By Jared L’Attore, Contributing Writer (Courtesy photo/Bison Athletics)
The Bison are playoff bound after concluding their regular season against Southern Nazarene in a three-game series which included Senior Day on Saturday.
The Bison clinched a spot to compete in the Great American Conference (GAC) tournament.
The winner of the tournament will go on to compete in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Senior Zane Gelphman believes that his team has a good shot in the tournament if they do their job on defense.
“In order to go far into the tournament and win, we need to be clean on defense and not allow any free bases. If we take care of the baseball, our hitting and pitching will do their part,” Gelphman said.
OBU has done a splendid job hitting the baseball in the past week. They ended their regular season against Southern Nazarene with a sweep.
Last Friday, Southern Nazarene came into town to take on OBU. The Bison came out roaring through 14 consecutive runs to start the game.
In the first inning of play, junior Jake Gozzo connected on an RBI single. Junior PJ Harris also singled and brought in a run. Senior Matt Poulin connected on a double that brought in two. This was only the beginning of the party for the Bison.
In the third inning, Gelphman hit a line drive down the left field line that went for an inside the park home run. The score was five to nothing through three innings. Senior Josh Timms connected on a double for one run to score. In the fifth inning, the Bison erupted. Poulin hit a single to score in a run.
The Bison also took advantage of errors and scored. They scored on an error, a walk, and a fielder’s choice. Gelphman hit for a double that scored in two, and junior Kaden Betsch also connected on a double that brought in another run.
It was 14-0 after five innings. Southern Nazarene scored three consecutive runs in the sixth inning. In the bottom half of the sixth, Timms, Gozzo, and Gelphman all connected on RBI hits, with Gelphman hitting another double.
Poulin continued his party on a triple with two runs. Junior Brett Bloomfield joined the party on an RBI single. Poulin and Gelphman were on a clinic, going four of five. The Bison won, 20-6. Redshirt Freshman pitcher Caleb Bly earned his sixth win of the season.
In the first game of doubleheader on Senior Day, the Bison trailed one to nothing until junior Brock Carter hit an RBI bunt. Before the bottom 6th, OBU found themselves down 2-1. Poulin scored on a sacrifice fly out from senior Brett Burghammer.
In the seventh inning, Gozzo and Poulin connected on homers. The score was 5-2 at the end of the seventh. In the eighth inning with the Bison leading by two runs, Timms contributed on an RBI after a sacrifice fly out. It was the second run scored from a sacrifice fly out in the game.
Senior Juan Gonzalez hit a home run on his lone hit of the game. The Bison won the first game 7-3.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Bison erupted in the scoring column after being down 1-0.
In the bottom first, the Bison found themselves down 1-0 until Gelphman connected on a double for two runs to score. In the third inning, again it was Gelphman this time with an RBI single.
In the fourth inning, the Bison kept pounding with more hits. Bloomfield and junior Garrett McKee contributed to RBI hits. The Bison were up 5-1 at the end of the fourth inning.
Southern Nazarene answered on three consecutive runs. In the bottom of the sixth, the game was tied. Timms hit a clutch two-run homer to give the Bison a two-point lead to eventually win the game 7-5.
The Bison have won four straight games and will be heading to Enid for the GAC championship taking place next Saturday and Sunday.