Eight is enough; win streak ends
Baseball Lions split twinbill
Elles, Stanley, Kolczak shutdown 'Saders, 3-1
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team ran their season-opening string of wins to eight when they defeated Dallas Christian College, 3-1, in the first game of a twi-light doubleheader.
The visiting Crusaders (2-2) earned a split when they scored five runs in the fifth inning, breaking a 1-1 tie, enroute to a 6-1 triumph in the nightcap. It snapped SAGU's win streak at eight, and gives the Lions a solid 8-1 record heading into the start of the conference season.
"The team has played very well in the early weeks," said new Head Coach Jon Shockley. "We knew Dallas Christian was going to be the best team we've faced so far. They pitched well and earned the split."
"Our team has played with poise and have received great work on the mound," he added. "This weekend will be a litmus test for us as we head into the meat of the schedule. I'm pleased with our effort and am confident in what we'll be able to accomplish."
Southwestern travels 450 miles for a 3-game series with #24 ranked University of Texas at Brownsville (5-3) this weekend. Fans can follow all of the action over the internet. There will be live video and commentary as well as Live Stats, a digital play-by-play, supplied by UTB, at the following links.
Live Audio/Video for all games: http://www.utbathletics.com/f1/Live_Audio_and_Video.php
Live Stats for Friday Game 1: http://www.utbathletics.com/f1/Live_Stats_Game_1_of_Series.php
Live Stats for Friday Game 2: http://www.utbathletics.com/f1/Live_Stats_Game_2_of_Series.php
Live Sats for Saturday Game: http://www.utbathletics.com/f1/Live_Stats_Game_3_of_Series.php
The Lions won the opener with two runs in the fifth to surge into a 3-1 advantage. The story of the game, however, was pitching. Freshman left-hander Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Tyler JuCo, Red Oak HS) had a shutout entering the fifth before running into trouble.
Chris Stanley (Harker Heights, Tx / Harker Hts HS), the ace starter in recent seasons, showed nerves of blue-grade steel. With the bases loaded the senior righty struck out two straight batters to silence the Crusaders rally. It sparked the offensive rally that would win it. Stanley (2-0) picked up the win, his second this season.
Closer Tim Kolczak (San Antonio, Tx / F.E.A.S.T., Taft HS) notched a save, his second, making quick work of DCC in the seventh.
The second game ditto'ed the first, behind solid pitching and defense by both teams. SAGU's John Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS) had little problems from the 'Saders until the fifth. Trevor Schexneider (Elizabethtown, Ky / Elizabethtown HS) and Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) all worked in the inning. Savis (1-1) took the loss.
Dallas Christian had a handful of hits, including a triple and bases-clearing, 3-run double that decided the game.
The Lions, trailing 6-1, filled the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but failed to break through against Kyle Spurgin, DCC's freshman reliver from DeSoto, Texas.
Hensel family cheers for both teams
The double-header continued the friendly series between the schools in all sports. Of particular interest was the test for the Hensel family of Maypearl.
Their sons, Riley and Rusty, were on opposite sidelines, forcing their family and friends to go back and forth in their cheering.
Riley, a senior, is the starting third baseman for SAGU, while Rusty is a stout freshman for Dallas Christian.
Both had good at bats, though neither produced a hit. Riley has enjoyed a productive early season with timely hitting and solid glove-work at the "hot corner."
Rusty has robust power, evidenced by his home run against Mid-America Christian over the weekend.
One common trait the two share is a lumberjack's beard as well as the support of their boisterous fans.
SAGU schedule next week
After the series in Brownsville against the UTB Scorpions, Southwestern travels to Longview for a double-dip against LeTourneau University on February 15. Game one is set for a 5:00pm start. It is a rare Wednesday date.
SAGU returns home for three games with Huston-Tillotson University on Feb. 17-18.