Skip to main content
Skip menu links

Aggies Take Three-Game Victory in Series Sweep against Bacone

By Alyssa Fox on 03/05/2018 Senior Nate Kelly went 6-9 at the plate in the Aggies' series sweep of Bacone College.-Beverly Hintergardt photo Senior Nate Kelly went 6-9 at the plate in the Aggies' series sweep of Bacone College.-Beverly Hintergardt photo

Goodwell, Okla.—The Aggies saw a winning weekend of Sooner Athletic Conference baseball as they overtook the Bacone College Warriors in a series sweep over a three-game contest Friday and Saturday. The double header on Friday put the Aggies up by two wins on the series (5-3; 4-0) and Saturday's game three sealed the deal as OPSU surpassed the Warriors in extra innings (5-4).

Junior Cesar Gomez stepped out of his relief status and took the mound as a starter for the second time this season and rolled a full seven innings of a well-pitched game one against the Warriors. Gomez was backed up by impressive fielding from the Aggies, aiding to hold the Warriors scoreless through the first four innings.

Sophomore catcher Gerson Padilla started off the bottom of the second with a single through the left side, advanced on a balk by Bacone's Straiger, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Junior third basemen Kasey Leatherwood got on with a base on balls, and two more consecutive balks from the Warriors advanced Leatherwood and scored Padilla. A sacrifice bunt from freshman outfielder Jaylon Burnett scored Leatherwood and the Aggies left the second after plating two runs and bringing the score 2-0. The third saw a single from senior short stop Nate Kelly, and a two base error off a hit from junior first basemen Jared Mayeda brought Kelly home. The Warriors saw action in the top of the fifth, plating three runs off an RBI single and a two-RBI triple to tie the score 3-3, but the Aggies answered back in the bottom of the inning with two runs off a two-RBI double from Mayeda to bring the final tally 5-3 to take home a game one victory.

Game two continued with a gem from sophomore ace Corey Ley, pitching a near no-hitter and allowing only one hit from the Warriors through all seven innings. The Aggies fielding was again a standout behind Ley amid the roaring 30-mph gusts, boasting three seamless double plays from the infield and focused fielding on windswept fly-outs by the outfield. The bats woke up early and Kelly lined a ball to right field for a stand-up triple and a groundout from Padilla scored Kelly, getting the Aggies on the board early in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the third, junior centerfielder Derek Stallworth singled through the left side, advanced to second on a balk and was advanced to third on a single from Kelly. Kelly was picked off at second in a stolen base attempt, but allowed Stallworth to steal home amidst the commotion, bringing the Aggies up 2-0. In the bottom of the fourth with two outs, Junior infielder Juan Sanchez battled through a long at-bat that ended with a two-base error to get him to second. Next up to the plate, sophomore right fielder Bradley Ruiz put up an RBI single to score Sanchez, and Ruiz would advance on the throw. An ensuing hard hit RBI single from Stallworth was enough to bring Ruiz home and the Aggies up 4-0. Ley continued to silence the Bacone bats and the Aggies held the Warriors scoreless through the end of the game.

The Aggies took to the field on Saturday for game three with two wins behind them and in determined pursuit of a third. Freshman Garrison Armstrong stepped to the rubber for the Aggies, but allowed one run from the Warriors as he settled in to the first inning. The second would remain silent on both sides, but the Warriors plated another two runs in the top of the third as they took the lead, 3-0. A base on balls from Kelly started off the bottom of the third and an RBI double from Mayeda scored Kelly to get the Aggies on the board. Both teams went three up-three down through the fourth. Bacone tacked on another run in the top of the fifth to pull away with the lead 4-1. The Aggies remained resilient and battled back in the bottom of the fifth, seeing two singles from Stallworth and Kelly to get both runners on and an RBI single up center field from Mayeda scored Stallworth. With the score 4-2 in favor of Bacone, the Aggies brought in seasoned senior Adrian Lopez to the mound in the seventh. In the bottom of the inning, Kelly roped another triple cleanly down the left field line, and a groundout from Mayeda brought Kelly in. The Aggies tussled through a tense eighth inning and added a run from a bases-loaded walk to tie the score 4-4. The bats were silent on both sides through the ninth, forcing a tenth inning. The Warriors left a runner on base and left the top of the tenth scoreless. Ruiz started the bottom of the tenth with a base on balls, and advanced on a barreled single through the left side from Stallworth in an impressive 1-2 count at-bat. A hit by pitch on Mayeda loaded the bases, and a successive hit by pitch on Padilla scored Ruiz and ended the three-hour battle 5-4 in favor of the Aggies.

Head Coach Jason LaRocque reflected on the wins, saying, "It was a hard fought series. We had a lot of opportunities to close out games and we continued to not capitalize on those opportunities; however, whether it's our game one starter without his best stuff battling through all seven to go a complete game, not executing at the plate or cashing in a much needed RBI with two outs all day in game three, great teams find a way to persevere. When things click and we fire on all cylinders our guys find an extraordinary recipe for success. There was a time in game two when we got Corey Ley a lead and seeing him lock in on their hitters, I just knew the guy wasn't going to look back and I was confident on our opportunity to get a win in that game. It's that same competitive identification that is tangible when Kelly is at the plate or when Mayeda has runners on, when Stallworth or Ruiz has a hard slicing ball in 30 mph winds- there's just that intuition that our players in those moments are going to persevere. They have a resolve and a determination that they won't let failure be an option because it's their time, and they do that successfully. It all comes full circle when we click, and when we produce and have that competitive edge we can put ourselves within opportune times to succeed no matter the circumstances because our guys are going to give us a chance.

Pitching Coach Brandon Mercer commended his staff in the wake of revitalization on the rubber, "We did what we were expected to do. A few more walks than I had hoped but the guys battled. The defense had our backs the whole series and we came out on top. That's what we, as a staff, expect from our guys every time we step onto the field."

The Aggies put the three-game sweep under their belts and brought their season record up 8-13, now going 4-5 in conference. They will take to the road for a mid-week double header in Avla, Okla. against Northwestern Oklahoma on Tuesday, March 6, followed by a three-game SAC series in Bethany against Southwestern Christian, March 9-10. The Aggies return home for a mid-week match up against Sterling College on Wednesday, March 14 at Aggie Field.