For the first time since joining the Great American Conference, the East Central University baseball team earned a three-game series sweep of a league opponent, with a 6-3 win over Southern Nazarene at Tiger Field. The Tigers (19-10, 9-6 GAC) had earned a two-game sweep of Arkansas-Monticello in 2012, but had the third game cancelled.
ECU was led by juniors Casey Chenoweth and Nick Spini, with three hits each. Spini tallied three RBIs, while Chenoweth scored once. Junior Garrett Donohoe and Andrew Ayrado also added multi-hit games with two each.
Junior Oscar Gomez earned the win in the game, throwing the first six innings. Gomez allowed seven hits and three runs and struck out five batters. Junior Cam McKay threw the next two innings and junior Merrick Ardoin finished the game with a three-strikeout inning.
After a slow start, the Tigers were the first to get on the score board with a 1-0 lead after the third. After two outs, Donohoe singled to second and was sent home when Spini singled to left center.
The Crimson Storm (11-17, 3-15 GAC) responded with three runs in the top of the fourth to lead 1-3.
ECU cut the disadvantage to one (2-3) with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Chenoweth hit a two-out double to right center and was sent home on a single by Ayrado to right field.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a single run. Adut started the inning with a walk and remained on first through the next two outs. He was advanced to second when junior David Terrazas was walked and junior Luc Pomales loaded the bases with a single to third. That set up senior Ethan Gold for the RBI with a single up the middle.
ECU regained the advantage in the bottom of the sixth, going up 5-3. Ayrado led off with a single to right field and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Ayrado was advanced to third on a single by junior Ty Huie. Junior Ariel Adut earned an RBI with a sacrifice fly to right. Donohoe kept the inning going with a single and Spini earned his second RBI with a single to right for the 5-3 advantage.
Both teams held each other scoreless for the next inning and the Tigers held SNU without a run in the top of the eighth, while scoring one more run for a 6-3 lead after the eighth.
Adut hit a one-out double to left and was sent home on a single by Spini to right field.
Ardoin then shut down the side with strikeouts in the top of the ninth for the 6-3 victory.
The Tigers will return to the field, Tuesday for a 2 p.m. game against Oklahoma City.