Baseball Lions take two from Wiley
Dossey, Chitty earn wins in relief
SAGU hosts four home games this week
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Driven by full sails gained from a bottom-of-the-ninth, come-from-behind win on Friday, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team took both ends of a Saturday doubleheader from Wiley College.
The Lions, now 13-16, are 3-6 in the Red River Athletic Conference. The sweep of a league opponent was the first in five years (3-0 series sweep of Univ. of the Southwest, March 2008). The team had lost its last 14 series to RRAC teams until Saturday.
SAGU won the first game of the twinbill, 6-5, scoring a solo run in the bottom of the ninth. The Purple Pride overcame a five-run fifth inning by the Wildcats, which had put them in arrears by a 5-2 count.
In the nightcap the hosts overcame a 2-0 deficit with two in the second and three more in the fifth en route to a 6-2 triumph.
Second year Head Coach Jon Shockley praised the team for battling and for their performances on the mound and on defense.
“The guys were resilient,” he said. “They never stopped fighting and finished strong in all three games.”
“A week ago we gave up too many runs (against Northwood University) to count,” he added. “This weekend we held a good team to 10 runs.”
“Plus,” he continued, “we had three different freshmen pitchers collect their first collegiate wins. Today we only allowed runs in two of the 16 innings. The guys scored the last four runs in the first game today and the final six in the second game.”
On Friday, sophomore Rockie Davis (Santa Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS) had a quality start, taking the team into the eighth inning before departing. Micah Thompson (Waco, Tx / Gatesville HS) got the win when SAGU rallied for three in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 victory.
Game One: Thomas has 4 hits, Davis drives in winner
Playing in weather only a duck would enjoy, the Lions overcame steady, light rain with a late rally for another win in the first game on Saturday.
The Lions were cruising with a 2-0 lead when they failed to execute a suicide squeeze bunt in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out, a missed bunt cost them the lead runner. Two strikes later the threat fizzled (on a strike out) and the Wiley bench came alive.
The momentum had switched teams, and 6'7 starter Jarrod Pisors (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) couldn’t contain the suddenly energized visitors’ bench.
He had blanked the Wildcats through four, permitting four hits while fanning four.
A double to left, a walk, and a bunt single loaded the bases for Wiley. A single between shortstop and third got the 'Cats on the scoreboard.
A single down the third base line bounded high over Taylor Froelich’s (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Central Christian College, West HS) head, driving in two. A sacrifice fly and hit up the middle capped the scoring surge.
Justin Dossey (Aubrey, Tx / Aubrey HS), a 6’2 strong-armed right-hander came in and shut down the Wildcats over the next four innings, buying the offense time to chip away at the three-run debt.
Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) drove a deep fly to score Garrett Thomas (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS), who led off the inning with one of his four hits.
Sporting white jerseys, the Lions tacked on two more runs in the sixth to knot the score at five.
Davis’ grounder to second skirted low and through the five-hole to start the frame. He swiped second, but back-to-back strike outs appeared to squealch the threat.
Leadoff hitter Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) made up for his failed bunt in the fourth with a big time shot, a two-bagger down the rightfield line to score Davis. It came on a 1-2 pitch.
Thomas got the equalizer when he also ripped a double, this one narrowly fair along the left field line.
The inning could’ve produced the lead, but a Billy Mee (Fayetteville, NC / Copperas Cove HS) liner was snared by a leaping third baseman for the last out.
SAGU loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth on a single to center by Mee, who then advanced to second when Wiley’s pitcher made an errant throw on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Froelich.
Speedster Colten Conner (Flower Mound, Tx / Flower Mound HS) was inserted to run for Mee. Denton, the co-captain, then stroked an 0-2 pitch to left to fill the bags.
One out later, Davis stepped in and stepped up.
He poked a 1-1 pitch over the infield into shallow center as Conner trotted home with the winning tally.
The Lions outhit Wiley, 13-10, with Thomas going 4-for-5. He scored twice, knocked in a pair of runs and had six total bases.
He has clearly risen to the occasion since moving to shortstop a week ago.
Froelich (FRAY-lik) and Denton each registered two hits.
Dossey (DAW-see) tossed four innings, permitting a lone hit and no runs to collect the win. He walked one and whiffed three.
Game Two: Chitty stars on the mound, Denton, Froelich at the plate
The second game saw a third successive comeback.
Freshman Hayden Killebrew (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) left after just two innings with an undisclosed back injury. He was touched for two scores on two singles and a pair of walks.
SAGU quickly answered to tie the score in their half of the second.
Froelich and Denton got passes to first and then both advanced on a passed ball.
Bryant Threadgill (Whiteright, Tx / Dallas Christian College, Whiteright HS) followed with a smash to the third-baseman. It darted through his wickets, sending in both runners.
Jeremy Cross (Americus, Ga / Harker Heights HS) and Spivey scampered across the dish on singles by Thomas (to centerfield) and Denton (left) to give Southwestern a 4-2 advantage.
Froelich also scored, though his was a memorable moment. On base thanks to an infield error, he was nearly picked off by the pitcher. The throw to first was wide, rolling along the rightfield fence.
It allow him to get up after diving into first. He then ran... well, lumbered... around second and towards third where Third Base coach Andrew Rickman was waving like a NASCAR flagman. Froelich headed home, beating the relay with a head-first slide (photo above).
He got up and was smiling like a butcher's dog while greeted by a host of teammates.
The Lions got an insurance run in the sixth. Spivey singled to left, swiped second and advanced to third on a ground ball to the right side. He trotted home when Froelich jumped on the first pitch with a shot to left.
Both teams managed just six hits, with the Lions’ first six batters in the order each registering one. Spivey and Froelich scored twice. SAGU had just two runs batted in, by Mee and Froelich. Errors contributed to the other scores.
The hero of the game was likely Montana Chitty (Lake Worth, Tx / Lake Worth HS), a freshman righty. Known for his sense of humor, the burly 6’2 Chitty was all-business on Saturday.
He went five innings of scoreless relief, yielding four hits and no walks. He fanned five in a performance that saw him throw just 50 pitches, 36 of them for strikes.
After a 1-2-3 third inning in which he whiffed two, Eduardo Fernandez blasted a leadoff double off the fence in left.
Chitty retired the next batter on a liner to Davis in center, and then punched out the next two on four pitches apiece, stranding Fernandez at third.
In the sixth he gave up a leadoff single to the clean-up batter, Alibay Barkley. Nursing a 5-2 lead, Chitty then gloved a come-backer, pivoted and turned it into a 1-6-3 double play.
In the seventh, he sat the Wildcats down in order on a groundout to Thomas and two flies to Denton in left.
A day that started with grey skies and dreary conditions, ended with a setting sun and a job very well done by the home team.
Schreiner visits on Tuesday afternoon
SAGU returns to the campus field on Tuesday for a game against NCAA D3 member, Schreiner University (Kerrville, Tx).
The 6-15 Mountaineers split a double-dip with Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, Wisc) on Saturday, winning 8-1, and then losing to the NAIA Wolves, 5-4.
The Lions will host a three-game set, on campus, with Texas College next weekend. The teams will play a 4:00pm game on Friday, then a noon doubleheader the next day.
The Steers had an impressive showing at Northwood University over the weekend.
The 'Horns lost the first and third games, 5-1 and 8-6, and won the middle contest by a 9-8 count. They took 2-of-3 from Jarvis Christian College the weekend before.
SAGU went 0-6 against those teams, and are 2-7 in games with Texas College over the past four seasons.