Hillcats Split with Texas Wesleyan
Rogers State closed out its three-day, six-game road trip Monday afternoon with a familiar feeling. For the third straight day the Hillcats won the first game of the doubleheader and lost the nightcap.
RSU topped Texas Wesleyan 8-4 in Monday’s opener and added a quality non-conference win to its resume. However, the Rams drilled the Cats 13-3 in a five-inning run-rule in the second game of the twin bill.
The Hillcats scored three runs in the opening frame and led the rest of the way en route to an 8-4 victory.
Ryan Littlejohn doubled to start the first inning and scored the first run on a single by Coby Wright. Rob Rodriguez singled home Wright and Kevin Phillips drew a bases loaded walk to make it 3-0.
TWU answered with two runs in the bottom of the second, but RSU starter Sam Cornell managed to hold the Rams in check over next two innings while the Cats built a lead. Wright added to margin with an RBI single in the fourth and later scored on a passed ball to push the lead to 5-2. Rodriguez and Luis Caraballo belted back-to-back home runs to open the fifth inning and the lead swelled to five-runs. Littlejohn doubled and scored in the sixth to stretch the margin to 8-2.
A two-run home run by Justin Keller in the bottom of the sixth closed out the scoring for the Rams. Cornell (3-1) earned the win with four innings of work. The southpaw gave up two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and four walks. Curt Simpson worked the final three innings to record the save.
Littlejohn racked up three of the Cats 12 hits while Wright, Rodriguez and Caraballo contributed two apiece.
The Rams banged out 12 runs on 12 hits in the first two innings and earned a series split with a 13-3 victory in the nightcap.
TWU roughed up Hillcat starter DJ Thompson over four innings and halted the game in the fifth via the run-rule. Thompson (2-1) allowed 13 runs on 15 hits and suffered his first loss of the season. Kyle Little was credited with the victory after tossing the final 2.2 innings for the Rams.
Doubles by Rush Leighton and Kyle Frasard keyed a three-run first inning for TWU. Kyle Harmon and Mikey Horn homered as part of a nine-run second frame that put the game away. RSU scored three runs on three hits in the top of the third inning, but by that point it was too little too late.
Rogers State (24-13, 9-9) returns to conference play Thursday afternoon against Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Okla. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.