SAGU, Cross, stun #20 Texas Wesleyan
Cross fires three-hitter, escapes jam in last inning
Rams earn split with 6-4 triumph in Game Two
Victory ends 27-game losing streak against Wesleyan
Box Scores (links below)
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Jeremy Cross (Americus, Ga / Harker Heights HS, U. of Dallas) pitched a complete game three-hitter and Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) drove in the tie-breaking run in the fifth inning to lead Southwestern Assemblies of God University to a 3-2 victory over #20 ranked Texas Wesleyan University on Tuesday at LaGrave Field.
The win snapped a 27-game losing streak to the Rams, who led the all-time series against the Lions, 32-3, entering the doubleheader.
Wesleyan earned a split of the twinbill when they took the nightcap, 6-4. The Rams scored three in the bottom of the fifth to overcome a 4-3 deficit.
SAGU is now 10-12 overall and 1-4 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. Wesleyan is 10-8 and 3-1 in the SAC.
The series finale is Friday on the SAGU campus field at 2:00pm. Jarrod Pisors (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS ) will take the mound for the Pride.
"The win had a surreal feeling to it," stated Denton, a senior catcher. "Wesleyan has had our number for the three years that I've played against them. It felt good to finally get one against a very solid team."
"Jeremy was able to dominate and the defense was solid behind him," he added. "He (Cross) was able to use his 2-seam fastball against right-handed hitters and his curveball kept them off-balance."
"He had great control over both pitches and only gave up a few hits and just two runs to a very good team," Denton summarized.
Cross got into trouble in the second when he walked the bases loaded. With two outs, second baseman Jonathan Bravo doubled to left-centerfield to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.
He settled down to retire the next seven batters, the first four on ground balls.
In the fifth he yielded a single and an intentional walk before getting the Rams’ clean-up batter on a hopper to Clay Gentle (Fredericksburg, Tx / Fredericksbrg HS ) at third.
The sixth went quickly. Sandwiched between grounders to third and first, Cross struck out the middle batter swinging.
Nursing the narrowest of margins, the senior left-hander took the hill to finish the job in the seventh.
After sitting down a pinch-hitter, shortstop Preston Hornbeck (McKinney, Tx / Heston JC ) made his first error of the season (21st game). Bravo singled through the left side of the infield.
Cross bore down. Hornbeck fielded a smash to get the next out at second.
With runners on the corners and two outs, Cross coaxed Jake Howeth to lift a 2-1 pitch that centerfielder Brock Schneider (Arlington, Tx / Martin HS ) gloved to seal the deal.
Trailing 2-0, the Lions knotted the score in the fourth thanks to a hit batter, an RBI single and two errors by the Rams’ second baseman.
Denton started the rally when he was plunked with a pitch. Collin Gifford (Dodge City, Ks / Dodge City HS) entered to run for Denton. Two fielder’s choices brought Dej (pronounced DEEDJ) Mathis (Wister, Ok / Wister HS, Bacone College ) to plate.
The brawny catcher jumped on the first pitch, driving it to rightfield to score Gifford. Jonathan Santiago (Arlington, Tx / Bowie HS ) poked a hot shot to shortstop to force Mathis, but a throwing allowed Eric Hagstrom (Universal City, Tx / Lubbock Chr ) to race home.
Team Purple took the lead for good in the next inning.
Josh Terry (Daingerfield, Tx / Daingerfield HS ) led off with a single to left before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hornbeck. He darted to third on a fielder’s choice, and then crossed the dish on a Denton grounder.
SAGU collected only four hits in the game, the last two coming in the top of the seventh. Bryant Threadgill (Whitewright, Tx/Whitewright HS, Dallas Chr ) ripped a single to center and Hornbeck punched a 1-1 offering through the left side. The scoring threat ended without adding to the run column.
In the second game the Lions rallied to a take a 4-3 lead with a four run fifth inning before Wesleyan regrouped for a 6-4 victory.
The Rams countered with three in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single and a two-run double down the leftfield line.
Lefty Pedro Ortiz (Lorena, Tx / Lorena HS ) took the loss. Now 1-4, he permitted just six hits while walking two and strucking out three. Errors led to a pair of unearned runs, which happened to be the margin of defeat.
Hornbeck paced the Lions with a 2-for-4 effort. He drove in two runs with a single to centerfield. Later he scampered home for the lead run on a passed ball.
Gentle, Santiago and Brendan Martinez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Timber Creek HS ) each added base hits.
After the series finale on Friday the Lions return to the diamond next week with a Tuesday game at McMurry University. The NCAA Division II Warhawks are 5-12.
Fans can follow the game on LiveStats or watch on livestream video at: http://www.mcmurrysports.com/schedule.aspx?path=baseball&
The action (9 inning solo game) will take place at Walt Driggers Field in Abilene, approximately 190 miles west of Waxahachie.
Special Thanks to TWU Athletics Photographer, Little Joe Valdez, for the photos.
Click on the underlined score to view the statistics from that individual game.