Jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, the OBU Bison cruised to a 6-1 victory over Bacone College in their first game of the NAIA Region VI Tournament at Oklahoma City University.
John Gibson's three-run homer in the first inning capped the early uprising, giving OBU starter Jeff Steele more than enough runs for his sixth complete-game victory of the season. The senior from British Columbia improved to 10-1 on the year, striking out six and scattering five hits over nine innings.
James Penn walked to start the Bison rally in the opening inning. He stole second and third before Brandon Dale drew a one-out walk. Nick Bakich followed with an RBI single, moving Dale to third. Gibson then delivered his seventh homer of the season.
Dale added his 15th homer of the year in the third inning, a two-run blast that gave the third-seeded Bison a 6-0 advantage over fourth-seeded Bacone. The senior from Perth, Australia, is just one home run short of the school single-season record.
Steele lost his bid for a shutout when Bacone's Daniel Abel hit an RBI double in the eighth, but the Warriors could draw no closer.
OBU improved to 35-23 on the year and will face Wayland Baptist University at 4 p.m. Thursday. WBU, seeded fifth, defeated second-seeded Houston Baptist University 6-2 Wednesday. In the other first-day game, host Oklahoma City topped Lubbock Christian, 11-4. The OCU Stars are the nation's top team.
OBU and Wayland Baptist faced each other twice in the Sooner Athletic Conference tournament last week. The Bison prevailed 23-9 and 6-3 on the Pioneers' home field, giving the Bison five wins in six games this season against WBU.