Log in

Wonder Boys claim share of third GAC Regular Season Championship

9-5 win at Harding in the series finale


SEARCY — After dropping the first two games of the series on Friday at Harding, the Arkansas Tech baseball team needed to stave off the sweep on Saturday to put them in position for a share of the 2024 Great American Conference Regular Season Championship as the Wonder Boys would also need Southern Arkansas to pick up a game in their series at Arkansas-Monticello.
When all the dust settled on the day's action, the Wonder Boys handled their part with a 9-5 win over Harding; while SAU did theirs as well, winning the first game of their doubleheader at UAM, 6-2, thus giving Tech a share of their third GAC Regular Season Championship since 2014 and their 10th overall.
All three of those GAC titles have come under head coach Dave Dawson with the last two coming in the last four seasons.
With a three-way tie atop the conference standings between Tech, Harding and UAM, seeding for the upcoming GAC Tournament was established via tiebreakers. Since all three teams went 3-3 against one another in their conference series, tiebreaker No. 2 was put into effect which was record against the next highest opponent in the standings, which ended up being Henderson State.
As a result, UAM captured the top-seed after going 3-0 against the Reddies this season, while Tech became the No. 2-seed with a 2-1 record against Henderson and Harding the No. 3-seed as they went 1-2 versus HSU.
As the No. 2-seed in the tournament, the Wonder Boys will be at home for the opening round series this coming weekend and will take on the No. 7-seed in the tournament. The team occupying that spot has yet to be determined as the series between Southwestern Oklahoma and Northwestern Oklahoma will not conclude until Sunday afternoon. Should NWOSU win, the No. 7-seed would be Ouachita Baptist, but if SWOSU wins, the No. 7-seed will be NWOSU.
That best-of-three series is scheduled to start at 6 p.m on Friday, May 3 at Baswell Field on the campus of Arkansas Tech. Game two of the series will take place the following day at 1 p.m. with the "if necessary" game taking place about 30 minutes following.

Wonder Boy drop doubleheader

The Arkansas Tech baseball team dropped both ends of the doubleheader at Harding on Friday afternoon, losing the opener 11-8 and the second game 5-2.

In the opener, Harding jumped out to the early lead with three runs in the bottom of the second, but the Wonder Boys responded over the next two innings and took a 6-3 lead with a single run in the third and five in the fourth.
The run in the third scored on a fielder's choice RBI off the bat of Markos Cabranes. In the fourth, the Wonder Boys started the inning with four-straight singles. The first came from Nick Jones, while Christian Olea and Keaton Ranallo followed suit after to load the bases with no outs. Brendyn Bard then drove in the first run of the inning on a single to the pitcher.
Two batters later, Cole Dawson came up with a double the other way down the right field line to score Olea and Ranallo. Two batters after that, two more runs scored on two-RBI single to centerfield by Grant Jones.
The Bisons answered back in their half of the fourth with one run to make it a 6-4 game. An inning later Harding struck for their big inning, plating four to grab an 8-6 lead.
Fortunately, that deficit did not last long for the Wonder Boys as they scored twice in the top of the sixth to tie the game up at eight-all. The big hit that inning was a two-run single through the right side by Olea.
The Bisons would regain the lead with a run in the seventh and added two more in the eighth to bring the score to its eventual final of 11-8.

In the second game, the Bisons broke through for four runs in the bottom of the second to take an early lead. That score, however, held until the bottom of the sixth when Harding scored an insurance run.
After being held scoreless through the first six innings, the Wonder Boys put together a rally in their last at-bats in the top of the seventh and scored twice to bring the score to its final of 5-2.
Christian Olea started the inning with a walk and was moved to third on a double by Keaton Ranallo. Olea then scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat while Ranallo scored soon thereafter on a sacrifice fly by Brendyn Bard.