Wonder Boys Outlast SOSU in Series Finale

Arkansas Tech stopped Southeastern Oklahoma State’s six-game winning streak by defeating the Savage Storm 13-12 in Great American Conference baseball at Tech Field in Russellville on Sunday.

The Wonder Boys (14-17 overall, 3-6 GAC) got a season-high five runs batted in from Thomas Biocic as they salvaged the finale of a three-game series against GAC-leading Southeastern Oklahoma State (17-9, 9-3).

The Savage Storm defeated Arkansas Tech 2-1 on Saturday and 11-7 in Sunday’s first game.

The series finale looked like it would be a runaway win for Arkansas Tech early on. The Wonder Boys led 9-0 after three innings.

But four hit batsmen and two walks issued by Arkansas Tech pitchers helped Southeastern Oklahoma State send 13 men to the plate in the top of the fourth. The Savage Storm scored seven times to cut the Arkansas Tech lead to 9-7. Cameron Green’s RBI single one inning later pulled SOSU within 9-8.

The Wonder Boys reclaimed the momentum with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Biocic drove in a run by being hit by a pitch, Kenny Spencer notched a two-run single and Michael Rezin lifted a sacrifice fly to right field as Arkansas Tech opened up a 13-8 edge.

Southeastern Oklahoma State put together one last comeback. Blake Gentry’s two-RBI single in the top of the sixth made it 13-10. Dalton Nelson’s first home run of the season — a two-run shot over the right field fence with one out in the seventh and final inning — cut the Wonder Boys’ lead to 13-12.

Tech closer Jonathan Finnegan settled in from there and struck out the next two batters to earn his third save of the season.

Biocic was 3-for-3 in Sunday’s nightcap. Chris Reese, Landon Sullins and Finnegan had two hits apiece.

Stephen Thompson (2-1) was named the winning pitcher. He allowed three runs on four hits in one and two-thirds innings. Brandon Arata pitched one scoreless inning in relief for the Wonder Boys.

SOSU starter Brandon Marris (5-2) took the loss. He gave up eight runs on seven hits in one and one-third innings.

Southeastern Oklahoma State jumped out to a 7-1 lead after four innings in game one on Sunday, but a sacrifice fly by Madison Beaird and a two-run home run by Sullins in the bottom of the fifth inning cut the Savage Storm’s lead to 7-4.

Arkansas Tech gave the momentum right back by issuing one walk and two hit batsmen to the first three Southeastern hitters in the top of the sixth. Those miscues, combined with a Wonder Boys’ error later in the frame, helped the Savage Storm score four runs and rebuild an 11-4 lead.

Tech mounted another rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Zach Thomas got it started with a lead-off double. Reese drew a walk and Beaird singled to load the bases.

Sullins drew a walk to force a run home. Spencer drove in a run by hitting into a fielder’s choice and Finnegan notched an RBI single. Arkansas Tech was back within 11-7 heading to the eighth inning.

That was all that Southeastern relief pitcher Levi Lewis would allow. He only allowed one more base runner — a two-out walk to Sullins in the ninth — as he completed a four-inning save. Lewis allowed three runs on three hits while striking out five. It was his second save of the season.

SOSU starting pitcher James Taylor (2-0) was the winner. He allowed four runs on five hits in five innings. Like Lewis, Taylor also struck out five Wonder Boys.

Arkansas Tech starter Caleb Powers (4-3) received the loss. He surrendered six runs, five of which were earned, on five hits in three innings. Cody Hatman and Arata both worked in relief for the Wonder Boys. Arata did not allow a hit or a run in four innings.

Sullins finished the game 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBIs.

Brad Shankle, Kenny Acosta, Kevin Phillips and Chad Colbert had two RBIs apiece for the Savage Storm.

The Wonder Boys will visit Southwestern Oklahoma State for a three-game GAC series in Weatherford, Okla., on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31.

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