Baseball Lions upend Wiley, 4-3
Froelich delivers game-winner in ninth
SAGU hosts Saturday twinbill at noon
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- For the fifth time this season the Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team rallied for a come from behind victory in their final at bat.
The Lions, now 11-16 this spring, stunned Wiley College by pushing across three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 4-3 triumph at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.
The win was the first for SAGU in the Red River Athletic Conference (1-6) and snapped a five-game skid against the Wildcats. In recent seasons the team has a 1-7 mark versus Wiley.
Junior catcher Taylor Froelich (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Central Christian College, LS West HS) hit a rocket up the middle to score Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) from third base with the game-winning run.
The rally was fueled by doubles from Colten Conner (Flower Mound, Tx / Flower Mound HS) and Garrett Thomas (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS). Conner’s shot to center scored Enrique Rodriguez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Nolan HS), who was on base with a walk.
Spivey singled to right, bringing up Thomas. He lined a 1-0 pitch into right-center to drive in Conner, with Spivey scampering to third.
Froelich (FRAY-lick) jumped on a two-out, 0-1 offering that he parlayed into a walk-off single.
'Coach-Speak' from Jon Shockley
“I’m very proud of these guys for the way they fought,” said Jon Shockley, the Lions’ second year Head Coach.
“They showed heart and they never gave up,” he added. “We’ve endured some tough breaks this season, but the guys are battlers, fighters.”
“The team has reason to believe we’ll win close games,” Shockley pointed out. “We’ve had a handful of multi-run rallies to win games.”
Micah Thompson (Waco, Tx / Gatesville HS) earned the win by tossing one and one-third innings of hitless and scoreless relief.
The freshman (1-0) got out of a jam in the top of the eighth by inducing a fly ball to leftfielder Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS).
After allowing a four-pitch walk to the #2 batter in the Wildcats line-up in the ninth, Thompson sat down the heart of the order.
The right-hander caught the next batter window-shopping. One down.
The clean-up man, who was 3-for-3, hit the first pitch to centerfield where Conner awaited for the second out.
Thompson coaxed a foul pop-up on a 1-1 offering to first baseman Rusty Hensel (Maypearl, Tx / Dallas Christian College, Maypearl HS) to end the game.
Sophomore Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) went 7 2/3 before yielding to Thompson. He was touched for three earned runs – in the fourth, sixth and eighth, on nine hits.
The former closer has been pressed into a starting role due to injuries to two starters. He walked one and struck out four in a 123 pitch effort.
Now leading the team with a .462 average, Thomas paced a 12-hit attack by going 3-for-5 on a pair of RBI doubles.
Conner was 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Spivey and Froelich each contributed a 2-for-5 day at the plate.
Perhaps the biggest play in the game occurred in the third inning. The Wildcats were threatening with two runners on base. A two-out, slicing single to left was snared by Denton.
The junior co-captain made a sliding, backhanded catch as he dashed towards the line.
The Lions and Wildcats are scheduled to play two on Saturday at the SAGU campus field. Weather permitting; the first game is set for a noon first pitch.
A pair of freshmen, Jarrod Pisors (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) and Hayden Killebrew (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS), both righties, are expected to start.
Pisors (PY-suhrs) totes a 1-3 mark and a 3.18 earned run average, while Killebrew is 2-3 and 7.18.
Forecasters are calling for temperatures in the mid-to-upper 60’s with scattered light showers.
Stronger chances for thunderstorms increase later in the afternoon. Winds of 19 mph will move the front through the area.
Friday's game was played amid light rain and mist throughout the afternoon, though temperatures rose into the low 70's.
Upcoming Schedule and Team Stats
SAGU will return to the field on Tuesday when Schreiner University (5-14) visits for a single game at 2:00pm.
From Kerrville, Texas (southwest of Austin, 265 miles from Waxahachie), the Mountaineers are members of the NCAA D3’s 14-team American Southwest Conference.
The Lions will also host a three-game series with Texas College during March 15-16.
Collectively, the team is hitting .274, scoring 5.7 runs per game. Pitchers carry a 5.76 ERA.