SAGU takes two from Hillsdale

Mendoza fires first no-hitter in school history

WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx / Grambling State Univ, Polytechnic HS) fired a no-hitter and scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to cap Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s doubleheader sweep of Hillsdale College (Ok) on Saturday.

The Lions took the three-game series from the Saints to give new Head Coach Jon Shockley and SAGU a 3-0 start this season. They won the first game of the twinbill with a 10-1 rout before rallying for two runs in the last inning for a dramatic 4-3 triumph in the nightcap.

SAGU opened the 2012 campaign with a 3-1 victory on Friday night. Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / LeTourneau Univ, Boswell HS) threw a complete-game six hitter.

After rolling to an easy 10-1 pasting of Hillsdale, in which the Saints made four errors and walked four Lions, the finale of the series was just the opposite.

In fact, neither team scored between the first and last frames, making it a bread sandwich.

But what it lacked for in crossing the plate, it more than made-up for in the bread. Even an empty Subway footlong has over 400 calories without adding a thing!

Mendoza, whom Shockley met during a tryout at Poteet High School (Mesquite, Tx) last year, appeared like the weather on Saturday, cold and wild.

Like a travel agent, he was all over the place.

Mendoza walked the first five batters he faced while airing four wild pitches. The Saints swiped a base to boot. In short, he was one hitter from getting pulled, according to Coach Shockley.

Sensing his leash was being yanked, he retired the next three batters on infield ground balls. Hillsdale parlayed his untamed start into a 3-0 lead.

The Lions struck back with a pair in their half of the inning. Dustin Jett (Patterson, La / Patterson HS) led off with a deep drive to center and motored around the bags for a triple. He trotted home on a frozen rope to right-center by freshman Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS), who was driven in when Riley Hensel (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) ripped a liner past second base.

After issuing a walk on four pitches to start the second, Mendoza found his groove. He struck out the next three batters; two of them “stood there like the house on the side of the road,” as legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell described those who didn’t swing.

Mendoza was soon mowing down the line-up and finished with eight strike-outs. He sat down 18 of the last 19 batters he faced. In the top of the fifth he issued a one-out free pass. He coaxed the next hitter into an inning-ending 1-3-4 double-play.

Of the 26 men he faced, only two managed to hit the ball out of the infield. Jett snared a high fly to center in the sixth and Ben Chavez (Roswell, NM / NM Military Institute) gloved a short pop to right for the final out in the top of the seventh. His curveball and change-up were working like a charm the rest of the way.

“He pulled himself together,” Shockley said later. “By the third inning he was on cruise control. His curveball, once he gained control and confidence, was literally unhittable.”

SAGU played errorless ball behind the battery of Mendoza and senior catcher Dominic Denney (Medford, Or / Eugene HS, LaCueva HS).

According to longtime SAGU baseball Assistant Coach and former Sports Information Director, Clay Scarborough, Mendoza’s no-hitter was the first in school history.

The closest to achieve the pitching landmark was Cameron Ward. He tossed a one-hitter at Hillsdale in his 2008 freshman debut. Ward was on-hand at the Waxahachie Sports Complex on Saturday.

Reliving the 7th Inning Rally

Needing a run to tie, the Lions got a pair to win in the bottom of the seventh.

Hillsdale went to their bullpen after left-handed starter Jason Wilcox gave them a 3-2 lead to protect. A questionable move considering he had yielded only one hit to the previous 23 batters he faced.

Three relievers combined to walk four and give up a double. And the ballgame.

Davis greeted the first hurler by walking on five pitches. Mendoza, batting in the 3-hole, went shopping at The Gap. He ripped a deep drive between two defenders that narrowly eluded a diving leftfielder.

With first base open, a new reliever elected to pitch to Donovan Vess (Ft. Worth, Tx / Eastfield College). He pounded a 3-1 pitch to deep center that easily scored Davis as a sacrifice fly. Mendoza tagged and advanced to third.

Hoping to get out of the jam with a double play, Hillsdale gave intentional passes to Hensel and Chavo. A new pitcher, Joey Koebelen, got the call to face Denney, a seasoned lefty.

“I have real confidence in Dom,” says Shockley. “And he came through.”

Facing the right-handed sidewinder, Denney battled his way to a 2-2 count. After the next pitch sailed wide to the left, the count was loaded. The eagle-eyed Denney, who established SAGU’s all-time record for walks in a season (35) last year, stood in for the ensuing money pitch.

It was down the middle and very low and the veteran strode to first, having forced in the winning run.

“He showed his senior maturity and his nerves of steel,” Shockley recalled. “He worked the pitcher to a full count. He never flinched. After ball four our dugout roared!”

Southwestern finished with five hits, with Jett, Davis, Mendoza, Vess and Hensel, the top five in the order, collecting the base knocks. Vess had a two-out double in the fifth, but was left stranded.

First Game Review

The first game lacked drama but SAGU fans were not complaining. The Lions scored early and often in a 10-1 rout.

Combining seven hits and four walks, coupled with four Hillsdale errors, the ‘Cats vaulted to a 7-0 lead by the fourth frame.

Meanwhile, the real story was sophomore pitcher Jon Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS).

He missed all of last season while recuperating from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He went 1-4 as a freshman under Greg Hayes two year ago.

In his first game back he did very well. Savis overcame the expected early anxiousness and “threw like he never had surgery on his arm,” according to Coach Shockley. “I’m very proud of his performance!”

The former Canton Eagle went four and one-third of an inning before giving way to Trevor Schexneider (Elizabethtown, Ky / Elizabethtown HS). Savis fanned five, yielded two hits (both singles) and four walks to get the win.

Schexneider (SHECKS-nahy-duhr, like Sheck-snyder) came in with the bases loaded and one out. After an RBI single past second base, he got the clean-up hitter to bounce into a double-play. The senior righty proceeded to shut Hillsdale down in order in the sixth, the final two on strikes, the last one watching.

Closer Tim Kolczak (San Antonio, Tx / F.E.A.S.T., Taft HS) breezed through the seventh allowing a lone hit.

Mendoza and Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) were the key players at the plate. Mendoza was 3-for-4 with a double and a triple and scored thrice. He added a run batted in (RBI). Denton went 1-for-3, scoring twice and knocking in two runs.

The duo was the only Lions with crooked numbers in the production columns.

SAGU promptly put two on the board in the first. Mendoza crushed an offering to deep rightcenter for a two-bagger, driving in Jett, who had walked. Vess sacrificed him to third, where Mendoza crossed the dish on a grounder off the bat of Taylor Froelich (like FRAY-lick) (Lee’s Summit, Mo / West HS).

The Jungle Kings broke it open by tacking on four more in the third. Mendoza tripled to right and danced home on a shot near second by Vess, who promptly stole a base. Froelich stroked a single up the middle and both darted across the dish when Denton, a sophomore lumberjack, put the wood to a smash to leftfield. He scored on a Chavez grounder to second.

Mendoza singled and scored in the fourth for a 7-0 lead. After the Saints pushed a run in the book, Southwestern iced it with a three-spot in the bottom of the fifth.

Denton walked in front of Chavez, who hails from Roswell, New Mexico. The senior then sent a 2-1 pitch into orbit! He cruised into third by the time the ball was retrieved from the base of the centerfield fence. Nick Sheffield’s (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) bouncer to short was misplayed, allowing Chavo to score.

Shortstop Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS), who enjoyed a spectacular weekend anchoring down the middle along with second baseman Vess, ripped a safety to left-center. Jett narrowly missed a hit when he thumped the ball to second. The only play by Zeke Munday (2B) was a throw to first, as Sheffield rambled in to tally the tenth run.

“We were more patient at the plate in the first game,” quipped Shockley. “A majority of our hitters swung the bat very well. Mario and Chavo’s triple come to mind! Big hits! Plus, we capitalized on a couple of errors by Hillsdale.”

On Deck: 4-game homestand vs. Central Christian College

“I believe these three wins will help us carry some confidence as we roll into our next series against Central Christian next week,” Coach Shockley quipped. The Tigers, whom he coached prior to his arrival at SAGU, will play a pair doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3-4 at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.

Aaron Childress took over the reins from Shockley at CCC this season. His Tigers were on the road this weekend, facing Loyola University in New Orleans.

The Friday twinbill will also be a twi-nighter, starting at 4:00pm. Saturday’s pair will start at high noon. The early forecast is calling for a partly-cloudy sky and a high of 58 with 10mph winds from the north. Saturday should be a repeat, though cooler at 51.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 469-658-2847.

 

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Lions show mettle in Forth Worth

Lions show mettle in Forth Worth

Apr 14, 2013 - Baseball News

Squad show no signs of winding down SAGU plays DH Tuesday in downtown Dallas FORTH WORTH, Texas  --  A recent slide by the baseball team at Southwestern Assemblies of God Unive...

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Lions face Wesleyan in Ft. Worth

Lions face Wesleyan in Ft. Worth

Apr 12, 2013 - Baseball News

Hard-working Fletcher earns first start SAGU's youth movement continues WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University has seven games remaining in a sea...

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Lions topped by LSU-Shreveport

Lions topped by LSU-Shreveport

Apr 07, 2013 - Baseball News

Freshmen shine: Mee drives in Cross for clutch run Frosh pitchers turn in gutsy effort; Umphenour, Turley, Chitty, Pisors WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of ...

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Lions corral Mustangs for 10-8 road win

Lions corral Mustangs for 10-8 road win

Mar 31, 2013 - Baseball News

Rodriguez late homer keys 16-hit attack Cox, Chitty earn 2nd win, first save on the mound HOBBS, New Mexico  --  Enrique Rodriguez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Nolan HS) doubled to st...

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Stray Cats cost Lions in Muskogee

Stray Cats cost Lions in Muskogee

Mar 24, 2013 - Baseball News

Rodriguez collects 3 hits in setback to Bacone SAGU prepares for big series in New Mexico WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Scattered like dandelion fluff in a brisk wind, so were baserun...

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Baseball Lions caged twice at Bacone

Baseball Lions caged twice at Bacone

Mar 23, 2013 - Baseball News

Chitty has solid effort on the hill SAGU plays single game Saturday at 1:00pm MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma  --  Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) and Justin Dossey (Aubrey, Tx / ...

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Baseball Lions blanked by Texas College

Baseball Lions blanked by Texas College

Mar 18, 2013 - Baseball News

Missed chances in 8-7 loss prove costly SAGU faces Bacone in OK next weekend WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A week after sweeping Wiley College, the Southwestern Assemblies of God Univ...

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Grand Slam leads to Lions loss

Grand Slam leads to Lions loss

Mar 13, 2013 - Baseball News

Loss to Mountaineers snaps 3-game winning streak SAGU hosts Texas College on Friday and Saturday WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A grand slam homer off the bat of Brad Holmes proved dec...

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Baseball Lions take two from Wiley

Baseball Lions take two from Wiley

Mar 10, 2013 - Baseball News

Dossey, Chitty earn wins in relief SAGU hosts four home games this week WAXAHACHIE, Texas  -- Driven by full sails gained from a bottom-of-the-ninth, come-from-behind win on Friday...

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SAGU baseball sweeps Wiley

SAGU baseball sweeps Wiley

Mar 10, 2013 - Baseball News

Team rallies twice in extra-innings Lions end skid of losing 14 straight RRAC series WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  For the first time in five years the Southwestern Assem...

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Baseball Lions upend Wiley, 4-3

Baseball Lions upend Wiley, 4-3

Mar 09, 2013 - Baseball News

Froelich delivers game-winner in ninth SAGU hosts Saturday twinbill at noon    WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  For the fifth time this season the Southwestern Assemb...

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Baseball, Softball Updates

Baseball, Softball Updates

Mar 04, 2013 - Baseball News

Lions welcome Wiley on Fri/Sat Lady Lions host Northwood on Thurs WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The baseball and softball teams from Southwestern Assemblies of God University will be ...

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Baseball Lions begin conference season

Baseball Lions begin conference season

Feb 22, 2013 - Baseball News

Three-game series vs. Jarvis this weekend Killebrew, Pisors will start the first two games WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The young baseball team from Southwestern Assemblies of God Un...

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Lions out-roar, outlast Coyotes

Lions out-roar, outlast Coyotes

Feb 14, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU earns split of 4-game series Baseball team wins twice with late rallies WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team battled a perenn...

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Lions split DH with Kansas Wesleyan

Lions split DH with Kansas Wesleyan

Feb 14, 2013 - Baseball News

Team travels to Ozark Mountains today Four-games vs. Ecclesia College on Fri/Sat WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The new look, new attitude Southwestern Assemblies of God University men...

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Baseball, Softball at home today

Baseball, Softball at home today

Feb 08, 2013 - Baseball News

Lady Lions play on campus, Lions at WSC WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The start of the 2013 softball season commences today for Southwestern Assemblies of God University with a doublehead...

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Lions enjoy sweet sweep of victory

Lions enjoy sweet sweep of victory

Feb 06, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU takes pair from Crusaders Play of Pitchers and Denton is plenty WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Like a busy tailor, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team has ...

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Lions host doubleheader today

Lions host doubleheader today

Feb 05, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU faces Dallas Christian College Games played at 2:00pm at the WSC WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The season-opening homestand continues today for the baseball team from S...

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Lions, Pisors blank Patriots, 9-0

Lions, Pisors blank Patriots, 9-0

Feb 04, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU battled #5 Rogers State twice Purple Pride has 5 home games this week  WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The non-conference, early season schedule continued over the w...

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Lions yield big rally, fall 13-10

Lions yield big rally, fall 13-10

Feb 02, 2013 - Baseball News

Arlington Baptist scores seven in 7th Spivey has 4 RBI; Mee, Froelich rap 3 hits WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team rapped out e...

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Lions sweep; start season at 3-1

Lions sweep; start season at 3-1

Jan 28, 2013 - Baseball News

SAGU whips Hillsdale, 8-5, 7-5 Arlington Baptist visits on Tuesday at the WSC WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Using the timeless baseball basics of good pitching, defense and timely hitting, Southw...

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Lions rally for Opening Day split

Lions rally for Opening Day split

Jan 26, 2013 - Baseball News

Thompson accounts for all runs in 3-2 win SAGU hosts noon doubleheader Saturday WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Greeted by much chillier weather than expected, the Southwestern Assembli...

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Previewing Baseball Lions Line-Up

Previewing Baseball Lions Line-Up

Jan 25, 2013 - Baseball News

Opening Day at home Thursday at noon Pitching staff, depth to carry new-look ballclub WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  There is a great deal of excitement that comes with the start ...

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Baseball Lions: a team in transition

Baseball Lions: a team in transition

Jan 24, 2013 - Baseball News

Veterans, greenhorns set to build a winner Loathing for losing could be the difference WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The new look Lions baseball team from Southwestern Assemblies...

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Baseball Season begins at home, Fri/Sat

Baseball Season begins at home, Fri/Sat

Jan 23, 2013 - Baseball News

Coaches assess new-look Lions team Denton, Sheffield, juniors, named co-captains WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University 2013 baseball team...

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Baseball Lions report on Monday

Baseball Lions report on Monday

Jan 08, 2013 - Baseball News

New hopes abound in final RRAC season Season debut on new campus park, Jan. 25-26 WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Second year Head Coach Jon Shockley and a pack of new basebal...

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Baseball Poll motivates SAGU Lions

Baseball Poll motivates SAGU Lions

Dec 19, 2012 - Baseball News

SAGU begins season on Jan. 25-26 Conference coaches pick LSUS as top team WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) baseball coaches recently rated the te...

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Baseball Lions taking shape for 2013

Baseball Lions taking shape for 2013

Dec 19, 2012 - Baseball News

Three Red Oak pitchers could start Elles, Denton, Davis, Sheffield look to lead Lions WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The first pitch will not be thrown for another five weeks, but the ...

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Baseball team announces schedule

Baseball team announces schedule

Dec 08, 2012 - Baseball News

New campus park dimensions discussed SAGU has 33 of 50 games at home, 14 on campus WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  When the crash of helmets gives way to the crack of bats, the sporting...

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Baseball Lions ink Threadgill

Baseball Lions ink Threadgill

Aug 31, 2012 - Baseball News

Infielder with a solid bat transfers to SAGU Versatile ballplayer hails from Whitewright, Tx WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The start of the new school year is filled with fresh beginn...

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Baseball Lions: Saddling-up Colten

Baseball Lions: Saddling-up Colten

Aug 30, 2012 - Baseball News

SAGU signs Flower Mound outfielder Recruiting class adds another key player WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  Southwestern Assemblies of God University has announced that Colten Conner has s...

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Baseball Lions sign Missouri's Ming

Baseball Lions sign Missouri's Ming

Aug 26, 2012 - Baseball News

SAGU deepens solid recruiting class Shockley names two new assistant coaches WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The baseball recruiting class for Southwestern Assemblies of God University ...

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Baseball signs Alcorn State transfer

Baseball signs Alcorn State transfer

Aug 22, 2012 - Baseball News

Duncanville 3B Redden signs with Lions WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team has added another key piece towards assembling the Lions’ ...

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Skyler Gilstrap joins Baseball Lions

Skyler Gilstrap joins Baseball Lions

Aug 08, 2012 - Baseball News

Pitcher hails from Smithville H.S. Shockley hopes southpaw is a knockout WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The popular term used to describe a left-handed pitcher is to call them a southp...

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Shortstop is long on skills

Shortstop is long on skills

Aug 08, 2012 - Baseball News

Garett Thomas signs to play baseball Former Red Hawk is third Red Oak recruit WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  A solid recruiting class by the baseball team at Southwestern Ass...

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Baseball signs Ruger Beck

Baseball signs Ruger Beck

Aug 03, 2012 - Baseball News

Centerfielder is team's 13th recruit Lions catch former Lake Worth Bullfrog WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The recruiting class for the 2013 baseball team at Southwestern Assemblies of...

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