Tigers punch ticket to GAC Final Four

By BRIAN RAMSEY | OBU Sports Network

The Ouachita Baptist University baseball team punched its ticket to the Great American Conference Championship Tournament Final Four with a 6-1 victory at home on Saturday over Harding University.

The Tigers (37-15) will play either Arkansas Tech University or Oklahoma Baptist University on Thursday, May 11 at 5 p.m. The semifinals will be played on Friday, and the championship round will be played on Saturday. All games will be played at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, which is home to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

The winner of the tournament earns an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Ouachita came into this weekend’s series against Harding (33-19) ranked fourth in the central region, and is seeking its second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and fourth overall.

In Saturday’s win over the Bisons, neither team had any luck reaching the scoreboard in the first four innings. The Bisons struck first with a run in the top of the fifth inning for their only run of the weekend. Ouachita immediately answered in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run homerun by G. Allen, his 12th of the season.

Ouachita went to the long ball once again in the sixth inning on a two-run homerun by Dustin Bermudez to take a 4-1 lead. It was Bermudez’s 12th homerun of the year.

Michael Quinones finalized the scoring with a two-run double in the eighth inning.

Tiger starting pitcher Teddy Webb (8-2) allowed just one Harding run on six hits with six strikeouts in the first eight innings. Dustin Bermudez held the Tiger lead in the ninth inning, retiring three straight Bison batters to close the game.

Ouachita racked up 15 hits in the win, marking the 26th game of the season to have at least 10. Isaac Nowell and Wyatt Core each had three hits, while Bermudez, Allen, and Quinones all had two.

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