Chris Brannick, Director of Sports Media Relations
HAYS, Kan. – The University of Central Oklahoma baseball team swept a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association doubleheader Saturday against Fort Hays State with a 6-1 win followed by a 17-6 drubbing. The Bronchos improved to 17-8 on the season, and are 9-2 in league play following the win.
“In the first game, we got really good pitching and that was big for us,” UCO head baseball coach John Martin said. “That helps the offense so much. We got some really good pitching early in the second game too and the offense just kept it going for us. We need to come out tomorrow and play the same way and try to keep it going some more.”
Central got a big outing from starter Ryan Lemoine in the first game Saturday. The senior righty threw seven solid innings in his seventh start of the season, allowing just one run on seven hits and two walks. He struck out eight before Ben Wusterbarth came on in the eighth to finish the job. Wusterbarth allowed just one hit and one walk in the closing effort.
Lemoine got plenty of run support too.
Xavier Freeman hit a two-run home run in the top of the second to give the Bronchos a 2-0 lead. He scored T.J. Sparr, who singled in the previous at bat, when he swung at the first pitch he saw.
After Fort Hays scored its only run of the opener, Dayne Sommer scored Kyle Miskovsky with an RBI single in the third to give UCO a 3-1 lead.
Freeman then hit his second home run of the day in the fourth. He waited a few more pitches this time, before smashing a 2-2 pitch to left center to make it 4-1 Bronchos.
Trae Smith joined Freeman in the long ball game with a two-run shot in the fifth to score Paul Kropf and give UCO a 6-1 lead.
Miskovsky, Sommer, and Freeman each led UCO with two hits in the first game.
UCO returned for the second game and put the petal to the metal from the first pitch.
Miskovsky singled to lead off the game, and scored when Kropf his home to left center to make it 2-0. Freeman then went to left center for his third home run of the day to make it 3-0, and Taylor Avila hit a solo shot to left field to make it 4-0 with two outs in the first.
UCO made it 5-0 in the top of the second after Justin Brown scored on a double steal with Miskovsky taking second and Brown taking home. Miskovsky then scored on a similar play as Paul Kropf stole second on a failed pickoff attempt and Miskovsky stole home to make it 6-0.
Jake Dyer hit an RBI-double to score Kropf, and Avila hit a two-RBI single to center field to score Freeman and Dyer and make it 9-0.
It didn’t stop.
Dyer and Avila both had RBI doubles in the top of the sixth to make it 11-2. Miskovsky had an RBI double, and Kropf a two-run home run in the seventh to make it 14-3.
Fort Hays got three runs back in the bottom of the seventh to avoid a run-rule, bringing it to 14-6. But Glen Reeves responded with a pinch-hit RBI-double in the top of the eight to score Anthony Alvarez and give the Bronchos a 15-6 lead. Avila poured it on in the ninth with a two-run home run that scored Dyer and made it 17-6, UCO.
The Bronchos got a strong start again in the second game. Gaylon Viney made his first start in a UCO uniform and picked up the win after five solid innings of work. The senior struck out seven and gave up two runs on just four hits and three walks. Viney had made 20 appearances in two seasons for the Bronchos before Saturday and all were relief efforts.
Six Bronchos had multi-hit games in the second game, with Miskovsky and Avila each getting four hits. Kropf and Dyer finished with three hits apiece. Miskovsky, Kropf, Freeman, and Dyer all scored three runs each in the second game as well.
Central Oklahoma wraps up its three-game series with Fort Hays State on Sunday at 1 p.m.