SAGU blanks Yellow Jackets, 4-0
Worrell tosses 2-hitter in debut
Lions to host Bacone College in 3-game series
BROWNWOOD, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team earned a split with Howard Payne University in a Wednesday afternoon doubleheader at Don Shepard Park.
HPU is located near the former U.S. Army's Camp Bowie in Brownwood, 135-miles southwest of Waxahchie. During World War II the base had over 80,000 soldiers. It moved to what is now Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
SAGU took the nightcap, 4-0, on a two-hit shutout by sophomore Zach Worrell (Ft. Worth, Tx / Central Christian College, L.D. Bell HS). The Lions lost the first game, 6-5, in nine innings.
The Purple Pride, who surpassed last season’s 10-win total, will play host to Bacone College (17-11) in a three-game home series this weekend. It starts with a 2:00pm doubleheader on Friday and includes a solo game at noon on Saturday, all at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.
The Warriors are fellow members in the Red River Athletic Conference. Bacone (BAY-kohn) has won the last eight games in the series, scoring in double-figures seven times.
Second Game Revisited
Southwestern (11-16) nearly swept the twinbill. They had a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning before surrendering two unearned runs to force extra innings.
Worrell (war-ELL) went the distance against the NCAA Division III Jackets (9-13), allowing only a pair of hits; one in the second and seventh. He whiffed nine batters, sitting down seven while swinging. He walked two.
“I brought it with my fastball,” said the southpaw. “The changeup was working too.” Evidently.
After a solid career at L.D. Bell High School in Hurst, Texas, Worrell signed at Central Christian College in McPherson, Kansas. He transferred to SAGU when head coach Jon Shockley accepted the post in Waxahachie.
Delayed in his transfer by the NAIA prevented his being cleared to play until recently. He played rightfield in the first game of the doubleheader, going 0-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. His debut on the mound was a head-turner.
“It feels great to be playing now,” he added. “I couldn’t be happier.”
The Lions collected all four of their runs in the third inning.
Shortstop Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) started the rally with a walk. On his horse, he dashed home when Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx / Grambling State, Poly HS) unloaded on a double to deep leftfield for the only run Worrell would need.
Ben Chavez (Roswell, NM / NM Military Institute, Gateway HS) got on board with an infield hit, then moved into scoring position when pitcher Carlton Brown balked. Donovan Vess (Ft. Worth, Tx / Eastfield College, Lake Worth HS), the Pride’s RBI leader, added to his total by lifting a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Mendoza.
Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Tyler Junior College, Red Oak HS) fanned, but Jackets catcher Desi Guerrero couldn’t handle the pitch either. As he scrambled to grab the ball to nab Elles at first, an alert Chavo darted home for a 3-0 lead.
Taylor 'tater' gives Lions 4-0 lead
That brought Taylor Froelich (Lee's Summit, Mo / Central Christian, West HS), the Lions’ 5’11, 195-pound, catcher, to the dish. With full extension, he went 'yard' by tagging a pitch the left-centerfield wall couldn’t contain.
It was his first homer for SAGU after ripping two as a freshman at Central Christian.
The Lions did not score again, but put two runners on base and threatened in the three of the next four frames.
SAGU outhit Howard Payne, 9-2, as Mendoza, Vess and Enrique Rodriguez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Ranger JuCo, Nolan Catholic HS) each had a pair of hits. Rodriguez (pictured above, left) crushed a one out triple to rightcenter in the second. He was stranded after a groundout to the pitcher and a strike out.
Spivey, Chavez (CHAH-vez) and Froelich (FRAY-lik) each had solo hits.
Worrell was in command throughout. The Stingers only chances to score came in the first two innings.
After getting a pair of one-out walks, Worrell got the clean-up hitter to fly out to Mendoza in left and the #5 batter to pop-up to Spivey at short.
Ryan Klose, a hulk at first base, drove a Worrell offering to center for a leadoff double in the second. The lefthander than became the maître d’hotel. The next three batters were instructed to call the hostess as their seat was ready; Worrell struck out the side, the last two swinging.
The 21 outs were made by eight fly outs, three via grounders, one who attempted to steal and was gunned down (Froelich to Vess) and the nine who were given high cheese.
Game One Summary
The first game, played under a sunny sky, became the Lions’ third one-run setback in extra innings.
Like the second game, SAGU received a pitching effort that deserved a win. The defeat was a combination of three late errors that allowed Howard Payne to score three unearned runs and an offense that stranded 11 runners.
After building a 5-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth, Southwestern had two runners on base with one out in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. They failed to capitalize.
Each rally was cut short; a pop-up and a strike out in the seventh, a double-play grounder to second base in the eighth and another twin-killing ground ball to shortstop in the ninth.
Meanwhile, the Jackets cameback with single runs in the sixth, seventh and the ninth, each keyed by an infield error.
One run scored as the Lions turned a double play in the sixth, another came home on a passed ball and the winner trotted home on a double to right-centerfield by Sam Dollahite.
Rhinestone performance by Rinehardt
Lost in those three frames was a clutch pitching effort by Daniel Rinehardt (Abilene, Tx / Vancouver Christian HS). The sophomore inherited two runners in scoring position with no outs.
He promptly struck-out the first batter, got the next to line-out to third baseman Riley Hensel (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) and got the third to whiff on heat. Unfortunately, during that segment a run came home on a passed ball.
Rinehardt was tagged with a hard luck loss in the bottom of the ninth.
Lefthander Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / LeTourneau Univ, Boswell HS), the club's ace, went the first six innings. He surrendered five hits and four runs, three of them earned. He fanned two, both swinging.
SAGU scored three runs in the first and added two in the sixth.
Mendoza ripped a leadoff single down the rightfield line. He stole second. Chavo walked before both moved up a base on a wild pitch. Elles smacked a single to center that knocked in a pair of runs.
Dustin Jett (Patterson, La / Patterson HS) singled to right, advancing Elles (pronounced EL-iss) to third. He scored on a passed ball.
After the Predatory Wasps tied the score in the fourth on a 2-run homer by Houston Holmes, SAGU tacked on a pair.
Worrell, who coaxed a walk to leadoff the sixth, raced home when Mendoza went shopping at the Gap. His drive into left-center went to the fence for an RBI triple. He crossed the plate on an errant pitch for a 5-3 advantage.
The Lions racked up 10 hits and eight walks and struck-out only once.
Jett led the attack by going 3-for-5, with Mendoza and Elles contributing 2-for-4 efforts. Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS), Vess and Spivey each had singles.