Oklahoma Baptist used a seven-run seventh inning to pull out a 10-5 win over Rogers State in the first round of the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament Tuesday.
Josh Palmer (4-3) allowed three runs in the first two innings and then settled down to give the Bison a chance. Chris Chambers was the man of the hour at the plate with an RBI double and a grand slam.
Down 3-0, OBU got on the board in the bottom of the second with Chambers’ double and an RBI ground out by Christian Ruiz.
The score remained 3-2 as Palmer battled Chris Graves into the seventh.
“Really gutsy performance by Josh Palmer,” said OBU coach Bobby Cox. “He didn’t have his best stuff early in the game, but he gutted it out and got stronger the longer he pitched.”
In the bottom of the seventh, Ruiz was hit by a pitch and Whitt Barkley singled. With two outs, Billy Thomas walked to load the bases. Kyle Cooper was hit by a pitch and Josh Collazo ripped a two-run single up the middle for a 5-3 Bison lead.
Mason Reilly walked to load the bases again and end the day for Graves. Chambers then lifted a towering fly ball the opposite way to left. Rogers’ Ryan Littlejohn couldn’t catch the ball, and it bounced off the top of the four-foot fence for a grand slam — Chambers’ ninth home run of the season — and a 9-3 lead.
“We got a little fortunate with the hit by pitch and got the pitch count up a little,” Cox said. “And that wall has hurt us here before. It’s good to have it help us this time.”
Palmer surrendered a solo home run to Littlejohn in the top of the eighth before being relieved by Jordan McCavitt.
Cooper added an RBI single in the eighth, and RSU scored once in the ninth for the final margin.
Reilly and Chambers had two hits apiece to lead the 10-hit OBU attack.
Now 41-12, the Bison will face top-ranked Lubbock Christian at 4 p.m. today. Rogers State plays an elimination game at 10 a.m. today against St. Gregory’s, which lost 17-4 Tuesday to LCU.