The Edmond Sun

Local College

April 21, 2011

Bronchos win fifth straight

EDMOND — Arrow Cunningham drove in four runs to help Central Oklahoma past Oklahoma Panhandle 9-3 Thursday afternoon at Wendell Simmons Field.

It was a season-best fifth straight win for the Bronchos, who return to Lone Star Conference action Friday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Northeastern State. UCO ends the league schedule with a single contest against NSU Friday and then wraps up the 2011 campaign with five games next week.

Cunningham had a three-run home run and an RBI single to lead UCO’s 10-hit attack, while pitchers Chris Muchmore and Ryan Wagner teamed up to keep OPSU’s bats quiet after the Aggies jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

“Today was a grind-it-out type game on both sides of the ball,” said first-year head coach Dax Leone. “That’s just baseball and our guys have been playing the game at a very high level lately. I say it all the time, this is the ultimate game about the players.”

The Aggies scored twice in their initial at bat to break on top 2-0, but UCO answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first, took the lead for good with two runs in the third and went up 5-2 in the fourth. OPSU got its final run in the sixth and the Bronchos sealed the deal with a  four-run eighth.

Much more came in after OPSU got out to its 2-0 lead and earned the win with five innings of work, allowing seven hits and one run.  Wagner went 3 2/3 hitless innings to notch the save, striking out three in that stint.

Cunningham, Tucker Brown, Keegan Morrow and Kevin Blue had two hits apiece to pace the offense.

UCO scored its first two runs with just one hit, that a leadoff double by Brown.  He eventually scored on a Tyler Hancock sacrifice fly and Keegan Morrow tallied the other run after walking, going all the way to third on one wild pitch and then scoring on another.

The Bronchos went ahead in the third as Brown led off with another double, went to third on Morrow’s bunt single and scored on a balk. Morrow stole third and went home on Ryan Schoonover’s sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Blue started the fourth with a triple and scored on Cunningham’s single to up the lead to 5-2, with OPSU getting a run back in the sixth. UCO stayed safely in front and then added four insurance runs in the eighth.

Cunningham’s three-run homer was the big blow in that inning and Schoonover had the other run after doubling and then scoring on an error.

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