Oklahoma Baptist used a seven-run seventh inning to pull out a 10-5 win over Rogers State in the first round of the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament Tuesday in Plainview, Texas.
Josh Palmer (4-3) allowed three runs in the first two innings and then settled in to give the Bison a chance. Chris Chambers was the man of the hour at the plate with an RBI double and a grand slam.
Down 3-0, OBU got on the board in the bottom of the second with an RBI double by Chambers and an RBI ground out by Christian Ruiz.
The score stayed 3-2 as Chris Graves and Palmer battled through to the bottom of the seventh.
"Really gutsy performance by Josh Palmer," said OBU coach Bobby Cox. "He didn't have his best stuff early in the game, but he gutted it out and got stronger the longer he pitched."
In the bottom of the seventh, Ruiz was hit by a pitch, Whitt Barkley singled and with two out, Billy Thomas walked to load the bases. Kyle Cooper was then hit by a pitch and Josh Collazo ripped a two-run single up the middle for a 5-3 Bison lead.
Mason Reilly walked and that ended the day for Graves. Chris Chambers then lifted a towering fly ball the opposite way to left. Left fielder Ryan Littlejohn leaped up but couldn't make the catch. The ball bounded off the top of the four-foot fence and over for a grand slam - Chambers' ninth home run of the season.
"We got a little fortunate with the hit by pitch and got the pitch count up a little," Cox said. "And that wall has hurt us here before. It's good to have it help us this time."
Palmer surrendered a home run to Littlejohn in the top of the eighth before giving way to Jordan McCavitt.
Kyle Cooper added an RBI single in the eighth and RSU scored once in the ninth for the final 10-5 margin.
Reilly and Chambers had two hits each to lead the 10-hit OBU attack.
Now 41-12 overall, the Bison play top-ranked Lubbock Christian at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Rogers State plays an elimination game at 10 a.m., Wednesday, against St. Gregory's.