Special to The Sun
EDMOND — Matt Johnson drove in seven runs to spark streaking Central Oklahoma to a doubleheader sweep of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association rival Emporia State Wednesday afternoon at Wendell Simmons Field.
Johnson had four RBI in a 9-7 first-game triumph that saw the Bronchos rally from a 7-1 deficit and the junior third baseman drove in three runs during an 8-5 victory in the nightcap that ran UCO’s winning streak to six straight.
The Bronchos improved to 8-4 on the season and in the MIAA with the sweep. UCO travels to St. Charles, Mo. this weekend to meet league rival Lindenwood in a three-game series.
ESU appeared in control in the opener with a 7-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Bronchos erupted for four runs in that frame to get back in the game and then put up another four-spot in the sixth to pull out the win.
Johnson cranked a two-out homer and Ryan Stoup added an RBI double in the fifth, with UCO picking up another run on an error to pull within 7-5.
The Bronchos scored all four sixth-inning runs with two outs, with Edgar Lopez drawing a walk to start the rally. Tyler Crabtree followed with a single and then Johnson delivered a two-run double to tie the game before Jared Wright followed with a go-ahead two-run homer.
Ethan Sharp earned the pitching win, giving up one hit and striking out two in going the last 1 2/3 innings.
Johnson, Wright and Robbie Hoffman had two hits apiece to pace the offense.
UCO prevailed in the nightcap despite being outhit 14-11, overcoming an early 1-0 deficit with a four-run volley in the third as Matt Malloy drilled a three-run homer and Johnson added an RBI double.
Johnson had a two-run single in the sixth when the Bronchos pushed their lead to 7-2 and Wright answered an ESU run in the top of the eighth with an RBI single to keep UCO in front 8-3.
The Hornets scored twice in the top of the ninth before Landon Hallam closed out the game to earn the complete-game win. Hallam struck out 10 and walked just one in going the distance.
Wright had a 3-for-4 outing at the plate, while Johnson, Malloy and Ross Rose each had two hits.
2 GRAND SLAMS LIFT UCO SOFTBALL
No. 9-ranked Central Oklahoma hit a grand slam in each game en route to taking a doubleheader from Southern Nazarene Wednesday afternoon.
Nicole Workman’s bases-loaded homer highlighted a 12-3 first-game romp and Hayley Hudson delivered an opening-inning slam in an 8-3 second-game win as the Bronchos improved to 14-4 on the season.
UCO banged out 15 hits in the five-inning opener, topped by Tori Collet’s 3-for-3 performance at the plate. Ally Dziadula, Devyn Frazier, Kacie Edwards and Hannah Justus all had two hits, with Edwards and Workman each driving in four runs.
Kalynn Schrock earned the complete-game pitching win, striking out seven and walking one while giving up four hits and three earned runs.
The Bronchos jumped on top quickly behind Edwards’ two-run homer in the first and made it 7-0 in the second as Workman hit her second grand slam of the season and Frazier added an RBI single.
Edwards had a two-run single and Dziadula an RBI single in the third to bump the lead to 10-0 before the Crimson Storm scored their three runs in the top of the fourth, but UCO came back with a run-scoring hit by Dziadula and RBI fielder’s choice by Frazier in its half of the inning to make it 12-3 and complete the scoring.
Hudson’s slam came during a seven-run first inning outburst in the nightcap, with the Bronchos also getting a two-run single from Dziadula and RBI base hit from Workman.
Edwards provided UCO’s other run with a lead-off solo homer in the seventh.
Workman went the first six innings to earn the pitching win, giving up two earned runs.
Dziadula had three hits to pace the offense, with Hudson and Edwards adding two hits apiece.
The Bronchos don’t play again until opening Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play March 15 at Missouri Southern.