Baseball falls to Freed-Hardeman 17-9 in NAIA Opening Round

OKLAHOMA CITY – Freed-Hardeman scored 10 runs over the first three innings of Tuesday’s game with the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes, and despite a late push by the Coyotes, FHU came away with a 17-9 win at Jim Wade Stadium.


The loss ends Kansas Wesleyan’s season at 35-29 overall, while Freed-Hardeman will face top-seeded in an elimination contest on Wednesday. OCU was beaten by MidAmerica Nazarene earlier on Tuesday.


Freed-Hardeman scored four times in the first inning, twice in the second and four more in the third before the Coyotes could get on the board.


The Coyote broke through in the third. William Dryburgh (SR/St. Joseph, Mo.) led off the inning with a single, and the Coyotes loaded the bases with walks to Kevin Esquilin Cruz (JR/Trujilo Alto, Puerto Rico) and Haydn Brown (SR/Gardnerville, Nev.). A wild pitch brought in the first run of the frame, and Dustin Sipe (JR/Aztec, N.M.) drove in a run on a ground out and Jarrett Gable (JR/Colleyville, Texas) also drove in a run with a single.


FHU added five more runs in the sixth and two in the eighth, but the Coyotes tried to rally, scoring single runs in the bottom of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.


Dryburgh singled in the sixth and scored on Esquilin Cruz’s double. Sipe doubled in the seventh and scored on Gable’s double.


In the eighth, Diego Fisher (JR/Hollister, Calif.) led off the inning with a single, and Esquilin Cruz walked. After a wild pitch, Brown drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.


In the bottom of the ninth, the Coyotes tried to rally. Pinch hitter Aaron Gardner (SR/Tucson, Ariz.) reached on an error, pinch hitter Brandon Zwiener (JR/Norfolk, Neb.) singled, pinch hitter Reece Bishop (SO/Colorado Springs, Colo.) reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed pinch runner Trent Dewyer (JR/Albuquerque, N.M.) to score on an error.


The Coyotes then got back-to-back triples by pinch hitter Robbie Keener (FR/Abilene, Kan.) and Dryburgh, but the rally fell short.


Dryburgh had three hits of the Coyotes, while Esquilin Cruz, Gable, and Fisher had two each.