Game one saw two home debuts on the mound for the O’Fallon Hoots. Bryce Crossius (SEMO) started the game, threw four innings, and struck out five. He gave way to Jonah Callaghan (SEMO), who was credited the win in the game. Callaghan went two innings, did not give up a hit, walked one, and struck out four. Nick Schmidt gave the Hoots a scoreless inning in the seventh, striking out two to secure the save.
Ambrose Russe (Lindenwood) provided the big blow on offense, crushing a two-run home run in the bottom of the second. It was the second home run of his young season. The winning run came across on a Patrick Clohisy (SLU) sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. It scored Kaden Byrne (Drury), who had doubled to lead off the inning.
The Hoots turned the ball over to Jackson Hickert (University of Akron) on the mound for game two. In his third start as a Hoot, Hickert completed four innings on the mound, striking out four batters and allowing two runs.
Drakę Downing (Maryville) took over pitching responsibilities in the fifth frame, completing an inning and a third of scoreless baseball. He turned the ball over to Jacob Frost (Wabash Valley) who threw an inning and two-thirds scoreless in his first relief appearance of the season. Downing and Frost recorded two strikeouts each in their outings.
The Hoots biggest threat of the game came in the fifth inning, where they loaded the bases following a pair of infield singles from Cole Robinson (Missouri Southern) and Zak Hartleb (University of Illinois) and a walk from Andy Bunton (Maryville). Gems pitcher Luc Fladda (University of Oklahoma) was able to generate a ground ball to short-stop Dylan Wipperman (Oral Roberts) to escape the threat.
The Hoots and Gems will be back in action at Quincy on Tuesday. O’Fallon is currently tied in the second-half Prairie Land division standings with the Cape Catfish and Springfield Lucky Horseshoes at 2-2. The Hoots’ next home game will be on July 15 against the Alton River Dragons.