By Jared A’Lattore, Sports Editor
After earning a key 20th victory, the Bison baseball squad has suffered six straight losses including a high scoring affair against Oklahoma Christian.
Both teams went at it right from the get-go in Shawnee. Oklahoma Chris-tian took a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning.
Jake Gozzo was the first to get his team on the board on an RBI single.
In the second inning, the Bison would continue hitting well with a Joey Pledger three-run homer. They took a 4-2 lead with this homer.
In the next inning, it was Kaimana Bartolome to add to the lead with a solo shot. The Eagles would fight back later on.
In the fourth inning, the Eagles would take a lead off a single and a three-run homer. The Bison would earn runs in the bottom half of the fourth.
After the Bison would load the bases and eventually tie the game, Pledger hit a grand slam to take an 11-7 lead. This was the second home run for Pledger in the contest.
In the fifth inning, the Eagles would score off a two-run homer. The score would be cut to 11-9 but not for long.
In the bottom half of the fifth, P.J. Harris scored off a solo homer. Kaden Betsch would contribute with an RBI single. Betsch also took advantage off a wild pitch and scored. The score was 16-9 and the Bison were rolling.
The Eagles would come storming back with three runs scored in the inning. The Eagles would score more runs off triples and errors from the Bison.
With efforts to stop the mad come-back, the Bison scored off another home run by Joey Pledger.
In the eighth inning, the Eagle come-back would continue with an RBI double and more errors from the Bison. The game was tied at 17 in the eighth inning.
In the ninth, the Eagles would close it out with RBI singles and triples to eventually win the contest. The Bison came up short in the bottom half. The Eagles won the game, 21-17.
Despite the loss, Jake Gozzo finished with two of four in that game. Joey Pledger went for three home runs and went three of five on his at-bats. Eric Carlson had his thoughts on the slump for the Bison so far.
“We just haven’t been taking care of the little things the last four games,” Carlson said. “And we haven’t put all aspects of the game together in them, pitching, defense, and hitting.”
The scoring was there, but the defense was not the same by allowing the Eagles with opportunities.
“We hit well, we just didn’t hold them down we scored, Carlson said. “We gave them too many free bases and gave them too many opportunities to come back into the game.”
If the offense can execute as well as before but do their job on the other side of the ball, the Bison can see more going their way to come.
“We need to take care of the baseball and eliminate free bases this upcoming series, if we can do that and have our bats stay hot, then we will be in good position to win,” Carlson said.
The Bison went to SWOSU over the weekend for doubleheader action.
SWOSU came out the gates with scoring six unanswered runs to open up the game.
The score was 6-0 by the sixth inning and the Bison were looking for an answer.
In the seventh, Carlson answered with a two-run homer. Pledger connected on a double to score in a run. SWOSU scored two runs in the bottom seventh after an error. The Bison fell short of that game, 8-5.
In the second game, Carlson hit a three-run homer in the first inning of the contest.
In the third inning, SWOSU took the lead 5-4 off a single.
In the fourth, Pledger connected on a two-run homer to take a 6-5 lead. In the bottom half of the fourth, SWOSU scored off hits and an error. They won the second game, 9-6.
The Bison have fallen six straight contests and will play three games against ECU at Bison Field in Ford Park this weekend.