Small colleges notebook

Former Booneville standout Randon Ray enjoys big season at Carl Albert State College

Randon Ray
Randon Ray

Randon Ray isn't sure if he'll play beyond the 2024 college baseball season.

But the Carl Albert State College sophomore is putting up monster numbers for the resurgent Vikings.

Ray was 5 for 13 with four runs and three RBI during the Vikings' sweep of Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa. He had a key two-run single during the team's 3-0 win in Game 1 of last week's doubleheader sweep of the Mavericks.

Ray carried a mini four-game hitting streak into this weekend's series with Murray State. The former Booneville standout has hit safely in 16 of 18 games overall while scoring 20 runs and driving in 10 more -- good numbers for the Vikings' leadoff hitter.

In all, Ray has hit safely in 23 of 27 games overall, which includes hitting streaks of eight and six games, respectively.

Ray started his college career at University of Arkansas-Rich Mountain, where he batted .296 (8 for 27) while scoring 16 runs in just 18 games. Ray was a former high school football and baseball standout at Booneville.

Makenzie Martin

Eastern Oklahoma (Alma)

Eastern Oklahoma State College sophomore Mackenzie Martin finished off a strong March.

The two-way star has won three straight games in the circle while putting together a monster nine-game hitting streak that has produced 17 hits, 3 doubles, and 15 RBI.

Martin smacked a three-run homer and drove in five runs while pitching seven strong innings in the Lady Mountaineers' 12-4 victory over Northern Oklahoma College-Enid.

Martin is currently 5-5 with a 3.87 earned run average while logging a team-high 63 ⅓ innings. She has 28 strikeouts over 19 ⅓ innings of work during her three-game winning streak.

Martin is hitting .515 (17-for-33) during her nine-game winning streak.

Eastern (16-8) will host National Park on Tuesday.

Martin, who signed to play at Henderson State next year, now has 23 career victories. Last week's home run also gives her 14 career round-trippers with 69 RBIs and a two-year batting average of .381.

Dakota Peters

UAFS (Van Buren)

Former Van Buren first baseman Dakota Peters had a weekend to remember in Austin, Texas, last week.

The UAFS slugger belted three home runs and drove in nine during the Lions' four-game series with the Hilltoppers. Peters, who has hit safely in 13 of the 17 games he's appeared in this season, went 6-for-10 to raise his batting average to .407.

Peters transferred to UAFS from Connors State two years ago, where he batted .250 with a pair of home runs. This season, in addition to swatting five home runs and driving in 22 runs in limited at-bats, Peters also has a six-game hitting streak under his belt.

Peters has a .980 fielding percentage with eight assists and a pair of errors.

Sydney Ward

Southern Arkansas (Paris)

Southern Arkansas senior Sydney Ward suffered her fifth loss of the season last week during an 8-2 loss to Oklahoma Baptist, allowing a season-high six runs (three earned) in 3 ⅓ innings of work.

One week after winning her 50th career game, Ward's earned run average jumped from 1.52 to 1.65.

Ward compiled a 24-7 record while pitching 200 innings as a junior. She is currently 10-5 for the Muleriders. Ward transferred to Southern Arkansas from Crowder College.

The former Paris standout finished 16-4 in 2022.

During her SAU career, Ward has logged 437 1/3 innings while striking out 397 batters, and limiting opponents to a .215 batting average.

Logan Taylor

CASC (Alma)

Carl Albert State College baseball coach Paul Pulley has found an old formula Logan Taylor's travel baseball coach Andy Carroll used to employ back in the day: Have the left-hander pitch after someone throwing gas.

Of late, the strategy has worked like a charm.

Taylor has won his last two decisions while pitching in the same game with former Rogers Heritage flamethrower Aden Almeida, dropping his earned run average to 2.07 and helping CASC even its conference record.

Heading into the Vikings' weekend series with Murray State, Taylor had allowed just 11 hits and five walks in 22 innings of work. The 2022 Alma grad has struck out 19 batters and allowed just five earned runs - four of which came during a tense 6 2/3-inning relief stint in a walk-off grand slam earlier this season at Western Oklahoma.

Brandon Ulmer

UAFS (Booneville)

Brandon Ulmer is starting to find his bat again.

The former Booneville star went 1 for 4 in the Lions' weekend series opener with West Texas A&M to extend his mini-hitting streak to three.

Despite a 2-for-16 stretch between March 9-16, Ulmer is still hitting .364 for the Lions, which includes 11 extra-base hits and 21 RBIs.

Ulmer is currently hitting .312 over his last six games (8-for-25). The Lions' leadoff hitter, who has started all 29 games, is third on the team with 36 hits and leads the team with four stolen bases.

Ulmer also has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 86 putouts and three assists.

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