The Bellevue Bruins (3-1, ranked #3 pre-season) and the Science and Arts of Oklahoma Drovers (7-4, ranked #7 pre-season) split a double-header with a stiff wind blowing, at USAO. The Drovers won the first game 7-2, and the Bruins won the second game 1-0. Both games were scheduled for seven innings, but it took nine innings to decide the second game.
First game: The Drovers jumped on starter RHP Todd Nicks for four runs on six hits and three walks in the first two innings. The scoring started with an RBI single by 3B Christian Perez in the bottom of the first. RF Randy Ventura scored on a double play ball, and Frankely Gonzalez hit an RBI single. Nicks walked in a run in the second inning.
The Drovers got an excellent pitching performance from RHP Stephen Wright. He went the seven-inning distance, allowed six hit, struck out nine, and didn’t allow an earned run. The Bruins didn’t get on the board until the fifth inning, when C Jake Browne walked, then scored on an error after a single by 2B Blake Macdonald. Macdonald scored when 3B Matt Evans reached on an error.
The Bruins missed a chance to make the game a lot closer in the top of the sixth. With a runner on base, Diego Iribarren (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) was robbed of an extra-base hit by a sliding catch by Ventura in right field. The Drovers proceeded to get three runs in the bottom of the sixth; they loaded the bases, got on run when C Dillon White was hit by a pitch, and 1B Wyatt Hull hit a two-RBI single.
2B Kenniel Rivera went 3-for-3 for the Drovers, and also drew a walk. Nicks got the loss.
Box score and play-by-play
Second game: This was an excellent pitching duel between LHP Jose Hidalgo of the Drovers, and LHP Colten Barnes of the Bruins. They both went eight innings. Hidalgo had better numbers; he allowed two hits, struck out eight, and walked two. Barnes allowed four hits, struck out two, and didn’t walk a batter. The Bruins left the bases loaded in the top of the third. In the top of the fourth, C Jake Browne was out on another good catch in deep center field by RF Randy Ventura, and the Bruins ended up stranding a runner on third. The bottom of the fourth and the top of the seventh innings ended with pickoffs.
RHP Roberto Aldama started the top of the ninth for the Drovers. The first batter he faced, RF Joe Moran, reached on an error. He hit the second batter, DH Derik Bontempo, and was replaced by LHP Trevor Settles. Settles struck out the first batter he faced, but hit the next one, loading the bases with Moran on third, and one out. The next batter, 1B Todd Nicks, hit a sacrifice bunt that was just good enough to score Moran.
The Drovers still weren’t done RHP Max Dwyer came in to pitch, and the first batter he faced, Ventura, went to second base on an error. He struck out the second one. The next batter, C Dillon White, grounded out, moving Ventura to third, but the throw to first was high, and Nicks had to make a pretty good grab to prevent a disaster. Dwyer recorded the third out to end the game.
Barnes got the win, Dwyer got a save, and Aldama got the loss. Ventura finished the game 2-for-4; he was the only player in the game to get multiple hits.
Box score and play-by-play
The Drovers play their home games at Bill Smith Ballpark, which has a very large foul territory. The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is in Chickasha, and is a public institution founded in 1908. It as an enrollment of 1,000. The campus is listed as a National Historic District. The school has a high rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
Science and Arts of Oklahoma site