Baseball Bisons Win GAC Opener 9-1 at Northwestern Oklahoma

Baseball Bisons Win GAC Opener 9-1 at Northwestern Oklahoma

ALVA, Okla. - Harding freshman right-hander Austin Allen made his third consecutive strong start on the mound and the Bisons got home runs from their No. 8 and No. 9 hitters in a 9-1 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma on Friday in both teams' Great American Conference opener.

Harding and Northwestern Oklahoma will conclude the series Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Harding improved to 2-4 overall and more importantly started the conference schedule with a victory. Northwestern Oklahoma dropped to 2-6.

Allen (2-1) pitched seven innings and gave up only six hits and no walks with three strikeouts. He threw 52 of his 72 pitches for strikes and lowered his team-best ERA to 1.62.

Junior Grant Guest, who had his second three-hit game of the season, doubled with two outs in the third inning to score Chris Taylor with the game's first run.

In the fourth, freshman Luke Van Dover drilled a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to give the Bisons a 3-0 lead. It was Van Dover's second hit of the season and his first home run.

Taylor walked to lead off the fifth and scored on an error to extend Harding's lead to 4-0 in the fifth.

Northwestern got to Allen for a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Allen stranded a runner at second to get out of the inning.

A five-run top of the ninth iced the game for the Bisons. The inning included RBIs from freshman Connor Kelly and sophomore Jesse Cox, and a three-run home run from freshman J. Paul Fullerton.

Harding freshman Logan McCall pitched the final two innings, did not allow a hit and struck out two.

Sophomore Brandon Colbert (0-3) lost his third straight start, allowing three earned runs in five innings for Northwestern Oklahoma.

Harding was 6-for-21 with runners on base and scored six of its nine runs with two outs. The Bisons' 11 hits were a season high.