Benjamin Dishong, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletics Communication
SAN ANGELO, Texas – Rogers State Baseball’s season came to a close on Saturday night as the Hillcats fell to host Angelo State in the NCAA South Central Region II Tournament championship game.
The Hillcats, who made their NCAA Tournament debut this weekend, fell to the Rams 13-6 and 19-10 in games two and three of the best-of-three series.
Rogers State finished the NCAA Tournament with a 2-2 record after going 3-0 in their first Heartland Conference Tournament appearance last week as the Hillcats claimed their first conference championship since becoming postseason eligible in the NCAA in the 2017 season.
In game one, the Hillcats took the lead on the first pitch of the game, as Christian Merriwether hit the first pitch over the fence in right field. However, the No. 4 ranked Angelo State team scored four runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed after that, adding nine runs from the third to the seventh inning.
Zack Mann had an RBI single and Brendan Griffith scored on an error in the third and fourth innings. Blake Chiaramonte got three runs back for the Hillcats late, hitting a home run to right field, scoring Griffin Kellerand Nick Follett on the play.
In game two, Angelo State took an early lead, but Follett answered back with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first, scoring Brandon Bradshaw and Mann.
In the second inning, Rogers State took the lead with a six-run inning started by Mann’s two-RBI single that scored Chiaramonte and Griffith. Three batters later, Follett hit a grand slam as Rogers State went up 9-3.
Angelo State responded with two runs in the top of the third, but the Hillcats extended the lead with a Chiaramonte sac fly to score Griffith.
However, Rogers State would be held scoreless for the rest of the game and the hosts would take the lead their next time at the plate, scoring six runs in the top of the fourth. They would go on to score 14 unanswered runs.
With the loss, the Hillcats season comes to a close, finishing the season as 2019 Heartland Conference Champions and NCAA South Central Region II runners-up.