MIAMI — After splitting the first two games of a four-game series, No. 9 ranked Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College entertains Seminole State College in a 1 p.m. double-header Saturday at Homa Thomas Field.
The Golden Norsemen dropped a 7-6 decision in seven innings of the first game Thursday at Seminole’s Memorial Field. NEO gained an 11-7 victory in the nightcap.
The games marked the start of play in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference for the Norsemen (27-5).
First-year head coach Dax Leone has guided his alma mater to a 1-1 conference record and a 24-9 overall mark.
In the final season of hall of fame coach Lloyd Simmons’ second stint as the school, the Trojans finished 42-13 and ranked No. 6 nationally.
Following the four-game series with Seminole, the Golden Norsemen host No. 5 ranked Crowder College (24-9) of Neosho, Missouri, at 2 p.m. Tuesday in a nine-inning contest.
Crowder dropped a 6-4 nine-inning contest on Feb. 15 to the Norsemen on Roughrider Field.
The facility suffered some damage during last Tuesday’s tornado outbreak in southwestern Missouri.
Seminole rallied from a 5-2 deficit by scoring five runs in the last two innings of the 7-6 win over NEO in Thursday’s first game.
NEO received a solo home run by third baseman Hayden Hall (6) to begin the top of the sixth inning. After the next two batters made outs, Joe Fernando singled and Reed Fell doubled, scoring Fernando for a 5-2 Norse lead.
Golden Norse starting pitcher Matthew Gaskins was touched for one unearned run after the leadoff Seminole batter reached base during a three-run bottom of the sixth inning.
Landon Kimbro reached on an error by NEO shortstop Fernando to start the sixth. With an 0-1 count, Seminole’s first baseman Dalton Reed connected for his 13th home run over the left field wall to create a 5-4 deficit.
Another error by Fernando in the sixth allowed Breydon Daniel to reach base. After Deshaun Lookout popped out to left, Hudson Hopkins doubled to right-center, scoring Lookout for a 5-5 tie.
Matthew Patton (3-1) replaced Gaskins on the mound and struck out Sebastian Toro to quell the Trojan rally.
A leadoff single by Riley Keizor started the top of the seventh inning for NEO. Following a strikeout by Bryson Lierle, Marque Luster replaced Keizor on the base paths and stole second.
Jordan Blackmon pinch-hit for Carter Nelson and received a walk. Hall followed with an RBI double scoring Luster for a 6-5 Norse lead.
Patton started on the bump for NEO in the bottom of the seventh inning. After inducing the first two batters to ground out, Patton (0-1) surrendered a single by Kimbro before Reed hit a two-run walk-off homer — his 14th — to end the game.
Solo home runs by Keizor (6) in the second inning, Chase Burgess (4) in the third inning and Fernando (7) in the fifth inning gave NEO a 3-2 margin.
Seminole received back-to-back homers from Jonathon Lacroix (8) and Kimbro (5) in the bottom of the third inning for a 2-2 tie.
Keizor produced three of the 11 Golden Norse hits while Fernando and Hall chipped in two hits each.
NEO 11, Seminole 7
The Golden Norsemen eruptede for six runs in the top of the second inning.
Hall’s fifth homer of the season scored Lierle, who had walked to ignite the outburst. Blackmon followed with his fourth homer for a 3-0 Norse lead.
Troy Gagan singled and Burgess hit his third home run on the year off Seminole starter Trey Jeans before Fernando connected for his sixth homer for a 6-0 NEO cushion.
A double by Toro, a single by Dustin Bolin and a sacrifice fly by Gunner Halter accounted for a Seminole run in the bottom of the third inning off NEO starter Bradley Kinsey.
Singles by Blackmon and Gagan started NEO’s fourth inning. A sacrifice by Fernando scored Blackmon for a 7-1 Golden Norse cushion.
NEO added two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Keizor singled to start the inning. After Lierle ground out sending Keizor to second, Keizor advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Hall singled scoring Keizor before Blackmon doubled scoring Hall for a 9-1 Norse margin.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning the Trojans built a three-run rally. Lookout walked to start the scoring. Hudson walked prior to a three-run homer by Logan Franklin (1) for a 9-4 deficit.
NEO’s final two runs came in the top of the seventh inning. Hall was hit-by-a-pitch with one out. Blackmon grounded into a fielder’s choice. Gagan doubled with Hayden stopping at third.
Burgess hit an RBI single scoring Hall. Gagan came in to score on a wild pitch for an 11-4 margin.
A solo home run by Hopkins (8) in the bottom of the eighth inning and back-to-back homers by Gunner Halter (8) and Jonathon Lacroix (8) in the ninth closed out all the scoring.
Seven of the 15 Golden Norse hits were for extra bases including three doubles and four homers.
Gagan led the parade with a 4-for-4 performance while Blackmon added three hits and Hall and Burgess two hits each.
Kinsey (5-1) pitched 7 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and six walks. Tanner Rutledge and Patton both worked 2/3 innings of relief.