Lions split with Arlington Baptist
Chavez singles in Denton for 4-3 win
SAGU at Northwood this weekend
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Senior Ben Chavez (Roswell, NM / NM Military Institute, Gateway Christian) drove in Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) with the winning run in the eighth inning to give Southwestern Assemblies of God University a 4-3 triumph over Arlington Baptist College in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.
The host Patriots earned a split when they made four first inning runs stand up for a 5-0 win in the second game. The games were played at QuikTrip Park, home of the Grand Prairie Air Hogs minor league baseball team.
SAGU looked rusty after having five games wiped out during the previous week due to weather conditions. They are now 9-5 overall as they head into a weekend road series at nearby Northwood University (Cedar Hill).
The Lions will face No. 24 Knights at 2:00pm on Friday (Feb. 24) before playing a noon doubleheader on Saturday. Northwood is currently 7-3-1 in all games and 2-0-1 in Red River Athletic Conference action.
A year ago the Knights crowned the Jungle Kings 13-2, 5-1 and 13-1 at the Waxahachie Sports Complex during a season that saw them go 37-16 and finish ranked #21 in the NAIA.
Against Arlington Baptist, the Purple Pride trailed 3-1 after three before rally to win.
The Lions used four different pitchers in the opener. After lefty Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / LeTourneau Univ, Boswell HS) was touched for three runs on four hits in three innings, three relievers blanked Pats over the final five frames.
Senior Chris Stanley (Harker Heights, Tx / Harker Hts HS) allowed three hits in three innings while fanning one batter in each. He was the ace on the team a year ago. New head coach Jonathan Shockley has used the right-hander successfully in long relief where he’s already picked up two wins.
Trevor Schexneider (Elizabethtown, Ky / Elizabethtown HS), a crafty senior, surrendered only a flair single in the bottom of the eighth. The runner was quickly erased when "Shex" coaxed Ron Wagley into a 6-4-3 double play; Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) to Donovan Vess (Ft. Worth, Tx / Eastfield College, Lake Worth HS) to Enrique Rodriguez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Ranger JuCo, Nolan Catholic HS).
Schexneider (SHEKS-nahy-der) picked up his first win of the season when SAGU scored in the next inning.
Denton singled to lead off the eighth. Riley Hensel (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) sacrificed him to second before Rodriguez lined a sharp hit to put runners on the corner. Chavez followed with a one out, first-pitch smash in the hole for an infield single that knocked in Denton.
Fear the Beard: Kolczak ties record for saves
SAGU closer, Tim Kolczak (San Antonio, Tx / F.E.A.S.T., Taft HS), set the Patriots down on a pair of fly outs and a grounder to Vess for his second save and sixth of his Southwestern career.
It tied Scotty Smith (Robinson, Tx / Robinson HS) as the Lions all-time leader in career saves. Smith, a righty, picked up all six of his saves as a freshman in 2006 before becoming a starter.
Southwestern tied the game at 3-3 with two in the top of the fifth. Denton stroked a 2-run single up the middle allowing Spivey and Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx / Grambling State Univ, Polytechnic HS) to scamper home. Spivey started the rally with a hit and a stolen base.
The Lions first run was manufactured around two walks, a stolen base and a throwing error by third baseman Victor Moreno. It was a hot shot grounder by Vess that Moreno barely gloved, and then threw wildly to first. Dustin Jett (Patterson, La / Patterson HS) zoomed home on the miscue.
The big blast of the game came in the second. Rodriguez unloaded on a two-out, 2-2 delivery to deep left-centerfield for a double. Connectamundo! It nearly cleared the wall about 385 feet before bouncing back to the centerfielder. He was stranded on a fly out to second.
Cats nap in second game setback
John Savis (SAV-iss; short a) (Canton, Tx / Canton HS) overcame a shaky first inning in the night cap.
The sophomore righty gave up three singles and four walks as the Patriots grabbed a 4-0 lead. He surrendered only a pair of singles until the last inning when ABC tacked on an unearned run thanks to walk, stolen base and a passed ball.
Freshman southpaw Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Tyler Junior College, Red Oak HS) faced to two batters to end the sixth.
Bobby Hurst scattered six hits to get the win for the Pats. He walked three, hit a batter and whiffed four.
Spivey was the lone batter for SAGU with a crooked number in the box score. He went 2-for-3. Vess, Denton, Elles and Adam O’Banion (Peoria, Az / Raymond S Kellis HS) all collected singles, the latter with a rip to centerfield.
The team had three scoring chances. After a Spivey single put two runners on in the first, Vess grounded to the shortstop, who turned a double play. In the top of the sixth, Spivey and Vess were aboard with two-out hits. Denton ended the threat on a solid swing that was a gloved by the centerfielder, Zach Thompson.
Jett, who had walked in his first two plate appearances, was hit by a pitch with one out in the seventh. Elles followed with a hit. O’Banion, who had a third inning single, flew out to Thompson. Weston Lippe (Huntsville, TX / Alpha Omega Academy), a 6’5 sophomore with clout, ended the game by striking out on a 2-2 pitch.
On Deck: Northwood and Texas Wesleyan
After the 3-game set versus Northwood this weekend, the Lions are off until playing thrice against Texas Wesleyan University the following weekend. The first game, on Friday (March 2), will be played at the Waxahachie Sports Complex. It is slated for a 4:00pm start.
The teams will play twice on Saturday at Fort Worth’s LaGrave Field; home to the minor league’s Ft. Worth Cats.
Against Northwood, Coach Shockley is leaning towards a rotation of LHP Morgan, RHP Davis and possibly LHP Elles after Savis went six innings on Tuesday.
Mendoza, the senior transfer who injured his throwing (left) arm on the mound in Brownsville, has been cleared to begin tossing next week. He threw a no-hitter and a one-hitter in his first two starts.
Originally, it was feared to be season-ending damage to a tendon near his elbow. He has continued to play as a designated hitter.