CLARKSVILLE, Ark. - Hardin-Simmons' baseball team clinched its series at the University of the Ozarks on Saturday afternoon with a 4-2 win over the Eagles in American Southwest Conference crossover action.
HSU improved to 9-5 on the year and concluded a rugged travel schedule to start the season. HSU played 11 of its first 14 games of the year on the road and have bussed nearly 4,000 miles during the run.
The Cowboys took the early lead with two runs in the third inning. Caleb Jacques and Jason Vause each had singles to start the inning and Jon Finney reached on an error that allowed Jacques to score. Vause scored on a double play to make it 2-0.
Mitchell Powers had RBI singles in the third and fifth innings for Ozarks to tie the game at 2-2.
Vause, who may be the fastest player in the ASC, put it to use in the seventh. He beat out a routine grounder to short for an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jon Finney and stole third base. Marcus Uechi then walked and Vause scored on the back end of a double steal.
Jacques gave the Cowboys an insurance run with a two-out RBI single in the eighth knocking in Colson Craddick, who had doubled.
Craddick led the Cowboys with four hits. Vause and Jacques had two hits each for HSU.
Matt Rhodes allowed seven hits and two runs while striking out three before the Cowboys turned it over to its stellar bullpen. Eric Zamora earned the win to move to 4-0 with two and two-third innings of scoreless relief and Tyler Brunnemann came on with one on and no outs in the eighth and worked two scoreless frames for his fourth save of the year.
Powers had three hits and drove in both Ozarks runs as the Eagles fell to 8-6. Jeffrey Works took the loss to fall to 0-1. He allowed four runs (two earned) in seven innings. He scattered nine hits and struck out seven.
The crossover games do not count in the ASC standings. HSU begins ASC West action next weekend at home when Sul Ross State comes to Hunter Field. The series begins an eight-game homestand over Spring Break for the Cowboys.
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