Bisons Take Game One, Game Two Suspended

The Gulf South Conference baseball doubleheader scheduled for Saturday between Arkansas Tech and Harding will stretch into a second day.

Harding (37-10 overall, 14-5 GSC) won game one 8-6 on Saturday afternoon, but lightning forced the second contest to be suspended with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Harding was leading 6-2 at the time of the suspension.

Weather permitting, game two of the series will be resumed at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The third game of the series is scheduled to begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.

KCAB 980 AM will have the broadcast in the Arkansas River Valley.

Click here to access a link to an Internet stream of the broadcast.

Double plays played a large role in Harding’s 8-6 win in game one on Saturday.

The Bisons turned three inning-ending double plays, including one in the bottom of the ninth to hold off a Wonder Boys’ comeback bid.

Nate Wilder put Arkansas Tech (29-17, 13-6) in front 4-2 in game one with his two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Wonder Boys maintained that edge until the top of the sixth inning. That was when Trent Kinnear sent a two-run home run over the left field fence to tie the score 4-4.

Billy Ninemire put the Bisons in front for good with an RBI single in the top of the seventh. Kinnear’s second home run of the game — this one a solo shot — and Charles Bradley’s RBI single in the eighth increased the Harding lead to 7-4.

The Bisons added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Erin McCarver.

Insurance turned out to be a valuable investment for Harding.

Josh Riley led off the bottom of the ninth inning for Arkansas Tech with a double. Michael Milum’s one-out, pinch-hit single put runners at first and third.

Chris Reese walked to load the bases. Matt Johnson drove Riley in with an RBI single, and Beaird followed with a walk that forced Milum home and cut the Harding lead to 8-6.

The Wonder Boys had the bases loaded with one out, the tying run at second base and the winning run at first.

But Ninemire, who started the game at first base and moved to pitcher with one out in the ninth, was able to induce a ground ball to second base off the bat of Nick Makris.

The Bisons turned a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and preserve their victory.

Lucas Waddell (8-2) pitched eight and one-third innings for Harding to earn the win. He allowed six runs on nine hits. Ninemire earned his second save of the season.

Mason Reynolds (3-2) took the loss for Arkansas Tech. He started and gave up five runs on six hits in six innings.

As of the end of Saturday’s play, Harding is in sole possession of first place in the GSC West. The Bisons are one-half game in front of both Delta State and Southern Arkansas, while the Wonder Boys sit in fourth place but just one game out of a tie for first.

Sunday will be the final day of the regular season regardless of weather. No make-ups beyond Sunday will be permitted to be played.

Arkansas Tech, Harding, Delta State and Southern Arkansas will represent the GSC West Division in the GSC Baseball Tournament May 6-10 in Millington, Tenn. Sunday’s play, if the weather allows, will determine seeding for the tournament.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech baseball.