Wonder Boys Clinch Share of GAC Title 20th Straight Win

SEARCY, Ark. — Sage Boehner and John Lassiter had two hits apiece, while five Arkansas Tech pitchers combined to hold Harding to just six hits as the No. 5 Wonder Boys (39-8, 23-5 Great American Conference) downed the Bisons (26-20, 16-12 GAC) 3-2 on Friday at Jerry Moore Field. The win gives the Wonder Boys a share of the Great American Conference regular-season title, and locks up the top seed in the upcoming GAC Championship Tournament in Enid, Okla.

After a leadoff triple by Trent Wooldridge in the bottom of the first inning, the Bisons scored the first run of the contest on an RBI grounder by Erin McCarver.

Tech starter Ryan Taylor settled down from there, not allowing another run until the fifth inning. Meanwhile, the Wonder Boys struck back in the third inning, using back-to-back singles by James Sharp, Boehner, and Chance Scamardo to load the bases with none out. A sacrifice fly by Kris Ayers knotted the game at 1-1, and Ayers would later score the go-ahead run on a balk.

Zac Johnson's sacrifice fly put Tech ahead 3-1 going to the bottom of the third.

Taylor cruised until the fifth inning, when the Bisons added another run on two hits to pull to within 3-2. Harding had put runners at second and third with one out, and Wooldridge's RBI single looked like it may score the tying run, but Scamardo made a quick throw from left to hold the potential tying run at third base. Taylor was able to get a pop up and a flyout to get out of the jam and hold the lead for the Wonder Boys.

After the Bisons put two men on in the sixth inning, Taylor was lifted in favor of Trent Armstrong, who got two Bisons batters to pop up to escape the jam.

Ethan Crocker started the seventh for Tech, and after allowing a leadoff single, notched the first out of the inning on a sacrifice bunt by McCarver, advancing Wooldridge to second. Matt Calhoun was intentionally walked, and the Wonder Boys turned to Jake Bell out of the bullpen.

On Bell's first pitch, he was able to induce a double play, ending the threat. After bell shut down the Bisons in order in the eighth inning, Randy Vallejo pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his Division II-leading 15th save and seal the win for the Wonder Boys.

Arkansas Tech will conclude the regular-season on Saturday, April 26, concluding their three-game set with Harding with a noon doubleheader. The games will be broadcast live on 980-AM (KCAB) in Russellville.


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