The No. 4-ranked Cowley College baseball team returned from Thursday’s loss at Eastern Oklahoma State College to face the Mountaineers in its first home games of the season Sunday. The Tigers lost the opener 3-2 before avoiding the sweep with a 4-1 win in the final game of the series.
Freshmen Alex Peterson and Cross Factor hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning of the opener, staking the Tigers (4-5) to a 2-0 lead.
J.K. Hadlock started on the mound for Cowley and was in line for the win after striking out six in 3 2/3 scoreless innings before Eastern Oklahoma rallied to tie the game with a pair of runs off relievers Kaid Karnes and Ethan Swanson in the top of the fifth.
The Mountaineers (9-3) had two hits in the fifth inning, but benefitted from a walk, a wild pitch, a dropped third strike and an error.
Swanson (0-1) remained in the game to strike out Chance Parker to start the sixth before he was relieved by Ryan Westerhoff after walking David Vilches with one out.
Designated hitter Colby Reck greeted Westerhoff with a single to advance Vilches to second. A wild pitch by Westerhoff moved the runners to second and third and leadoff batter Reed Webb hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Vilches with what turned out to be the winning run.
Eastern Oklahoma starting pitcher Jacob Womak retired eight of the final nine batters he faced and struck out eight while going the distance.
Peterson finished 2 for 3.
Cowley again took a 2-0 lead in Sunday’s nightcap, but was able to hold on. Five pitchers combined to limit Eastern Oklahoma to four hits.
Brannon Jordan (1-1) started for the Tigers and allowed just two hits and one run in four innings. Jordan struck out six and walked one.
Sophomore Mark Hartley took over in the top of the fifth and was relieved by Adam White with a runner at first and one out. White got out of trouble in the fifth, then struck out two in a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
White retired the first two batters in the seventh before Cole Larson took over after a two-out walk to Chance Long. Larson promptly allowed a single to Vilches to bring the tying run to the plate. Colby Reck then walked to load the bases, prompting the Tigers to go to reliever Jared Wilson to get Eli Davis to ground out to end the game.
The Tigers had solid production from the top of their order. Devin Beard, Grady Davenport and Peterson had two hits apiece. Davenport added two runs scored and two RBI.
Peterson is off to a torrid start at the plate, leading Cowley with a .429 batting average to go along with 11 RBI.
The Tigers play a 1 p.m. twinbill Thursday at Seminole State College (Okla.).
Eastern Oklahoma 3, Cowley 2 — Game 1
Cowley 4, Eastern Oklahoma 1 — Game 2