SAGU rocks Mustangs, 3-1
Ponies can't buck Davis pitching gem
Senior Day home finale on Saturday
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Freshman Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) tossed a complete-game six-hitter to lead Southwestern Assemblies of God University to a 3-1 win in the opener of a three-game series with New Mexico’s University of the Southwest on Friday afternoon.
The Lions received a second strong pitching effort in the nightcap, but the bullpen yielded six late runs in a 7-2 setback.
SAGU and USW will play the final game on Saturday at noon at the Waxahachie Sports Complex. The game will be preceded by a Senior Day ceremony introduction of nine players who are wrapping up their careers in purple and gold.
Davis gave a commanding performance that saw him allow two hits in just one inning and not a single walk. The righthander hamstrung the Ponies on 76 pitches (8-11-13-12-12-7-14) while striking out five, including the side in the last inning!
“He kept them off-balance the entire game,” said sophomore catcher Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS). “He had good stuff tonight” in an obvious understatement.
“Rockie’s fastball can be tough,” Denton continued, “but after the first few innings, his slider and curve were working well.”
The only run Southwest pushed across the plate was unearned in the fourth. Miscommunication between leftfield and shortstop led to a two-out dropped fly.
He retired the last 10 batters he faced; one on a fly to left, five sat down by the infield, the final three he took care of himself.
Davis, a starting outside linebacker for the SAGU football team, had plenty left in the tank as he rang up and sat down the last three Warriors.
The likeable young ballplayer pumped his fist and grinned like a possum eating green persimmons after the final K. So did his battery-mate Denton. Think Jake Owens’ “Yee Haw.”
It was the Lions’ first conference win this season.
He may have been at his best in the third. Two infield errors and a hit had USW bidding to score the game’s first runs.
Facing Carlos Rodriguez, the Mustangs’ clean-up batter with two outs, Davis left him looking when a 1-2 pitch tied him up.
Southwest flew out seven times, most of them early in the game. When Davis’ offerings began tailing away or cutting in, the Mustangs were chopping broccoli.
They grounded to Riley Hensel (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) twice, to Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) once, and four plays by Donovan Vess (Ft. Worth, Tx / Eastfield College, Lake Worth HS), including a double play.
The Lions got all the runs they would need with a three-spot in the third.
A leadoff walk to Nick Sheffield (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS), an error that Spivey used as his ticket to run, was followed by a base knock between short and third by Dustin Jett (Patterson, La / Patterson HS).
The trio scampered home on ensuing plays, the best on an RBI by Vess.
That was all that Davis’ A-game needed.
SAGU had the Mares back peddling in the fifth. Robert Elles (Red Oak, Tx / Tyler JuCo, Red Oak HS) crushed a double to deep leftcenter, Hensel walked and Mario Mendoza (Ft. Worth, Tx / Grambling State Univ, Poly HS) loaded the bags with 'Cats with a short single.
Coach Jon Shockley sent in V-backed pinch hitter Enrique Rodriguez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Ranger JuCo, Nolan Catholic HS). He had to face Clinton Graham, a sidewinding reliever called on by USW’s Mike Galvan.
Graham won the confrontation with an impressive three-pitch strike-out, the last an elusive dancer the hot-hitting Rodriguez had no chance of reaching.
Game Two: Saavy Savis through six
The second game was a xerox of the first. USW southpaw Ernesto Torres and SAGU’s righty, John Savis (Canton, Tx / Canton HS) battled through four scoreless innings.
After allowing an unearned run in the fifth, Savis departed after an 80-pitch effort. He surrendered only two hits while walking four and whiffing a half dozen. Of the 15 outs, seven came on flies, two on grounders and six were chokin’ on a splinter.
Tied at 1-1 entering the sixth, the Lions went to their bullpen. Chris Stanley (Harker Heights, Tx / Harker Heights HS) was tagged for three runs to suffer his first loss after three wins. Three walks, two errors, two passed balls and three stolen bases greased the way for runs to score without the benefit of a hit.
Michael Reeves (Red Oak, Tx / Ovilla Christian) nearly dodged trouble in the seventh. Omar Villar powered an 0-1 delivery beyond the leftcenter barrier for a 3-run tater to effectively put the game away. Batting .180, it was his first homer.
Elles, who has been battling a bug for several days, got the call. The freshman lefthander went two and one-third innings of scoreless relief, striking out three.
The Lions scored on a bases-loaded walk to Zach Worrell (Ft. Worth, Tx / Central Christian College, LD Bell HS) in the fifth, but left the bases loaded. They threatened again in the eighth when Vess was stranded at third after consecutive strike-outs.
Mendoza crushed an 0-1 pitch, sending it to the farthest expanses of left-center, and then motored into third in a blur. He came home when Taylor Froelich (Lee's Summit, Mo / Lee's Summit West HS) lined a single up the middle.
Savis was a snarling bulldog, escaping a first inning jam with a six-pitch strike out with two runners on base. He then sat down the next six Mustangs, three shaking their heads at their inability to make contact.
In the fourth he yielded back-to-back walks but evaded trouble with two more K’s.
Doubleheader on Tuesday in Grand Prairie
The Lions will return to action on Tuesday, April 17, when they tangle with Arlington Baptist College in Grand Prairie. The 1:00pm twinbill will be played at Quik Trip Park, home of the Grand Prairie Air Hogs minor league team.
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