Baseball Lions blanked by Texas College
Missed chances in 8-7 loss prove costly
SAGU faces Bacone in OK next weekend
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A week after sweeping Wiley College, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team was on the receiving end of a three-game setback against visiting Texas College.
The young Lions dropped the opener, 8-7, on Friday at the new campus ballfield before the Steers took two one-sided games on Saturday, 10-1 and 14-0.
SAGU slid to 13-20 overall and 3-9 in the Red River Athletic Conference. The Lions wrapped up a 10-game homestand at 3-7.
Texas College improved to 11-20 and 6-6 in league play.
The Lions return to action next week, March 22-23, when they travel to Muskogee, Oklahoma for three-games against Bacone (bah-KOHN) College (20-8, 11-1 in RRAC).
The following weekend, March 29-30, SAGU will trek 415 miles to Hobbs, New Mexico in a clash with the University of the Southwest (7-15, 4-8 in RRAC).
Their next home dates are in two weeks when no. 2 ranked LSU-Shreveport (20-9, 7-5 in RRAC) visits for three games during April 5-6.
Game One: Texas College 8-7
Despite rapping 13 base hits, the Lions stranded too many runners in a game they battled throughout but never led.
The Steers, however, made their hits count. They racked up three doubles, a home run, stole three bases and took advantage of five walks en route to a victory.
By scoring in six of the nine innings, the Horns kept SAGU on their heels. A three-run third inning snapped a 1-1 tie and they gave them the lead for good.
A leadoff walk, a single and back-to-back doubles keyed the rally. The Steers were able to put the first batter on base in five of seven innings against SAGU sophomore ace Rockie Davis (Sante Fe, Tx / Santa Fe HS).
The righthander, now 3-2, hurled 109 pitches and went seven allowing nine hits and seven runs, all earned. He allowed four walks and whiffed four batters.
At the plate, however, Davis had his best game of the season. He collected four singles in five trips to the plate, and drove in three runs.
Justin Dossey (Aubrey, Tx / Aubrey HS, Murray State) contributed a 3-for-4 game while Colten Conner (Flower Mound, Tx / Flower Mound HS) knocked in two runs and went 1-for-5. Enrique Rodriguez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Nolan Catholic HS) contributed a 2-for-4 effort, including a double and an RBI.
The thirteen hit attack was supported by four walks. SAGU left 11 runners on base in a one-run game that proved critical.
Rodriguez singled in the team’s first run in the second inning, a shot to left-centerfield that scored Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS).
Billy Mee (Fayetteville, NC / Copperas Cove HS) started the fifth with a hit to right, and crossed the plate on a Davis single to left, cutting the Lions’ deficit to 6-3.
Trailing 7-3 in the seventh, SAGU tacked on three runs. Conner’s two-run single to left did the most damage as the Lions drew to within 7-6.
Dossey came in to relieve Davis for the final two innings. The Steers scored a lone run without the benefit of a hit in the eighth. Davis used a strike-em-out, throw-em-out play to finish the ninth.
A batter who was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice, then trotted home on a wild pitch.
SAGU’s best chance to rally occurred in the bottom of the eighth.
Dossey ripped a single down the third base line, with Grant Robinson (Katy, Tx / Faith West HS) replacing him as a courtesy runner. Mee and Garrett Thomas (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) loaded the bases with one out walks.
Davis knocked in Robinson with a fielder’s choice before a groundout to second ended the threat.
SAGU’s bid for the equalizer in the bottom of the ninth didn’t produce a baserunner. Denton, the co-captain, had an epic at bat to start the frame.
He fouled off numerous pitches with a full count before being retired on a fly to second in a nine-pitch dual. A strike out and a fly ball to center ended the game.
Game Two: TxC 10-1
The Lions surrendered two runs in the first, a solo tally in the second and three more in the top of the fourth to trail 6-0.
Jacob Spivey (Georgetown, Tx / Harker Heights HS) stroked an RBI shot to center that scored Davis, who was on base after a single to center.
The Steers added a single run in the fifth, two more in the sixth and another in the top of the seventh to complete a 13-hit effort. Four walks aided their offense.
SAGU had a chance to score in the sixth. Denton singled sharply to right and Rodriguez was hit by a pitch with two outs. A strike out muffled the rally.
Davis and Denton each were credited with 2-for-3 performances. Spivey and Rodriguez went 1-for-2 as the Lions combined for just six hits.
Aldo Montoya, a senior right-hander, pitched a complete game victory. He scattered six hits, struck out three and issued a lone walk.
The 6-foot-7 freshman Jarrod Pisors (Dallas, Tx / Red Oak HS) took the loss. Even at 1-4, the freshman righty has tossed 44 and two-thirds of an inning, striking out 31 and walking just 13.
His earned run average in the mid-fives is impressive in the heavy-hitting conference.
Game Three: TxC 14-0
The finale was all horns and hooves as Texas College totaled 13 hits and six walks to cruise past SAGU. A five-run second opened a 7-0 lead for the team from Tyler.
Southwestern Assemblies shut them out the next two innings before surrendering a lone run in the fifth. A six-run sixth, however, put them game out of reach.
Dennis Neal, a 6’4 senior, hurled a complete game, four-hitter to earn the shutout victory. In an 85-pitch showing, he whiffed 10 Lions while refusing to give a free pass to first. Nineteen of the twenty-five batters he faced were started with a first-pitch strike.
Dossey (1-2) and Nick Turley (Ovilla, Tx / Ovilla Christian HS) pitched for SAGU, each accounting for seven earn runs, with the former taking the loss.
Thomas, Davis, Denton and catcher Lance Marks (Nevada, Tx / Community HS, Central Christian College) each registered a 1-for-3 game against Neal.
Davis doubled to leftcenter in the fourth with one out before Neal retired the next two batters; ringing up the first on five pitches, then getting the next on a fly to right.
Thomas and Denton, each earning a single in the sixth and seventh, were quickly sat down when the ensuing batter forced them with a fielder’s choice.
Davis collected seven hits in the series as the Lions’ weekend hit leader.
With 16 games (eight at home) remaining this spring, SAGU continues to be led by Denton and Thomas. Denton, a junior, is hitting .400 (44-of-110), and is among the RBI leaders in the RRAC with 28.
Due to injuries to other players, the catcher has moved his considerable skills to leftfield.
Since moving into the starting line-up, Thomas, the shortstop, is red hot at the plate. The freshman is swinging a .422 stick (19-for-45).
Collectively, however, the team is batting .276. The team’s earned run average has dipped to 6.32.
The rebuilding Lions have endured the loss of key players for the season, including a pair of pitchers. Co-Captain Nick Sheffield (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) has returned to the line-up at third base.
The club is also playing sans the services of leftfielder Nick Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS). His return will bolster the defense and provide options for second year Head Coach Jon Shockley.