Bison baseball sits at fifth in conference

By Jared L’Attore, Contributing Writer  (Courtesy Photo/Bison Athletics)

With the season coming to an end, the Bison will be playoff-bound if they can get into the top eight spots in the Great American Conference (GAC).

Now, the Bison are fifth in their conference. They have a 17-10 conference record, and a 25-15 overall record. The Bison also have a .500-win percentage at home and on the road.

As of now, they are three wins above the eighth seed. They have three games left, with one series remaining. With the Bison winning their last five of seven games, they are showing why they can make a statement come postseason time.

This will be the first year that the Bison will be eligible for play in the postseason in the GAC.

They will face Southern Nazarene University for a single game on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday. Saturday will be an emotional day on Bison Hill for Senior Day.

This will be a day to celebrate the senior players for their efforts on the field throughout their college career.

Last Tuesday, East Central came into town to take on the Bison. The Bison made a statement in this game.

The hit party began in the second inning, with homers by juniors Jake Gozzo and PJ Harris, and senior Zane Gelphman.

Senior Juan Gonzalez contributed with an RBI single hit that brought in two.

The score was 8-0 at the end of the second inning. Gozzo and Harris kept the hit party going with an RBI triple by Gozzo, and an RBI single by Harris.

Senior Brett Berghammer contributed with a single that brought in two. Gelphman flied out but scored in a run.

The final score in that game was 13-1 in favor of the Bison.

Last Friday, the Bison traveled to Durant to take on Southeastern Oklahoma University. The Bison started out strong in the second inning with a fly out from senior Matt Poulin that led to a run. While the Bison struck first, Southeastern Oklahoma put up five runs in the third inning.

In the fourth inning, Gozzo kept his hot streak going with a solo home run to cut the lead. Later in the sixth inning with the Bison trailing by four runs, Gozzo hit another home run to cut the lead again. That would not be it for him. After senior Josh Timms connected on a double scoring in three runs, Gozzo connected on a single and led to another run being scored on an error. Southeastern scored on a walk off hit and the Bison lost by a score of 8-7.

In the second game of the doubleheader, OBU found themselves trailing early, but they struck back. Berghammer hit a single, which led to a run scored. Timms doubled which led to two runs scored. Gonzalez and Gozzo connected on homers as well. OBU was up seven to one in the third inning. In the fouth inning, Gonzalez hit another home run to have his second homer of the game. Southeastern scored on five unanswered runs that could’ve led to a Bison collapse, but OBU held on to  win the game by a score of 8-7.

The last game of the Southeastern series was cancelled due to rain and will not be rescheduled to a later date.

The Bison have one more series and three more games, all at home against Southern Nazarene. Senior Day will take place Saturday, April 28.

Bison baseball sweeps ECU Tigers

By Jared L’Attore, Contributing Writer  (Courtesy photos/Bison Athletics)

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OBU baseball is looking to succeed to their advantage by playing four games at home this past week.

Their home stretch began last Tuesday when Arkansas-Fort Smith came to town to play the Bison.

It was a solid start for the Bison with two homers in first and second innings.

Senior Zane Gelphman and junior Garrett McKee were responsible for the two-run homers leading to a four to nothing lead. Unfortunately, there was not much celebrating after that for the Bison. Fort Smith connected on some hits leading to runs later in the game to eventually tie it at four.

The game went into extra innings and Fort Smith put up a clinic in the 10th inning, scoring 10 runs. Fort Smith won the game and scored 14 unanswered runs in the game.

Friday the 13, the Bison began their series and their first of two doubleheader games against East Central University. Once again, it was a solid start for the Bison with a triple for Gelphman. Senior Josh Timms sacrificed on a groundout leading to another score. Senior Matt Poulin and senior Brett Berghammer also joined the hit party in the first inning as well. Poulin hit a double to bring in one run, and Berghammer hit a single to bring in two runs. The Bison scored six runs in that first inning. Gelphman continued with the hot hand in the second inning with a two-run homer. Junior PJ Harris joined in on the fun as well by hitting a solo home run to make it nine to nothing. Later in the fourth, Berghammer hit a triple scoring in two runs. Junior Brett Bloomfield singled scoring in another run. Later in the sixth inning, senior Juan Gonzalez connected on a single that put in another run. The Bison cruised their way to victory, 13-5.

In the second doubleheader game, the Bison answered on a home run by East Central in the bottom first, with Gonzalez bringing in a run on a groundout.

East Central later scored three unanswered runs in the second inning. In the third inning, junior Jake Gozzo tripled but scored on an error making the game tied at four.

East Central answered back in the fourth by scoring a run off a hit to take the lead. In the bottom half of the fourth, Gonzalez hit a three-run homer to take a two-run lead. In the fifth inning, Berghammer doubled and earned an RBI to put some more breathing room on the lead. The hit party was not over for the Bison yet. Gelphman hit a three-run homer in the fifth, and McKee hit a two-run homer in the sixth. The Bison won the game and the doubleheader against East Central.

On a cold and windy Saturday afternoon, the Bison took on East Central again. The Bison struck first on a sacrifice fly out by Timms. In the second inning, Poulin connected on a two-run homer to give the Bison a three to nothing lead. East Central tried to fight back, but they never lead or even tied in the game. In the eighth inning, Gonzalez connected on a single and scored in a run. OBU won the game, four to two. Freshman Celeb Bly earned his fifth win of the season and earned 11 strikeouts in that game as well.

The Bison will have four more games after their East Central series. They will face Southeastern Oklahoma State on the road and then come back home to face Southern Nazarene for Senior Day for next Saturday, April 21. They stay home with a 23-14 record coming off a three-game win streak.

OBU baseball and softball deal with more weather cancellations

By Nick Dingus and Jared L’Atorre, Sports Editor and Contributing Writer

While OBU baseball is looking to end the season strong, the team has added another co-Player of the Week for this season.

Last Friday, OBU baseball went on the road to Weatherford to face Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Right from the start, Southwestern scored three runs, and then scored two more later in the game to win it five to nothing. Southwestern had nine hits compared to OBU’s four.

Last Monday, junior Jake Gozzo became the second player for OBU Baseball this season to win the Great American Conference (GAC) player of the week award. Junior Brett Bloomfield won the award last month. Gozzo proved himself March 23 when he hit two homers in a losing effort. The next day, Gozzo hit a homer to take the lead in a six to five victory. March 30, Gozzo continued to hit the ball well with a hit and he was also awarded with an RBI in a victory against Northwestern Oklahoma.

The next day against Northwestern, Gozzo performed even better with a home run, a double and three hits of four attempts in a victory for the Bison. In the Northwestern Oklahoma series, Gozzo was able to lead his team to a sweep with a tremendous performance.

The Bison will play their next four games at home against the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith on Tuesday, and then three straight home games against East Central University.

The softball team had three of their four games against Southwestern Oklahoma State canceled due to the cold weather last weekend.

The four-game series was supposed to be a pair of home and home doubleheaders with two games played in Weatherford, Friday and two played in Shawnee, Saturday.

The team only made it through the first game in Weatherford before temperatures dropped below 30 degrees, forcing the second game to be suspended. The next day, snow and ice forced yet another cancellation in Shawnee, drawing the season total to ten games canceled due to weather.

The Lady Bison lost their lone game of the weekend 4-3 against the Bulldogs. Bry Flanagan drove in all three runs; Katy Reyes crossed the plate twice while Cheyenne Demaree scored once. The Bison had 12 hits in the game, and had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning, but SWOSU turned a double play to end the game.

OBU softball will be back in action in a four game series against East Central University in Ada.

The Bison will play a set of doubleheaders April 13 and April 14. Friday’s games will start at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Saturday’s games at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Bison baseball shuts out Northeastern at home

By Jared L’Atorre, Contributing Writer   (Courtesy photo/Bison Athletics)

OBU Baseball still sits over a .500-win percentage despite the up and down play in the second half of the regular season.

Back on March 13, the Bison took a win against East Central University by 14 runs.

It was a dominant game from the start, with the Bison scoring three runs in the first inning.

It only got better from there for the Bison.

OBU scored five runs in the fifth inning and nine runs in the sixth inning.

Seniors Brett Burghammer and Zane Gelphman along with juniors Jake Gozzo and Austin Cooper connected on a double in that game.

Eight batters connected on a hit while six of them connected on multiple. OBU had 16 hits in the game.

OBU then went on to Harding University and fell in their first game. The Bison led first in the second inning with senior Josh Timms scoring the first run of the game.

The Bison found themselves down three to one in the fifth inning until junior Garrett McKee brought in two runs on a single to tie the game. OBU found themselves down yet again in the ninth and scored on a wild pitch. OBU eventually lost the game on a walk-off walk. The score was five to four in a losing effort.

In their doubleheader back two Saturdays ago, they won the first game, three to nothing.

Gelphman hit a home run in the first inning while one runner was on base, making the score two to nothing.

The second inning piled on their lead after a Burghammer RBI single to make the lead three to nothing.

The damage was done early, and senior pitcher Mychal Yarbor allowed only three hits and picked up eight strikeouts.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Bison were unable to perform the same, and suffered a six to nothing loss.

Starting Monday, March 19, the Bison would be at home for the nearly the next two weeks.

They started out against Northeastern State University. Right from the get-go, OBU trailed early in the game and it did stayed that way for the whole game.

The lone bright part of the game was a home run by Gozzo but it was certainly not enough as OBU fell, eight to two.

In their first game against Arkansas Tech, the Bison were facing a two to nothing deficit in the first. In the second inning, Timms scored in two runs as he was responsible for an inside the park home run.

Gozzo hit a home run in the same inning to take the lead. After Tech scored two unanswered runs, the Bison answered back in the fifth and sixth innings with senior Juan Gonzalez hitting a double and bringing in a run.

Gozzo homered once again in the sixth to make it a tie game. Tech went on to score four unanswered runs before the Bison went on a late push to win it, but it was not enough. Senior Matt Poulin and Berghammer hit home runs but it was not enough as the Bison fell short by one run.

In the second game, OBU fell four to seven despite winning the hit battle, the Bison were outscored. In their third game of the series, it was very tight throughout until an error cost Arkansas Tech the game.

Their ticket to victory came with Gonzalez scoring on a wild pitch with the game tied at five. Gozzo continued hot streak with another home run. Gelphman was also responsible for a triple in that game.

Last Friday, the Bison faced Northwestern Oklahoma and put on a rout after being down five to nothing in the top first inning.

They answered furiously by scoring six runs in the bottom half and 15 unanswered for the rest of the game. Poulin and junior PJ Harris hit homers, while McKee hit for a double.

Nearly every player joined the hit party in that victory. In their doubleheader on Saturday against Northwestern Oklahoma, OBU had no issues getting the win in their first game.

They led for most of the time and won the game 15 to 8. Junior Brett Bloomfield hit a homer and stole a base. Gonzalez, Timms, and Gozzo also hit homers, while Timms and Gozzo also connected on a double.

The Bison were also able to get the win in their second doubleheader game, eight to five. OBU scored seven unanswered runs after being down three to one.

Gelphman hit a home run, and Berghammer hit for a double. Senior pitcher Zach Fowler got his fifth win of the season, and OBU got their 20th win of the season.

OBU will go off to Weatherford for Friday and Saturday to take on Southwestern Oklahoma State in their next series. They go back home happy winning the series against Monticello.