas Tech defeated Harding 7-4 on Friday.

With the sweep, Arkansas Tech jumped into a tie for third place in the GAC standings with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Wonder Boys lost their first three GAC series of the season, but they have bounced back to win three straight league series. This weekend marked Arkansas Tech's first GAC series sweep.

Cody Hatman's relief pitching and Zach Thomas' hitting lifted the Wonder Boys to victory in game one Saturday.

Hatman (3-3) allowed just two unearned runs on three hits in six and one-third innings. He struck out four and walked one. 

Thomas went 3-for-4 with three doubles and a season-high five runs batted in. His third double of the day drove in Landon Sullins and Jonathan Finnegan to give the Wonder Boys an 8-4 lead in the middle of the seventh inning.

Billy Ninemire got the Bisons back in it with a two-run double in the eighth, but Hatman struck out Kyle Atkins to stop the rally there and preserve an 8-6 lead.

Hatman retired the Bisons in order in the bottom of the ninth to wrap up the victory.

Harding starting pitcher Logan Holthaus (2-3) took the loss in game one. He allowed six runs, five of which were earned, on four hits over two and two-thirds innings. Holthaus walked two batters and hit two others.

Ninemire was 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Bisons in the opener. Chris Hardey added two runs batted in.

Tech's Sullins and Nate Wilder both had two hits in game one. Wilder, Cesar Abreu and Scott Sammons drove in one run apiece.

Reigning GAC pitcher of the week Zak Anstine controlled game two for the Wonder Boys.

He went the distance and held the Bisons to one run on four hits. Anstine struck out six and walked six.

Arkansas Tech took a 1-0 lead in the nightcap when Wilder scored on a throwing error in the top of the second inning.

Harding had a chance to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth, but an inning-ending double play stopped the Bisons' threat.

Gabe Fyock struck out and Shane Kinnear was thrown out trying to steal second base, a turn of events which stranded Paul Anzalone at third base with the tying run.

Wilder drove in a run with a bases loaded walk in the sixth and Chris Reese delivered an RBI single in the seventh to give the Wonder Boys a 3-0 lead going to the final half-inning.

Harding finally got to Anstine on a two-out RBI single by Fyock in the bottom of the seventh, but the Arkansas Tech hurler bounced back to strike out Chase Presley and end the game.

The Bisons fell to 22-19 overall and 6-12 in the GAC with their two losses on Saturday.

The Wonder Boys will host Ouachita Baptist for a non-conference game at Tech Field in Russellville on Tuesday, April 17. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech baseball.