Don Vieth, Director of Athletic Communications
TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State rallied back from a seven-run deficit in eighth inning to beat Northwestern Oklahoma, 14-13, on an Oscar Resendez Jr. walk-off single in the ninth at Thomas C. Rousey Field on Wednesday afternoon.
The RiverHawks (4-3) never led until the game winning run by Resendez Jr. and rallied from behind twice to pick up their third win in a row.
Trailing 6-2 in the sixth, NSU got a RBI single from Reid Fehr and a Jaxon Phipps RBI triple to get them back a pair. Tristan Ridenour would later tie the game with his first homer of the season to left field to complete the first comeback for the RiverHawks.
NSU’s momentum was short lived and at the time, it looked as-if the wheels came off on Wednesday and the Rangers sent 11 batters up to the plate for seven runs on seven hits to go up 13-6.
John Rains (1-0) came in to start the eighth with the game out of hand to sit the Rangers down in order.
The door would creek open for the RiverHawks and they loaded the bases with three straight hit batters.
Still with a mountain to climb, NSU got their first run through a walk with no outs. Following a NWOSU pitching change, Zane Takhar hit a single up the middle to plate two more runs. With runners on the corners, Colton Wright scored the RiverHawks fourth run on sac fly to center and Fehr brought home the team’s fifth run on a fielder’s choice. Northeastern State needed only one hit in the inning to bring home five batters and trailed 13-11.
Rains remained on the bump for NSU and sat the Rangers down in order to give the RiverHawks’ offense one last chance in the ninth.
Blake Vandegrift opened the final frame with a single to right center and a hit batter would put two on with no outs. Ridenour put NSU within a run back on a single up the middle to put runners on the corners. Northwestern Oklahoma with the winning run now at first tried a fake pick-off at first and the throw to third sailed to backstop to tie the game at 13-13.
Following a failed bunt attempt by NSU to advance the runners, Resendez Jr. hit a game winning single to left to complete the comeback.
Offense ruled the day with 35 hits combined by both teams. The Rangers out-hit NSU by three with 19 on an afternoon that saw 16 pitchers step on the rubber. Northeastern State nearly cleared their bench using all by one position player available.
Northwestern Oklahoma falls to 5-3 in non-conference play with the loss to Northeastern State.
The RiverHawks will return to action on Saturday with a seven-inning doubleheader against UA-Fort Smith in Springdale, Ark.; the contest will be played at Arvest Park.