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Wonder Boys dominant in series opening win vs. Harding

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RUSSELLVILLE — The Arkansas Tech baseball team turned in an all-around dominant effort against Harding and cruised to a 13-3 seven-inning run-rule victory on Friday night out at Baswell Field.

On the mound, the Wonder Boys (22-13, 19-9 GAC) received a dominant starting pitching performance from Patrick Miner as he notched a new career-high in strikeouts with 10. Through the first five innings, Miner allowed no runs on just three hits with eight strikeouts.

The Bisons (19-16, 14-14 GAC), however, were able to do a little bit of damage off Miner, who picked up his team-leading seventh victory, in the sixth inning by scoring three runs on four hits. By then however, the Wonder Boys' offense had provided more than enough run support for Miner and got back two of those runs given up in the bottom of the sixth.

The aforementioned early run support of Miner started in the second inning as Jonathon Arrieta led off the frame with a moon-shot home run out to left-centerfield. Later that inning, the Wonder Boys scored three more runs with the first run scoring on a throwing error by the Bisons' third baseman and the final two coming on a two-run home run off the bat of Garrett Crews.

Scoreless frames in the third and fourth for both teams gave way to a five-run bottom of the fifth inning for the Wonder Boys. In that inning, Josh Detweiler singled to third base with one out and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Trace Maddux, who went 4-for-5 in the game, then doubled home Detweiler. Not long after that, Arrieta connected for a no-doubt home run to left-centerfield.

A single by Kandon Bennett and consecutive walks to Markos Cabranes and Elijah Boyer loaded the bases with one out. Crews then singled through the left side to score Bennett. The final run that inning scored a batter later as Robbins was credited with a RBI single after his batted ball hit Crews on the base path on his way to second.

The run support of Miner following his lone inning of damage saw the Wonder Boys score their first run on a based loaded balk and the second run on a single up the middle by Cabranes.

With the lead back out to eight runs, Miner came back to the mound for the top of the seventh where he secured his career-high 10th strikeout of the first batter he faced. Miner then allowed single through the left side but retired the next batter to bring his outing to a close. Shane Scott then came on in relief and struck out the only batter he would face.

It ended up being the only batter Scott would had to face anyways as the Wonder Boys wasted little time in pushing across the two runs needed to reach the 10-run rule. In doing so, Robbins led off with a single to center and then advanced to second on a passed ball. Evan Hafley then drew a walk and was pinch-ran for by Landon Lord. A single through the right side by Detweiler scored Robbins and moved Lord to third. On the very next pitch, Maddux ended the game on a single to right to score Lord.

The Wonder Boys and Bisons will now close out their three-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader slated to begin at 1 p.m.

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