By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor
The OBU Men’s Baseball team welcomed the Bulldogs of Southwestern Oklahoma State University to Bison Field Friday, April 7 for a three-game series that lasted into Saturday evening.
Ultimately, the Bison’s efforts fell short as they lost the series 1-2.
After losing the first game Friday evening by ten runs with a score of 11-21, OBU rallied back the next day, winning 6-5 to avenge their first loss to SWOSU. However, the Bison fell two runs short in the third game and lost 5-6 later that day.
The weekend featured Jinny Parra’s record breaking performance where he set a new record for career wins with his 36th victory Saturday afternoon.
Parra, a senior pitcher from Jacagua Medio, Dominican Republic, passed the record set in 1989 by Darrin Fowler and David Hocking.
“It means a lot to break this record,” Parra said.
“I know that the people who previously had the record are very important for OBU and now to see my name holding the new record makes me feel that all of my hard-work paid off.
Parra has strived to be great from day one with OBU; he has earned awards in all three of his previous seasons as a Bison, including GAC Pitcher of the Year during his junior year.
“It means a lot for my family and my country,” Parra said. “I always strive to make them proud.”
The coaching staff has always trusted Parra with big moments, and they will definitely miss his leadership once he graduates.
The streaking Bison came into the weekend series on a six game winning streak; however, OBU was greeted by a red-hot SWOSU team that put on a hitting clinic in the first game.
The Bison dropped the contest 11-21.
“We were expecting tough competition,” sophomore Austin Cooper said. “Something positive to take away is our offensive efforts.”
The Bison posted 11 runs on 13 hits, including a grand slam from Nick Burnham, but the Bison struggled to slow down the Bulldog offense, ultimately resulting in the loss.
“The great thing about baseball is that there is always another day,” Cooper said.
“A new day where the results from the day before don’t matter at all.”
The Bison took this mentality and put it to work the next day as they took down SWOSU 6-5, capping Parra’s 36th win and earning him the new OBU record for career wins.
In the win, the Bison were able to hold the Bulldog’s late and prevent a comeback. “The key to holding them was our good defense,” Parra said.
“We had to play very focused.”
In their efforts, OBU only made one error in the game, underlining their focus on the defensive end.
Hours after their tight win, OBU and SWOSU battled to another 6-5 score line; however, this time the Bison ended on the short side.
The Bison found themselves down three runs going into the last inning and hoped to pull off a comeback, but they fell one run shy of extending the game.
“We have the skill to play good baseball,” Parra said. “But, we need to come more prepared and stronger each and every game.”
After a busy weekend, the Bison now stand at 23-14 on the season and 14-10 in conference play.
Next on the schedule, the Bison host a non-conference match-up against USAO April 11 at 6 p.m.