Alva Review-Courier -

Harding Baseball Defeats Hendrix in Road Tussle


CONWAY – In a game that the lead changed hands four times, Connor Kelly's third hit, an RBI single in the seventh, put Harding ahead for good, and the Bisons held on to defeat Hendrix 9-8 Tuesday in a nonconference game at Warrior Field.

Hendrix (4-8) loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Harding senior Reed Roberts struck out Tanner Cooper to end the game and earn his second save of the season.

Harding won for the first time since Feb. 17 and improved to 6-12 overall.

Harding trailed 1-0 entering the second inning, but took the lead with three runs in the frame. Ben Bailey and Grant Guest had RBI singles, and Jack Thomas stole home on the front end of a double steal.

Harding scored two more in the third. Kelly singled to score Chris Taylor, and later came around to score on a wild pitch. The Bisons led 5-3 after three, but the Warriors scored again in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a 6-5 lead.

Nolan Fertig's RBI single tied the game in the sixth, and Kelly made it 7-6 with his second RBI in the seventh.

A Hendrix error in the eighth led to two unearned runs for the Bisons. Harding led 9-6 entering the bottom of the eighth. Hendrix again cut the lead with a run in its half of the inning.

Roberts entered in the ninth, and the first two Hendrix hitters—Josh Walker and Jake Weigand—singled to put runners at first and third. Cameron Blann pinch ran for Weigand and was caught stealing by Harding catcher Miles Humphreys for the first out.

Hendrix's Sean Dehne struck out but advanced to first on a passed ball and Walker scored to cut Harding's advantage to one run. JR McAuley singled, and after Seth Tucker struck out for the second out of the inning, Jorge Leon walked to load the bases.

Cooper worked the count full, but Roberts struck him out swinging to end the game.

Sophomore Kyle Giefer (1-0) was the fourth of Harding's six pitchers and easily the most effective. He earned the win by pitching 2 1/3 hitless innings with two strikeouts.

Kelly led Harding's 10-hit attack by going 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI. It was his third game this season with three or more hits. Fertig had two hits. All 10 of Harding's hits were singles.

Tuesday's game was the first of five straight on the road for Harding. The Bisons return to Great American Conference play this weekend against Ouachita Baptist in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.


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