Hillcats split with Dustdevils to start weekend series

RSU Sports
Tim Hanson, Sports Information Director

CLAREMORE – The Rogers State baseball team split two games of a twinbill with Texas A&M International on Friday (March 30) at the Diamond Sports Complex. The Dustdevils shutout the Hillcats, 3-0, in game one, but the navy and red responded to win, 10-4, in the second game.

The Cats moved to 16-12 and 2-4 in the Heartland Conference. TAMIU went to 10-17 and 2-4 in league play.

TAMIU 3, RSU 0

The Dustdevils used a three-run third inning to earn a 3-0 victory over the Hillcats in game one of the doubleheader.

After a single and sacrifice bunt put a Devil in scoring position, Texas A&M International took a 1-0 edge on a double to the gap in left. With a single up the middle, the lead grew to 2-0 and the final tally scored on a single through the infield to extend the margin to 3-0.

Eleazar Rojas, who came into today’s game with a conference-best ERA for starters of 1.04, limited the navy and red to only four hits in 5.0 innings with eight strikeouts. Coleman Butler pitched one inning of relief, and Mauro Luna picked up the save, pitching the final inning. TAMIU’s pitching staff combined for 10 strikeouts in seven innings.

Five different Hillcats registered hits, including four of the top five in the lineup.

Senior Tim Luce went the complete 7.0 innings for RSU, totaling seven strikeouts and allowing six hits. He dropped to 3-4 on the season.

RSU 10, TAMIU 4

The Hillcat bats responded in game two with a 10-4 victory over the Dustdevils. RSU posted six late runs to pull away for the nightcap win.

After TAMIU tied the score at 4-4 in the sixth, the navy and red got a big two-out hit from Grant Farris to take a 6-4 edge in the bottom half of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, two outs and a full count, Farris blistered a shot down the left field line to score Zack Mann and Christopher Ford for the 6-4 lead.

RSU added four runs in the eighth inning to take a 10-4 margin. Blake Chiaramonte doubled to the gap in right to make it 7-4, and Bradley Degnan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to up the score to 8-4. Dylan Russell drove in two more runs with a single to right for the 10-4 score.

The navy and red totaled 11 hits in the game with the top seven Hillcats all tallying hits. Farris and Degnan each went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Drew Van Winkle started and went 5.2 innings. Brock Knoten earned the win in 3.1 innings of work. He held the Dustdevils hitless with one strikeout to end the contest.

The Hillcats finish the four-game series with Texas A&M International on Saturday (March 31) at 11 a.m. at the Diamond Sports Complex. Coverage will be available on the Hillcat Network at www.rsuhillcats.com/live.