Arkansas Tech almost saw a 13-run lead evaporate and then held on for a 16-13 victory over the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs in Great American Conference baseball at SWOSU Field in Weatherford, Okla., on Sunday afternoon.
The Wonder Boys (16-18 overall, 5-7 GAC) scored six runs in the second inning and seven runs in the third inning to build a 13-0 lead.
Undeterred, Southwestern Oklahoma State (19-11, 9-6) rattled off four runs in the bottom of the third, six runs in the last of the fourth and two more in the bottom of the fifth to cut Arkansas Tech’s advantage to 13-12.
Relief pitcher Brandon Arata (1-2) was able to restore order for the Wonder Boys. He entered the game with two out in the fifth and stranded the tying run at third base when he got Max Wheeler to hit into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.
Arata allowed one run on two hits over two and two-third innings before giving way to Stephen Thompson, who struck out three over one and two-thirds perfect innings of relief for his second save of the season.
Arkansas Tech took 2-of-3 games during the weekend series in Weatherford for its first GAC baseball series win. The Wonder Boys had gone 1-2 in each of their first three GAC series.
A total of nine pitchers — five for Southwestern Oklahoma State and four for Arkansas Tech — combined to allow 33 hits and walk 14 batters.
Jonathan Finnegan led Arkansas Tech’s offensive outburst. He was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, three runs batted in and two runs scored. Thomas Biocic was 2-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs.
Michael Rezin (2-for-5, three RBIs), Drew Stanton (3-for-6, two RBIs), Madison Beaird (2-for-4, two RBIs), Landon Sullins (2-for-4, RBI) and Cesar Abreu (2-for-5, RBI) also had multiple hits. The Wonder Boys racked up 18 base hits, their largest total since they had 19 hits against Northeastern State on Feb. 26.
SWOSU starting pitcher Shane Martin (3-3) was tagged with the loss. He allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in two innings.
Arkansas Tech will visit Northeastern State for a non-conference noon doubleheader in Tahlequah, Okla., on Tuesday, April 3.
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