Written by: Jimmie Koons
Excitement explodes, for baseball season has arrived at last! February 2nd marked Opening Day. In their very first matchup of the season, the OKWU Eagles took on head coach Matthew Parker’s alma mater, Lyon College. The contest began at 2:00 on Friday the 2nd, and lasted until approximately 4:30pm.
OKWU and Lyon were evenly matched in the first inning with both teams scoring a single run. However, Lyon took the lead in the second inning, and the Eagles were forced to play catch-up from there. Fortunately, momentum began to pick up again in top of the fifth when Colten Kelly smashed a double off the left field wall. He was later raced around the bases to beat the throw from the right fielder who had fielded Tyson Cronin’s single shot to that part of the field. Chris Tapia also reached on a single but was stranded, along with Cronin, when the inning ended.
Both teams had a stale sixth inning, but things heated up again in the seventh when Colton Kelly reached base on a single and ultimately scored once again, this time on a safety squeeze bunted by Tyson Cronin, putting the Eagles ahead by one point.
The Eagle’s starting pitcher, Ryan Sandifer, was relieved in the top of the eighth by Lizandro Cruz.
The Eagles did not keep their lead for long, for in the top of the eighth, Lyon scored twice; once on an RBI (run batted in) and again by a throwing error.
Hunter Henry led off the bottom of the eighth with a double blasted past the third baseman, followed by the pinch hitter’s, Ryan Lujan-Leonard, HBP (hit by pitch). Kent Koranic was put in to pinch run for Hunter Henry and ended up reaching home on an RBI. The drama was ramped up yet further when Colton Kelly came to the plate and stroked one over the centerfield wall, putting the Eagles ahead by 2 and bringing Kelly within a triple of obtaining a cycle (for the non-baseball savvy, a single plus a double plus a triple plus a homer equals a cycle).
Tyler Shumpert came in to pitch in the top of the ninth inning and prevented Lyon from scoring, bringing the contest to a close with the score steady at 4-6, in favor of the Eagles.