LOPEZ, WRIGHT PACE UCO TO WIN
Edgar Lopez had a dominating eight-inning outing and Jared Wright hit yet another home run to pace Central Oklahoma to a 6-1 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association victory over Northwest Missouri Saturday afternoon at Wendell Simmons Field.
Lopez allowed just three hits and one run in eight innings while striking out 10 and Wright homered for the third time in four games as the Bronchos evened their record at 4-4, both on the season and in the conference.
The two teams return for an 11:30 a.m. doubleheader Sunday to complete the three-game series that was moved from Maryville, Mo. to Edmond because of weather.
“It was a good, clean game for us,” UCO coach Dax Leone said. “Edgar really pitched well, our defense was solid and we did some good things at the plate.”
The Bronchos took a 1-0 lead in the second when Robbie Hoffman led off with a single, advance to second on Cesar Wong’s sacrifice bunt and scored on an error.
UCO bumped that to 4-0 in the third on Wright’s three-run dinger. Tyler Crabtree singled to lead off the inning and Matt Johnson drew a one-out walk before Wright went deep to give the Bronchos a comfortable advantage.
The Bearcats got their lone run in the bottom of the third, with the Bronchos adding two unearned insurance runs in the eighth.
Lopez improved to 2-1 with the win, while Jake Tuck threw the last inning.
Crabtree, Wright and Huffman had two hits apiece to pace UCO’s 11-hit attack.
3 HOME RUNS BOOST BRONCHOS PAST ILLINOIS-SPRINGFIELD
No. 9-ranked Central Oklahoma used the long ball to cruise to an easy first-game win before dropping a one-run decision in the nightcap in splitting a doubleheader with Illinois-Springfield Saturday afternoon.
The Bronchos cranked out three home runs in an 11-3 run-rule rout in the opener before the Prairie Stars pulled out a 3-2 second-game victory.
The Bronchos took control quickly in the first game, umped out to a 7-0 lead in the first inning. Nicole Workman started the onslaught by blasting a long grand slam over the left field fence, while Hannah Justus and Ally Dziadula added run-scoring singles.
UIS scored once in the third and twice in the fourth to pull within 7-3, with UCO pushing across four runs in the fourth to regain control.
Brooke Zukerman had a three-run homer and Hayley Hudson a solo shot in that inning as the Bronchos made it 11-3 en route to ending the game after five innings on the eight-run rule.
Workman earned the pitching win, with Dziadula (three hits) pacing UCO’s 10-hit attack.
The Bronchos took a 1-0 lead in the nightcap on Workman’s RBI single in the third, but UIS scored three runs in the top of the sixth and UCO managed only Workman’s run-scoring single in its final at bat in falling short.
Workman, Dziadula and Kacie Edwards had two hits each for the Bronchos. Amanda McClelland earned the tough-luck loss in the circle despite giving up just two hits while striking out 10.