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Justin Ortiz's Grand Slam was his second home run of the season
Baseball - Sat, Mar. 18, 2017

ST. LOUIS – [BOX SCORE] The Spartan team that showed-up to the ballpark on Saturday was a much more familiar one to fans that have watched the team over the years. On the back of a 15-run explosion on Saturday, Missouri Baptist extended its winning streak against Harris-Stowe to 23 games and swept the season series against the Hornets in a 15-3 victory at home.

It was the perfect storm for Missouri Baptist (17-9, 10-4 AMC) as the hitting all came together on the same day that Donnie Lovelady dominated for six innings.

Lovelady allowed a leadoff double to shortstop P.J. Roberts, which was one of just three hits allowed by the senior. He finished his outing with two walks and three strikeouts on the day.

As Lovelady kept the Hornets off-balance at the plate, the bats for Missouri Baptist went to work. Back-to-back doubles by Drew Kitson and Chad Ramsey scored Culver Plant and made it a 1-0 game.

The Spartans extended that lead to five, after a four run second put the game away. Though Missouri Baptist recorded just one hit in the inning, four walks and a hit batsmen turned the tide as the home team made it 5-0.

The Spartans plated three more in the third and one in the fourth before a huge sixth inning put the run rule in place for the seventh.

Nate Green, in his long-awaited return to the lineup, singled to lead-off the inning and ended up at third just two batters later. Brandon Schlichtig walked and Kyle Keck reached on an error to load the bases with no outs.

Hornet pitcher Nick Ferraro was called for consecutive balks, which scored two runs, and made it an 11-0 lead. As the top of the order came to the plate, the bases were quickly loaded again.

Aaron Collazo and Plant walked back-to-back, and with Keck on third, Justin Ortiz came to the plate as the pinch hitter. The junior crushed a grand slam to left field, capping an already impressive offensive display for Missouri Baptist.

Bobby Evans came on in the seventh and allowed three unearned runs, but recorded three strikeouts to preserve the win.

Nate Green celebrated his return from injury with a two hit day and scored three times. Chad Ramsey also recorded a pair of hits, a double and a single, as he continues to heat-up at the dish. John Hagan also tagged his team leading sixth home run in the fourth.

With the victory, the Spartans are now 10-4 in American Midwest Conference play and will head to Columbia College (Mo.) next weekend looking to hand the first-year Cougars their first conference loss in team history. Prior to that series, however, will be a pivotal mid-week affair with the Missouri Valley Vikings in Marshall, Mo. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 3:00pm.