Harding storms back, sweeps HSU
Bison score nine runs in the last three innings to rally for win
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – No. 16 Harding was down by seven runs after six innings in the third game of its three-game Gulf South Conference series against Henderson State on Sunday.
Harding scored nine runs over the next three innings and pulled out a 9-8 come-from-behind victory to sweep the series and set a new school record for victories in a season. The Bisons won Saturday's doubleheader 9-4 and 8-4.
Harding, now 35-8 overall and 12-3 in the GSC West, completed the comeback with five runs in the top of the eighth inning that put the Bisons in the lead. Harding had seven hits in the innings and five different players drove in runs. The tying run came in on Billy Ninemire's single, and Jason Nappi drove in the eventual winning run with a single.
The Bisons scored three in the seventh and one in the sixth. Ninemire doubled in two in the seventh, and Nappi had an RBI double in the sixth to start the rally.
Harding had 17 hits in the game, its highest total in a GSC game this season.
The Bisons dug themselves a hole in the second inning as three errors led to five unearned Henderson State runs. The Reddies added two more runs in the fifth.
Freshman Bronson Smith (3-3) earned the win with 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief. He struck out two. Harding starter Logan Holthaus went 4 1/3 innings and gave up seven runs, but only two were earned.
Henderson State's Dustin Hudson (1-2) took the loss in relief of Reddie starter Brittain Diamond. Hudson gave up the game-winning run and only retired one of the four batters he faced. Diamond allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Harding's 35 wins eclipsed the old school record of 34, achieved in both 2003 and 2007.
With the three-game sweep, Harding will enter the final two weeks of the season either tied for first place in the West Division or in sole possession if Delta State defeats Arkansas Tech in Sunday's late game. The Bisons have never won a GSC West Division championship.