CHICKASHA, Okla. -- The No. 3 Bellevue University baseball team split a pair of games at No. 7 University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon. USAO won the opener by a score of 7-2 before BU claimed the night-cap with a 1-0, nine-inning victory to earn a split.
The Bruins return home from their opening weekend with a 3-1 record while Science & Arts sees their record move to 7-4 on the year.
Bellevue is back on the diamond next weekend with three games in Oklahoma City. BU plays Arlington Baptist on Saturday at 12:30 with a game to follow against (RV) Oklahoma City at 3 p.m. The Stars and Bruins will meet again on Sunday at noon.
Game One: USAO 7, Bellevue 2
USAO opened the game strong, getting to Bruin starter Todd Nicks (L, 0-1) early and chasing the right-hander after just two innings of work.
The first four Drovers to come to the plate reached base before Bellevue was able to turn a double play to alleviate some of the stress on the bases but also giving USAO a 2-0 lead. Frankley Gonzalez followed up with an RBI-single to push the Drover lead to 3-0 after an inning of play.
Science & Arts pushed across another run in the second when Dillon White drew a two-out, bases loaded walk.
It took Bellevue until the fifth inning to get anything off USAO starter Stephen Wright (W, 1-0) who limited BU to just two runs on six hits and struck out nine batters.
Jake Browne walked to lead off the inning before advancing to second on a balk. He would come in to score on an error one batter later when Blake Macdonald single and advance to third on a misplay. Macdonald himself would come in to score when Matt Evans reached on an error to pull the Bruins within two runs at 4-2.
USAO tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth inning to effectively put the game away. White was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Wyatt Hull delivered a two-run single to make the score 7-2 in favor of the hosts. All three runs in the inning came with two outs.
The second game of the double-header saw a pitcher's duel extend into extra innings with both teams combining for just one run and six hits.
With no score into the ninth inning, it was Bellevue that broke the deadlock first. Moran reached via error to lead off the inning before Derik Bontempo was hit by a pitch to advance Moran to scoring position with nobody out. Two batters, and a pitching change later, Browne was hit by a pitch to load the bases with just one out to bring up Nicks. Nicks dropped a bunt to third baseman Christian Perez whose only play was on Nicks at first to bring home the game's first run.
Colten Barnes (W, 1-0) was terrific as he made his Bruin debut on the hill. The southpaw worked eight shutout innings while limiting the Drovers to just four hits and striking out a pair.
Max Dwyer (SV, 1) came on in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his first save of the season with a scoreless inning of work.
Roberto Aldana (L, 0-1) took the loss in relief for USAO after conceding the game's lone run. Jose Hidalgo worked seven impressive innings in which BU managed just two hits and two walks while striking out eight times.