Wonder Boys split against NO. 17 Missouri Western

RUSSELLVILLE — Junior Patrick Castleberry went 4-of-8 with two doubles and an RBI, while five other Wonder Boys had two hits apiece as the Wonder Boys (4-2) earned a split against the No. 17 Missouri Western Griffons (1-1) Sunday afternoon, falling in the opener 6-2 and winning 7-3 in the nightcap.

Junior Aaron Johnson suffered the loss after pitching three innings and striking out two. Bryson Morris was stellar in relief, going 2 1/3 perfect innings with two strikeouts.

Tied at 2-2, the teams traded scoreless innings until the fourth, when James Sharp hit a two-run single to break the tie, and Patrick Castleberry’s sacrifice fly gave the Wonder Boys a 5-2 lead.

Zach Skelton picked up the win after allowing two runs on five hits in six innings, picking up nine strikeouts. Jake Bell threw 1 2/3 perfect innings in relief while Randy Vallejo pitched a perfect ninth.

Tech will host Southern Nazarene Feb. 14 for their first conference match of the year.

Harding takes doubleheader from Lyon College

SEARCY — Harding finally opened the 2014 season with a doubleheader Sunday against Lyon College and won both games by scores of 1-0 and 3-2. The games at Jerry Moore Field were played at temperatures just above freezing and came one day after the Harding team shoveled hundreds of pounds of snow off the field.

Harding senior Matt Calhoun crushed a 3-2 offering from Lyon reliever Griffin Glaude (0-1) over the right field wall for a walk-off home run to win the opener. The Bisons had no answer for Lyon starter Ben Neyen, who allowed only two hits and struck out seven in the first eight innings. Calhoun was the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth and finished the game with one swing. It was his 11th career home run.

Harding starter Cameron Walker pitched seven innings and allowed only two hits. Beginning in the third inning, Walker struck out nine of 10 Lyon hitters, and finished with 10 strikeouts, one short of his career high. Senior Bronson Smith (1-0) pitched the last two innings and earned the win.

Outstanding baserunning in the bottom of the fifth inning in game two proved to be the difference.

Senior Logan Holthaus started for Harding and went 4 2/3 innings in the second game. He allowed six hits and two earned runs and struck out three. Sophomore Collin Campbell (1-0) came on in relief and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings to collect the win.

Brenden Camp (0-1) pitched a complete game for Lyon, allowing six hits and three runs (two earned).

Harding returns to action Wednesday. The Bisons will take on Delta State in a single nine-inning game in Cleveland, Miss.

Weevils split with top-ranked Mavericks

MONTICELLO – The University of Arkansas at Monticello baseball team picked up its third win of the season over a nationally-ranked opponent as a part of a double header split with No. 1/2 Minnesota State-Mankato on Sunday, losing the first game 4-3 and winning the second game 8-5.

Minnesota State-Mankato (1-1), last year’s NCAA Division II national runner-up, is currently ranked No. 1 in two of the four national polls and No. 2 in the other two.

In UAM’s game two win, the Mavericks struck first on an RBI single in the top of the first from Nolan Johnson, but UAM took the lead in the bottom of the frame on one swing, a bases-loaded double to center from sophomore catcher Travis Steinke to clear the bases and put his team up by two.

The Weevils (5-1) added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Junior Logan Johnson (1-0) earned the win after giving up five runs (three earned) off seven hits with a pair of strikeouts and one walk in the first 6 1/3 innings of the scheduled seven-inning game. Mankato reliever T.J. Larson took the loss, giving up all three of UAM’s go ahead runs in the fourth inning.

In the first half of the double header, the Weevils struggled with Mankato starter Jason Hoppe (1-0), who kept UAM off the scoreboard in the first seven innings and ended up with three runs allowed off five hits with 11 strikeouts and two walks in 7 1/3 innings of work.

Senior Kade Garlington (1-1) took the loss after giving up four runs off six hits with four strikeout and two walks in the first 4 1/3 innings. Relievers Gavin Johnson and Kregg Snook kept the Mavericks off the board and only allowed one hit in the in the final 4 2/3 innings.

The Weevils are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday at home against Lyon College in a single game starting at 2 p.m., weather permitting.