Pisors, Killebrew star in opening day sweep
Three double plays and big hits by Hagstrom, Hornbeck spark Lions
SAGU unveils new jerseys, campus scoreboard at noon on Saturday
Access Box Scores, Play-by-Play, Standings (below)
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Led by a pair commanding performances by sophomore pitchers, Southwestern Assemblies of God University opened the 2014 season with two victories over Hillsdale College (Ok) at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.
Former high school teammates Jarrod Pisors (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) and Hayden Killebrew (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS) tossed separate five hitters as the Lions defeated Hillsdale 3-2 and 11-0 on a sun-drenched day. The righthanders were sharp throughout and were supported by solid defensive play.
Sam Blackmon, the new Head Coach of the Purple Pride, began his career in impressive style.
The doubleheader was played on a windy, warm afternoon as temperatures were in the mid 70's.
The teams will play two more games Saturday at SAGU's campus field. It'll be the first action for the Lions with their new scoreboard. They will also introduce new jerseys to home fans.
OPENING GAME SUMMARY
Pisors hurled a complete game by allowing only six baserunners. He did not allow a run until the top of the last inning when the visiting Saints pushed across two runs. Only one was earned.
He struck out five and did not issue a walk.
SAGU's infield, comprised of three freshmen, turned a pair of double plays, included a 6-4-3 twin-killing to end the game. Six other batters were retired on grounders.
The Lions broke a scoreless pitcher's dual against Riley Allen with all three runs crossing the dish in the bottom of the fourth.
A flair to leftfield by Tallon Ralstin (Cortez, Colo / Cortez HS ) drove in the first run and an infield hit off the bat of Brock Schneider (Arlington, Tx / Martin HS ) delivered another.
Back to back walks, the second by Josh Terry (Daingerfield, Tx / Daingerfield HS ) forced in Ralstin with the third and eventual winning tally.
The Lions had seven hits, two apiece by Ralstin and shortstop Preston Hornbeck (McKinney, Tx / Heston JC ).
GAME TWO REVIEW
Killebrew and Brendan Martinez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Timber Creek HS ) combined for seven innings of shutout work in the nightcap.
Killebrew went the first six, yielding five hits; all singles, while striking out three. He walked three.
Martinez breezed through the seventh. He got a groundout before retiring the final batters on swinging strikeouts.
The Lions got the only runs they would need in the third.
Schneider was plunked with a pitch and scored later on a delayed double steal.
Second baseman Jonathan Santiago (Arlington, Tx / Bowie HS ), who walked, scored on a double to rightcenterfield by Eric Hagstrom (Universal City, Tx / Lubbock Chr ). His blast, into the teeth of a strong breeze, bounced to the fence.
SAGU tacked on a six spot in the fourth to put the game away. They cashed in on three singles, two errors, three walks and two wild pitches.
Infield hits by Ralstin and Collin Gifford (Dodge City, Ks / Dodge City HS ), and a single to shallow leftfield by Hagstrom sparked the rally.
Santiago poked an opposite field single to right to score Ralstin in the fifth to make it nine unanswered runs.
Speed merchant Tali Fletcher (Monahans, Tx / Monahans HS) raced to first with a well-placed grounder to second. His single preceded a base on balls by senior Nick Sheffield (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS). He worked the count by fouling off a number of pitches.
Both scored on a Ralstin single to right and a deep rip by Nathan Bish (Euless, Tx / Lyon College).
SAGU totalled nine hits and benefitted by six walks. Hagstrom had two hits and drove in three runs. Ralstin also rapped two hits.
In terms of runs, three players dashed across the dish on two occasions; Santiago, Ralstin and Schneider.
But the game belonged to Killebrew. He displayed extra pop on his pitches since his freshman campaign.
Afterwards he was quick to credit the defense behind him. "It's nice to have those kind of gloves on our side," he said amongst a crowd of glad-handers.
The infield turned another double play. It occured in the fifth on a classic 6-4-3 with Bryant Threadgill (Whitewright, Tx / Whitewright HS, Dallas Christian College istian) making an incredible stretch at first.
SAGU will send two freshmen to the hill at noon on Saturday.
Six-foot-five Tucker Burt (North Richland Hls, Tx / Westlake Academy ), a right-hander, will start Game Three. Southpaw Pedro Ortiz (Lorena, Tx / Lorena HS ) gets the nod in the series ending fourth contest.
Coach Speak: Blackmon assesses Lions debut
"I thought both starting pitchers, Jared and Hayden, did a great job for us tonight," stated Coach Blackmon. "The hard work they have put in and the work (Pitching) Coach (Chris) Semprun has done really showed. It was also good to see Brendan come in and throw well."
"Defensively we played soundly all night. That has been something we have stressed and worked on since the fall, so I was very proud of our guys."
"Offensively I thought we did a did good job of squaring balls up and really did an excellent effort in approaches for the most part. A lot of different guys contributed at the plate and on the basepath," he added.
"As a staff, we were pleased with the effort and energy our guys had as a team."
The 2-0 start is the first for the Lions since the 2011 season. They have not gone 3-0 in at least a decade.
SAGU home on Thursday vs CCC
After Saturday's doubleheader the Lions are off until Thursday, February 6. They will host Central Christian College (Ks) for two games at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.
It will be the season opener for the Tigers, who went 13-39 last spring.
Box Scores: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamSchedule.aspx?association=10&sg=MBA&sea=NAIMBA_2014&conference=NAIMBA1_SAC&team=1778
Click on the underlined score to view the box score. Click on the split blue box icon on the right to see the play-by-play account of the game.
Current SAC Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/sport/0/6.php