Baseball Lions caged twice at Bacone
Chitty has solid effort on the hill
SAGU plays single game Saturday at 1:00pm
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -- Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) and Justin Dossey (Aubrey, Tx / Murray State, Aubrey HS) each rapped a pair of hits against the top team in the Red River Athletic Conference, but they couldn’t prevent Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s baseball team from two losses on Friday.
Bacone College (24-8, 13-1 in RRAC) rolled to a sweep of the Lions (13-22, 3-11 in RRAC) with 17-1 and 10-0 victories at Warrior Field.
Bacone scored in 10 of 14 innings, racking up 19 hits and five walks in the opener and 10 hits and five walks in the nightcap against four freshmen pitchers.
Of the 185 teams in the NAIA’s Division I, the Warriors rank no. 9 in scoring. They are also in the nation’s Top 20 in batting (.325), slugging percentage (.453) and home runs.
The Tribe has scored in double-digits twelve times while their pitchers have combined for a 3.47 earned run average.
Bacone’s (bah-KOHN) 29-man roster is comprised of 15 juniors and 14 seniors.
In contrast, SAGU’s rebuilding squad has thirty players. With 18 freshmen and nine sophomores, the match-up stands out like a lightning bug.
Still, this year’s Lions have already outscored last year’s veteran team, 177-150 in runs and have a 6-4 edge in home runs.
The senior-laden 2012 squad (14-28 record) had a .284 team batting average (fourth best in the RRAC), topping the .271 BA of the current unit.
In pitching, SAGU’s 5.27 ERA last spring was the school’s best in seven years. It ranked sixth in the Red River, the same place as this year’s 6.82.
Denton, Dossey, Thompson collaborate
Facing the long toothed Warriors, the Lions combined for just 10 hits in the twinbill, with Denton, a junior, and Dossey, a sophomore, the lone players with a hit in each game.
The Lions’ lone tally came late in the first game. Rusty Hensel (Maypearl, Tx / Dallas Christian College, Maypearl HS) singled up the middle, then advanced to third on a double to left off the bat of Dossey.
Hensel scored when Micah Thompson (Waco, Tx / Gatesville HS) grounded out to second base.
The one-sided scores were similar to last season, when Bacone swept SAGU at the Waxahachie Sports Complex with 10, 18 and 12 runs.
The Warriors’ Tim Hill (6-2) hurled five innings, allowing one hit while striking out nine. Adam Huizar (6-0) and Alberto Pena combined on a six-hit shutout in the second game.
Erik Folkers had a pair of doubles and two home runs to go with a 6-for-8 effort. He also drove in 10 runs.
The Lions had doubles in Game One by Dossey in the seventh and Garrett Thomas (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS), whose two-bagger was hit to right, in the first inning.
The second game had a lone extra-base hit, Folkers’ grand slam to left in the fourth. Coming on an 0-1 pitch, the blast gave BC a 6-0 lead.
Montana Chitty (Lake Worth, Tx / Lake Worth HS) easily turned in the best performance by a SAGU pitcher. He went seven innings in Game Two, yielding six runs, four earned, on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four.
The Lions hurt their cause by grounding into three double plays and another three fielder’s choices. Thomas did manage to get on base twice on walks.
Good News about Injuries / Upcoming Series
Other good news for SAGU has seen the return from the disabled list of co-captain Nick Sheffield (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS) and outfielder Nick Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS).
Expected to be the workhorse on the mound this season, lefthander Robert Elles (like Ellis) (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) has not been cleared to pitch in well over a month. The sophomore is the third starter on the mound to be sidelined due to lingering injuries this season. He has thrown in just one game.
Thomas continues to lead the team in batting, going 20-for-50 to hit .400. Denton is second at .397 (46-for-116). His 28 runs batted in rank fourth in the RRAC.
The teams will wrap-up the three-game series with a 1:00pm (CST) solo game on Saturday.
SAGU has dropped six consecutive games while Bacone, 17-5 at home, has strung together a seven-game winning streak. The Warriors have scored 74 and permitted 17 during the string.
The Lions next series will take place next weekend, March 29-30, in Hobbs, New Mexico, when they take on the University of the Southwest. The Mustangs are 7-17 overall and 4-10 in league action.