Tigers Fall to No. 2 OCU
Doane faced their toughest opponent of the season in NAIA No. 2 Oklahoma City on Thursday evening in the NAIA National Championship Opening Round in Oklahoma City. The Stars pulled away from Doane late in the game for a 10-5 win. The loss drops the Tigers into an elimination game on Friday against the winner of the Texas-Brownsville vs. Fresno Pacific match-up.
Oklahoma City plated a run in the first inning following a lead-off double by Ruben Sosa. He stole third and came in for the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly.
Doane answered in the third with a run. Dylan Flott picked up a one-out single and moved to second on a walk to Anthony Hincy. AJ Spanel singled up the middle to tie the game. The inning ended on a line-drive double play.
In the bottom of the fifth, Oklahoma City picked up four runs against starter Chance Brull. With the base loaded and one out, Julien Pollard rolled a ball through the infield for a two-run single. Miguel Beltran doubled to plate two more run before the Tigers were able to get out of the inning.
Doane fought back in the sixth as they scored twice to cut the lead to 5-3. Mike Albert walked and Anthony Dunn singled to give the Tigers runners at the corners to open the inning. Following an out, Thomas Albert walked to load the bases. A strikeout put the Tigers' hopes of scoring in danger but Ethan Schroeder drew a walk to bring in Mike Albert. Dylan Flott reached on an error to extend the inning and bring in Tyler Lohr as he was running for Dunn.
Oklahoma City saw a new pitcher in the game in the bottom of the sixth in Rolando Celis. Celis struggled to find the strike zone and walked the first two batters he faced. A sacrifice attempt by the Stars was fielded by Celis and he turned to third to attempt to get the lead runner but his throw was high and went down the left field line and allowed a run to score. Tim Carlson replaced Celis and picked up three outs but one was for a sacrifice fly to give the Stars a 7-3 lead.
Once again, Doane fought back and pulled within two runs as they scored twice in the seventh. Spanel singled and Mike Albert walked to open the inning. With one out, Jason West was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Thomas Albert. During the at-bat, a pitch was thrown to the back stop but OCU was able to get Spanel out at the plate for the second out of the inning. Thomas Albert then singled to right field to bring in Mike Albert and West to cut the score to 7-5. Following a pair of hit by pitches by Mike Korsakas and Schroeder, OCU brought in their third pitcher of the inning. Flott stuck out to end the frame against the new pitcher.
Oklahoma City pulled away in the eighth with three runs on three hits against the Tigers. Following a four-pitch walk to open the inning, Carlson gave up a home run on the first pitch he threw to Chad Carman.
Brull took the loss for Doane as he allowed five runs on six hits and two walks in five innings. Celis did not record an out as he gave up two runs on two walks. Carlson allowed two runs over two innings on a hit. Jacob Bartek threw one inning and allowed one run on two hits. Doane pitching allowed six walks, four that came around to score.
At the plate, Doane collected eight hits, two from Spanel and Dunn. Dunn extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Mike Albert led the team with two runs scored but did not collect a hit which ended his streak at 15 games. Thomas Albert led the way with two RBIs.