DURANT, Okla. - Southeastern kept itself alive for an outside shot at a Great American Conference Tournament berth after sweeping East Central on Friday afternoon, taking game one in a thrilling 9-8 fashion in 11 innings, followed by a 9-4 victory in the nightcap at the Ballpark in Durant.
The wins move the Savage Storm to 22-21 overall on the year and 13-16 in GAC play, ensuring that the squad will finish the regular season no worse than .500.
The wins stretch SE’s home winning streak against the Tigers to five-straight dating back to the last series played in Durant which was during the 2009 season.
The final game of the series is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch on Saturday with senior day recognition at 12:45 p.m.
The Storm still need to pick up a victory over ECU on Saturday, coupled with two Ouachita Baptist losses to earn a trip to Enid, Okla., for the GAC tournament.
The opener did not look promising right out of the gate, with ECU taking advantage of back-to-back walks to lead off the game as well as a pair of SE errors to jump out to a 4-0 lead after one half inning.
The Storm did not panic, however, getting one run back in the bottom half on an RBI single by Cody Coats that plated Chevis Springer.
A Trevor Bowen sac fly scored Ryan Salter in the second and then Brayon Colley scored in the third when Jacob Carter grounded into a double play, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Then in the fifth inning a Coats double to right center would score Colley and knot the game at 4-4.
However, ECU was the next to strike, putting up three runs in consecutive batter in the bottom of the seventh to open up a 7-4 lead.
SE then loaded the bases with one out, allowing Evan Ramsey to draw a walk to score Springer and make the score 7-5.
One batter later Salter singled home Jacob Soisson and Coats to knot the game at 7-7 and send it to extra innings.
Neither team scored in the 10th, but ECU added a run in the top of the 11th on a sac fly to take an 8-7 lead.
Ramsey then opened the bottom of the 11th with a single and moved to second on an error.
Salter then followed with a bunt single and followed by stealing second to put runners at second and third with no outs for Collin Sefcik who singled both runs home for the walk-off victory.
Colley, Coats and Salter each tallied three hits as the Storm rapped out 14 on the contest.
Sefcik added a two hit outing, while Coats, Salter and Sefic each drove in a pair of runs.
Canyon Conley got the start but faced just five batters and was saddled with four runs, two earned, on one hit.
Dwight Camp came on in relief and tossed 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one strikeout.
Mason Crenshaw picked up his seventh win of the season after tossing the final 4.2 innings and allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts.
SE looked to carry the momentum of that win into game two, but ECU struck first and took a 1-0 lead two batters into the game.
The Storm answered in the bottom of the second with a Bowen double that plated Salter and tied the game at 1-1.
The Tigers then got back-to-back RBI hits in the top of the third inning to open up a 4-1 lead.
Jacob Carter would triple home Coats in the bottom of the third to make the score 4-2, which was followed three batters later when Sefcik drove in Carter on a groundout to make it 4-3.
The offense stayed quiet until the bottom of the sixth inning when Sefcik opened with a walk, followed by Chance Burcham getting hit by a pitch and then Bowen loading the bases with a single.
Springer would then draw a walk to plate Sefcik and knot the game at 4-4.
Two batter later Coats would get hit by a pitch and drive in a pinch-running Soisson to take a 5-4 lead.
That was followed by a two-run Carter double and a two-run Ramsey single to finish off a six run sixth inning to open up a 9-4 lead which would hold to be the final after a three-up-three-down top of the seventh.
Carter, Ramsey and Bowen each finished with two hits, while Carter added three RBI.
Ramsey also drove in two, while Springer, Coats, Sefcik and Bowen added an RBI each.
Nick Johnson got the start for SE and tossed 3.2 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on six hits.
Mathew Benedict picked up his third win of the year in relief after tossing 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits.