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Wonder Boys drop doubleheader at No. 5 Central Missouri


WARRENSBURG, Mo. —The Arkansas Tech baseball team lost both ends of their road doubleheader at No. 5-ranked Central Missouri on Friday, falling 10-2 in the opener and 5-4 in 12 innings in the nightcap.
In the opener, the Wonder Boys got out to an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Brendan Bard in the top of the second. That score held up until the bottom of the fourth when Central Missouri broke through for five runs on five hits.
Prior that frame, Tech starter John Gray held the high-powered Mules' offense scoreless on one hit while striking out two. Gray's outing would end with that fourth inning as Ethan Fritz came on in relief for the fifth.
Fritz held the Mules off the board in the fifth as he worked around a leadoff hit-by-pitch. In the sixth, however, the Mules struck for five runs once more. All but one of the runs in the inning were earned, however, as UCM was able to take advantage of a Tech error.
Playing the seven-inning game first, suddenly the Wonder Boys were down to their final at-bats potentially in the top of the seventh. Leading off the frame, Tech made the most of their first at-bat in the seventh as Keaton Ranallo hammered a solo home run out to left field for Tech's second run of the game.
The Mules got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning as the pushed across a leadoff double. In the next half inning, Tech scored a single run without the benefit of a hit the entire inning.

Brandon Bunton led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch and was followed by a plunking of Poe as well. Duddleston then successfully sacrificed them over to second and third, respectively. In the next at-bat, Bunton scored on a passed ball.
UCM would then go on to score their next three runs to tie the game at four-all all on solo home runs. The first of those came in the third while the other two reared their ugly heads in the seventh.
With the game now tied, the Wonder Boys called upon left-hander Simon Murray in relief of Will Horton, who got the final out of the seventh when he came on in relief. Murray would go on to shutdown the Mules over the next two innings to force the game into extra innings.
In the eighth, Murray struck out the side and picked up a fourth to end the ninth. In the bottom of the 10th, Murray worked around a leadoff walk to send the game to the 11th where he was masterful in not allowing a leadoff triple to score the winning run.
The solo home run came back, unfortunately in the bottom of the 12th against a new Wonder Boy reliever as UCM walked off with the win.

The Wonder Boys and Mules will conclude their four-game series on Saturday with another doubleheader. First-pitch for the first game, which will be a seven-inning contest, is scheduled for 1 p.m.