WARRENSBURG, Mo. - The Arkansas Tech baseball team wrapped up their four-game series on the road at No 5-ranked Central Missouri on Saturday and lost both ends of the doubleheader.
In the opener, Central Missouri got off to a quick start and scored twice in the first inning. Both of the runs in the inning were unearned, however, as UCM took advantage of a Tech error. Two innings later, the Mules added a single run, but in the fourth, they broke the game wide open with a six-run inning, shooting their lead out to 9-0.
The Mules added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings and led 11-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning of what was already a scheduled seven-inning game as it was the first of the doubleheader. In that top of the seventh, the Wonder Boys broke through offensively and plated three runs on three hits to bring the game to its final of 11-3.
In the top of the seventh, Markos Cabranes led off with a single through the left side and advanced to second moments later on a wild pitch. Grant Jones then drew a walk ahead of pinch-hitter Aaron Hogue. Hogue singled through the left side and scored Cabranes from second.
Another wild pitch was uncorked and moved Jones to third and Hogue to second. The second run then scored when Tyler Sardelli pinch-hit and grounded out to shortstop. The third run of the inning scored in the next at-bat as Nick Jones singled down the left field line.
That score held up until the bottom of the seventh when UCM got a solo home run to tie it at one-all. Prior to that, Wonder Boys pitching was doing a great job holding the potent Mule's lineup at bay.
Jack Rector made the start and pitched 4.0 innings without allowing a run. He allowed two hits and walked four with one strikeout. JT Cafferty was first in relief and got the game through the sixth as he pitched 2.0 scoreless innings allowing one hit, one walk and striking out two.
After the game-tying home run, the Mules later loaded the bases with one out. Nothing would come of that opportunity as Mason Griffin, who came on just prior to the bases being loaded, struck out the next two batters to escape the seventh.
Neither team scored in the eighth despite getting a runner in scoring position in the frame. In the ninth, the Wonder Boys were retired in order and in the bottom of the frame, UCM collected their second walk-off win in as many days on a hard-hit infield single to first base.
The Wonder Boys make their 2024 home debut on Tuesday, February 13 against Pittsburg State. The in-region clash is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. from Baswell Field.