Eagles edge Bruins to open series

Jake Browne had a pair of hits on Friday for BU
Jake Browne had a pair of hits on Friday for BU

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. -- Will Price drove in Jalen Jackson with an infield single to plate the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to help (RV) Oklahoma Wesleyan University to a 5-4 win over the No. 3 Bellevue University baseball team on Friday afternoon at Doenges Stadium.

The loss snapped Bellevue's modest four-game win streak and dropped the Bruins to 6-2 overall while Oklahoma Wesleyan improved to 13-2 with their seventh win in a row.

Things looked good in the early going for the visitors with four of the first five Bruins coming to bat reaching base. However, two of those base runners were picked off at first and Bellevue managed just one run in the opening frame despite three hits and a walk.

Chris Acosta-Tapia doubled home Alejandro Hernandez in the bottom half of the first to level the game at 1-1.

OKWU added single runs in each the third and fifth innings to grab a 3-1 lead. Trevor Achenbach singled home Acosta-Tapia in the third while Hernandez scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.

BU hung around into the seventh when they were able to scratch across three runs. Derik Bontempo and pinch-runner Brandon Salmon both came in via wild pitch just a batter apart to tie the game 3-3. Blake Macdonald set down a bunt to bring home Todd Nicks on a squeeze play to put Bellevue in front for the first time since the opening inning.

After an error extended the home half of the seventh, the Eagles were able to score twice. First, Achenbach scored on a wild pitch, before Price chased in Jackson with an infield single for the go-ahead run.

Acosta-Tapia made a diving catch in center field to rob Macdonald for the final out of the game.

Lizandro Cruz (W, 2-0) earned the win with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and Tyler Shumpert (S, 6) pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save.

Zach Wilson (L, 1-1) took the loss in relief for Bellevue despite not allowing an earned run. Starter Ben McKendall went five innings and struck out five for BU. He was charged with allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks.

Bellevue and Oklahoma Wesleyan will play a double-header tomorrow at Doenges Stadium with the first game slated for a noon start. Game one will be a nine inning affair and game two is scheduled for seven innings.