Big Innings Ruin Solid Pitching In Double Header
Stanley, Morgan impressive in setbacks to #26 Northwood
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- To creative fans of baseball, the opening words of Genesis are; "In the big inning." Those were also the first words from the mouth of witnesses present at the doubleheader between Southwestern Assemblies of God University and the visiting Northwood University.
The dreaded "big inning" was the difference as No. 26 ranked Northwood (13-3, 7-0 in RRAC) took both ends of a matinee twinbill at the Waxahachie Sports Complex. Scoring early the Knights grabbed a 5-1 win over the Lions, ruining an impressive pitching performance by Chris Stanley (Harker Heights, Tx / Ellison HS).
Head Coach Greg Hayes' team duplicated their effort in the nightcap that summed up the three setbacks to the Knights over the weekend; solid starting pitching, critical infield errors, and quiet bats. Nic Morgan (Ft. Worth, Tx / Boswell HS) went through the Northwood lumber like a skilled logger, whose felling axe held the Knights to hitting only .241 against him. Northwood broke open a 3-1 game with a six-run sixth on their way to a 13-1 triumph.
The anticipated offensive assault by the Red River Athletic Conference leading Knights never materialized in the three-game set. Starters Cam Ward (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep), Stanley and Morgan all pitched well enough to give SAGU (3-11, 0-9 in RRAC) a chance to win. The Knights collective team batting average of .320 was effectively managed by the trio. It was infielders making eleven blunders, including five in the third game that turned competitive contests into defeats.
Throughout, it was Northwood's pitching staff that starred. Described as perhaps his best bullpen in his years in Cedar Hill by skipper Jeremy Kennedy, they stymied the Lions in each game, especially when SAGU had a rally going. They yielded only four runs in the three games, on 15 hits, while striking out 22. They issued only five base on balls in the trio of matches.
Game One Summary
Northwood scored three runs in the first inning and made them to stand up in a 5-1 victory over SAGU. Stanley gave up a solo tally in the second, then settled down and blanked the Knights the next four innings. He had great command of his fastball and his off-speed pitches according to Clay Scarborough, the Lions pitching coach.
Stanley (0-3) 'steamed' into the seventh and was charged with only three earned runs on five hits. He walked two and whiffed a pair. It was likely the best start of the young season for Southwestern. Only one player on the Knights had more than one hit. Philip Heider (Malcolm, Neb / Citizens HS) hurled a hitless inning to finish off the seventh.
SAGU scored in the fifth. Ward darted across the dish on a grounder by Ben Chavez (Roswell, NM / NMMI, Gateway HS). The big hit of the frame was a double by Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS), which sent Ward to third. Ward and Patrick Wherland (Petrolia, Tx / Petrolia HS) had the only other base hits for the hosts, who picked up only one walk (Denton).
Nick Harrison (2-0, 3.46 ERA), a righty, took the win.
Game Two Recap
Morgan (1-1) shutout the Knights until the fourth, and took a 4-1 lead into the sixth before he was undone by four unearned runs. He tossed five and two-thirds of an inning, giving up seven hits, two walks while striking out two. Relievers were tagged for seven runs on seven hits in an inning and a third of work. Northwood racked up 15 hits, all but one were singles.
SAGU collected five hits, two apiece by Wherland and Dustin Jett (Patterson, La / Patterson HS). Jared Jones (Copperas Cove, Tx / Copperas Cove HS) got the other hit. DuJuan Prater (Copperas Cove, Tx / Copperas Cove HS) drove in Wherland for the team's lone run.
Trying to manufacture runs, Hayes had the green light on for steal attempts. Jett had a pair of thefts and Jones a solo steal.
Outfielders Nico Taylor and Will Fontnow each had three hits for Northwood, who had only six RBI, by six different players. Frank Abbl (3-0, 1.20 ERA) got the win. The righthander went five innings, giving up three hits, one walk and fanning seven.
Junior Varsity Squad has Match on Monday
The SAGU jayvee team will play at Texas Wesleyan on Monday, February 28. The game is slated for a 2:00pm start. Freshman hurler Sean Godding (Waxahachie, Tx / Palmer HS) is the starting pitcher for the Lions.
Road Games on Wednesday
The Lions return to the field on Wednesday for a home doubleheader against Dallas Christian College. The matinee begins at noon at Reverchon Park. The ballfield used to be the home of the Southern Methodist University Mustangs from 1977-80. Reverchon is located in the Oak Lawn area of west Dallas. It lies along Turtle Creek and is adjacent to the Katy Trail. The main entrance to the park is at Maple Avenue and Turtle Creek Boulevard.
The two teams split two earlier games, both by 2-1 scores.
Texas Wesleyan comes to Waxahachie
SAGU will also take on Texas Wesleyan University (7-7, 5-4 in RRAC) next Friday at the WSC, at 6:00pm. A twinbill between the Rams and Lions is slated for noon on Saturday also home - at the WSC.