Walks in the Park, Lions Lose
Prater, Denton lead Cat batters at legendary field
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies baseball team opened its 2011 conference road season with a 13-3 loss to Huston-Tillotson University on Friday afternoon. Sophomore DuJuan Prater (Copperas Cove, Tx / Copperas Cove HS) smashed a two-run double and Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) knocked in another run, but Southwestern could not overcome a large early deficit to the Rams.
Like last weekend, Lions pitchers had control issues, walking five and hitting two batters with pitches. They all led to Rams scoring rallies.
Tillotson scored two runs in the first off junior Chris Stanley (Harker Heights, Tx / Ellison HS) on a walk and two hits. The Rams tacked on two unearned scores in the second, parlaying a walk, a hitter batter and an error to grab a 4-0 lead.
Stanley (0-2) retired a batter in the third before a hit batsman, a walk, an error, another walk and a double brought in lefthander Cameron Ward (Mansfield, Tx / Grace Prep). He allowed two additional runs in the inning as the Lions dug a 10-0 hole. Ward settled down and pitched much better the rest of the game according to pitching coach Clay Scarborough.
In the top of the next inning the Lions threatened to get back in the game. Batting in two-spot was Ward, the club's DH (Designated Hitter). He stroked a single. Denton advanced him with a sharp single, setting the table for the middle of the order. Patrick Wherland (Petrolia, Tx / Petrolia HS) loaded the bases with another hit.
Prater, the strapping first baseman, jumped on a hanging pitch and pulled it down the leftfield line. The double sent Ward and Denton scurrying across the dish. A potential big inning quickly died after his RBI's.
Ward, whose control and mastery of several pitches, saw him blank the Rams the next two innings.
Jett three-bagger was tres magnifique
Dustin Jett (Patterson, La / Patterson HS), ripped his first extra-base hit of the season in the top of the sixth. The junior raced round the infield as his gapper went all the way to the wall in centerfield. He darted in from third on a grounder to second by Denton.
Denney's Long Arm of the Law
Tillotson did have some success on the basepaths, but were held in check compared to the free-wheeling UT-Brownsville Scorpions from last week. They had three thefts before catcher Dom Denney (Albuquerque, NM / LaCueva HS) gunned down Limuel attempting to steal.
Top of the Order was a hit for HT
The top half of the Rams (1-3, 1-3 RRAC) batting order was especially effective. Clean-up hitter Raul Gomez, a 5'11 third baseman from Los Angeles went 4-for-5, scored twice and had four runs batted in. The junior pounded two doubles and stole a base. Howard Limuel, batted #5. The 6-foot-4 senior first baseman rapped out three hits in four tries along with two ribbies. He was the Rams RBI leader last spring with 29.
The #2 hitter, Oscar Rodriguez, benefitted the most by Gomez and Limuel, scored thrice. Held hitless, the junior from Brooklyn, NY was walked twice. Michael Mesa, a stout 5'9 catcher, banged out three more hits. He had one of the Rams' five doubles. A year ago HT was last in the RRAC in team batting at .253 and scored just 4.5 runs per game, also at the bottom of the conference. Entering the game, their team BA was just .140.
Perhaps the standout player on Friday was Rams pitcher Vincent Ramirez. According to DAK Stats, Friday was his first-ever game on the mound. At 6'5, the native from Torrance, Cal had a great debut. The freshman went the distance, allowing five hits and two earned runs. He walked only one and fanned three.
A year HT was sixth in the Red River in pitching with a 7.93 earned run average. His performance was well received as their staff had a collective ERA of 10.33 after three games.
Saturday Doubleheader: Follow the action LIVE
The two teams will play two more games on Saturday. SAGU will send Michael Reeves (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian) and Jared Jones (Copperas Cove, Tx / Copperas Cove HS) to the bump to start the twinbill. Both right-handers are 0-1.
Fans can follow the game via Live Stats. Go to the RRAC website and click on Baseball (left column), then, to the right of the standings is Saturday's schedule. Click on this game for Live Stats, which is a written play-by-play of the game. Game times are set for noon and approximately 2:00pm.
Weather forecasts for Austin are cloudy and 74 degrees. Game One, slated for a noon first pitch, when the National Weather Service estimates the temperature will be 65.
Historic Ball Park
HT plays their home games at Downs Field, a located as part of a historic city park. Baseball Hall-of-Famers Satchel Paige and Willie Mays once played there.
Downs Field is located in a low-lying area beside Boggy Creek and near train tracks.