Reddies win series against Tigers with doubleheader split


Henderson State Reddies first baseman Greyson Stevens recorded five of 18 hits in a recent game against rival Ouachita Baptist University. | HSU photo

Greyson Stevens showed out for his final doubleheader against cross-street rival Ouachita Baptist as he recorded five of Henderson State’s 18 hits in game one of the day’s doubleheader to win the middle contest of the final GAC series of the 2023 regular season, 10-9, before the Tigers claimed the series finale, 2-0.

The Reddies have now won six straight conference series’ to close the year and have clinched the four seed in next week’s 2023 GAC Tournament. Clyde Berry Field will be the host site for next week’s first round, best-of-three series against the fifth seed Arkansas-Monticello Boll Weevils to open postseason play.

Henderson goes into the conference tournament with series wins over five of the league’s top seven teams – three of which were on the road: Southern Arkansas, Ouachita Baptist, Arkansas-Monticello, Oklahoma Baptist and Harding.

Luke FarrarDillon ThomasCharles Hoof and Louis Holt each claimed hits in both games of the twin bill while Stevens paced the HSU offense in game one with five hits on six at-bats. The last time a Henderson batter recorded five hits in a single game was on the same field when Caleb Carr gave Ouachita five hits back on April 27, 2019.

Blake Pennington (2-0) earned the win in the early afternoon game in relief while Henry Coppens earned his second save in as many days and fourth of the season after his lone inning in the ninth as the Reddies sported a 10-9 lead.

Henderson St. (30-20, 21-12) is set to host Arkansas-Monticello from Clyde Berry Field Friday, May 5 for game one and game two and game three (if necessary) of the GAC Tournament opening weekend taking place Saturday, May 6. 

GAME ONE: Henderson State 10, Ouachita Baptist 9
The Tigers opened a 3-0 lead after three innings before HSU responded with its first runs of the contest in the fifth. After Farrar issued a two-RBI homer to cut the deficit to one, OUA responded in turn with two more runs in the home-half of the frame to re-establish the three-run lead. 

Ouachita threatened to open its lead even more in the sixth after walking in a run for the 6-2 advantage before relief pitcher Owen Vanthillo struck out the final Tiger batter to strand three base runners. That allowed Henderson to mount a massive comeback over the next two innings.

After a pair of runs from the red-and-gray cut into the deficit in the seventh before OUA claimed one of those runs back in their at-bat, Henderson came through with a six-run eighth to snatch the lead from its arch rivals. Four of the Reddies’ first five batters of the frame claimed hits, including a Stevens two-run home run, as HSU forced the Tigers into throwing three different pitchers in the three-out span.

With the tables turned as HSU now sported the three-run lead, 10-7, Ouachita Baptist attempted to mount its own comeback with a two-rum homer in the bottom of the ninth. After a hit-by-pitch on the following batter brought the go-ahead run to the plate, the HSU coaching staff turned once more to their previous day’s hero as Coppens entered only to strike out the first batter he faced before the Reddie defense turned the game and series-clinching double play. 

GAME TWO: Ouachita Baptist 2, Henderson State 0
Ouachita used single runs in the first and third, which proved to be enough as Henderson only managed four hits in the series finale, courtesy of the aforementioned Farrar, Thomas, Hoof and Holt.

The closest the Reddies got to sending someone across the plate was in the second as HSU occupied all the base pads before being forced to strand the trio. From there, HSU never saw more than one hit in an inning as the pitching duel went the way of the Tigers.

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