CSC media relations
JENKS - After three rain delays and numerous lightning strikes in the area near Hinch Field, the opening-round game of the NJCAA Region II baseball tournament between Connors State and Arkansas Baptist was postponed in the bottom of the sixth inning at 12:15 a.m. today with the Cowboys trailing 8-5. The game will resume at noon today with Erik Kirkpatrick at the plate. The winner of the game will advance to a 7 p.m. game Saturday against Rose State, who was defeated 8-1 by Northeastern A&M in a first-round game. The loser of the Connors and Arkansas Baptist game will take the field 45 minutes later against Seminole State, an 11-5 loser to Eastern State. Eastern State and NEO will play in a winner’s bracket game set for 3:30 p.m. today. The Cowboys struck first when Christian Perez scored on a double-play ground ball by Yariel Gonzalez in the first inning. Perez reached base on a walk and raced to third base on Korey Keith’s base hit down the right-field line. Gonzalez then hit into the double play which allowed Perez to score. Arkansas Baptist answered with two runs in the top of the second on a two-run double by Ken Cummings to the left field wall that scored Deion Smith and Mike Maddux for a 2-1 Buffaloes lead. Jiro Morales’ fourth home run of the season gave the Cowboys a 3-2 lead in the second. Morales’ blast over the left field wall scored Eli Roundtree who reached safely on a walk. Connors’ starting pitcher Josh Hammill gave up his second home run of the game in the third inning when Arkansas Baptist’s Turner Rockwell hit an opposite field 3-run blast over the right-field wall, giving the Buffaloes a 5-3 lead. Rod Lewis and Pat Castleberry scored on the homer, as they reached on a walk and a Connors error. Daniels made it a 5-4 game in the fourth inning when his base hit to right field scored Roundtree. The Buffaloes chased Hammill in the fifth inning as they took a 7-4 lead on two base hits. Zayne Dougan came in relief and worked out of a bases-loaded jam to put down the Arkansas Baptist threat. However, on his first pitch he hit Dylan Wooten which forced in a run. With two outs in the fifth inning, the Cowboys cut into the Buffaloes’ lead when Roundtree singled home Phil Diedrick to make it a 7-5 game. Diedrick singled to center field and moved to third base on Victor Claudio’s base hit to left centerfield. Arkansas Baptist responded with a run in the sixth on a two sacrifice hits for an 8-5 advantage.